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Pecan Pie Recipe with Buttery Streusel Topping

Serves 8     adjust servings

This is not your average Pecan Pie recipe! First we brown the butter, then we adds toffee bits (which melt into a glorious caramel filling), and THEN we top it off with a supremely buttery streusel that I promise is not too sweet, but instead adds the perfect crunch. You are going to WIN Thanksgiving this year my friends. 

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter-flavored Crisco
  • half of one egg
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped (toast them if you want!)

For the streusel

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup cold butter (half stick)

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Fill a small bowl with ice and water so it is ready when you need it.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut in the butter and Crisco. I find it's easier to chop the butter up a bit with a knife before adding it in. Cut with the pastry cutter until it looks like coarse crumbs. Don't overdo it! You want pea-size chunks of butter. See photo.
  4. In a small bowl beat one egg. Pour out half (into the sink or into another container, or heck, into a frying pan). You can just eyeball it.
  5. Add 1/4 cup ice water to the half beaten egg. Beat it together with a fork, then add it to the flour mixture. Stir until it is just coming together, then use floured hands to knead it once or twice (only to make it come together). Divide the dough in half. 
  6. Shape one half into a disc, put it in a ziplock, and stick it in the freezer. Save it for another pie another day! 
  7. Generously sprinkle flour onto a sheet of parchment paper or a pastry cloth (or the counter). Roll the dough with a rolling pin, using as much flour as you need so that it doesn't stick. Invert the parchment paper onto a 9-inch pie pan and gently peel off the paper. (Or if you are not using paper, roll it up gently on the rolling pin and transfer to the pie pan.)
  8. Arrange the pie crust and fold any excess crust underneath (I don't believe in trimming it off. Just fold it under!) Crimp as desired.
  9. Place the pie pan in the freezer or fridge while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet in the oven on a center rack.
  2. Place the stick of butter in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter starts to foam. Keep stirring until you see dark brown spots start to swirl in with the foam. The mixture should have a nutty scent that is richer than the smell of regular melted butter. It should take about 5ish minutes. See photo. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. (Transfer the butter to another bowl if you think it will start to burn in the pan.)
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat 3 eggs for 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup corn syrup. Beat for 1 more minute, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Add the slightly cooled butter and beat well.
  6. Add the milk, vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and flour. Beat well, scraping the sides and bottom.
  7. Fold in the toffee bits and chopped pecans. You can take a moment to toast your pecans before adding them in, it's never a bad idea!
  8. Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust.
  9. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Once the pie is in the oven, immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F.
  10. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, make the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Use a pastry cutter to cut in 1/4 cup cold butter. Do you best to cut it into a mixture that looks like coarse sand with some larger butter chunks. There is a lot of flour in this streusel, so eventually I used my hand to squeeze it together and make chunks. Put the streusel in the fridge or freezer until you need it. 
  12. Fold a pie-size square of aluminum foil in half, then in half again. Use scissors to cut a circle out of the center. When you open the aluminum foil, you should have a square piece of foil with a circle cut out of the middle. See photos. This will be your crust shield. 
  13. After the pie has baked 30 minutes, carefully remove it from the oven (it will be quite wobbly). The top should be lightly browned.
  14. Add the streusel all over the top of the pie.
  15. Carefully place your foil pie shield over the crust of the pie and fold around the edges. 
  16. Put the pie (on the baking sheet still) back in the oven.
  17. Continue baking for another 30-37 minutes. Total time in the oven for my pie was 67 minutes. This is going to vary depending on every oven! The pie will still be quite wobbly in the middle, but the edges should only jiggle a little bit. 
  18. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely to room temperature. If you cut into this pie while it is warm, it's going to be a liquidy mess! I put mine in the freezer for 1 hour before taking the photos for this post (and the center did fall in a bit.) 
  19. Serve with vanilla ice cream! The caramel-y topping on the ice cream that you see in some of the photos is the filling from the pie spooned on top. 

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