Pecanless Pie? With a double-crust? Yes. And yes. I don’t like nuts. I detest them, but I love Pecan Pie. Whenever I eat it, I have to spend 30 minutes picking all the pecans out of my slice, but it’s all worth it. I love the sugary filling and the flaky crust. YUM! So, I had been craving pecan pie for the longest time and kept putting off making it because there have been too many sweets in this house. Then I saw the Sour Cherry Slab Pie on Smitten Kitchen (SK), and my brain started reeling. I thought of making the exact same thing she made with the same cherry filling, but I wasn’t craving a fruity dessert; I wanted pecan pie sans pecans! So, once I gave away all of the cookies to my friend, I decided to make this pie.
Ahh, the advantage of baking and cooking your own stuff; you can customize your dishes to your liking (even if the rest of the world may disagree with your preferences). 🙂
I made the crust on SK’s site, and then I used the filling posted on this website. Now, pie crusts have never been difficult for me, but I thought I’d try to make it in my stand mixer. Big mistake! I remedied the problem enough to make a flaky crust, but there were big globs of butter in the dough when it was cold, and it kept breaking apart. Also, I forgot to add an egg wash or cream to the top of the pie. So, while the crust didn’t come out looking as good as my crust usually looks, it tasted great.
I really like the idea of doing a double crust with this pecanless pie because it offset the sugary flavor more than the standard type of pie. Without the pecans, one would think that the pie would be cloyingly sweet, but I like my pecanless pies either way. I think I will make my pecanless pies like this from now on, though. YUM!
1 cup cold water (you can drop in a few ice cubes or place cold water in the freezer while uou work on the other steps. That way you can avoid bits of ice cubes.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Two sticks (or 8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold, unsalted butter cubed into 1/2-inch pieces.
Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender or fork, using it to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. When all of the butter pieces are approximately the size of peas — this won’t take long — stop.
Take the cold water out of the freezer. Start drizzling 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water (not the cubes, if you chose that method) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional 1/4 cup of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, patting it together.
Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap (You will use one and a half portions of this dough). I like to use the the plastic wrap to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one to two hours before rolling it out.
Do ahead: Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells.
Put the butter in the microwave until it is completely melted. During this step, preheat your regular oven to 350.
In a medium to large bowl, mix or slightly beat eggs with a whisk. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients (if adding pecans, add them after you pour the filling in the pie crust).
Take one portion of the pie dough out of the refrigerator, and roll it out to about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Then, apply more flour to the rolling pin. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin, and unroll it onto your pie pan. Allow the excess crust to hang over the pie plate or 8×8″ pan so that the crust hangs 1 inch.
Place the pie shell (rolled-out dough) and plate/pan in the refrigerator as you roll out the second portion of the dough. Once you roll out the second portion, take out the pie plate/pan, and then pour in the pie filling. Place the second portion of dough on top of the filling and then fold the edges of the bottom pie dough over the second one. Make a few incisions on top of the dough before placing it in the oven.
Now, put your pie in a preheated oven set to 350F for 1 hour (with my hot oven, it took 40 minutes). After the pie has been in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, take it out, and put strips of tinfoil around the edge to keep the pie crust from burning. Be careful not to spill you pie! The filling is runny and quite hot. Then, put the pie back in the oven.
After you put the pie back in the oven, it will need another 20 to 30 minutes. After about 30 minutes (a total of 40 mins to 1 hour in the oven), test the pie to see if it is done. You can test the pie by sticking a knife in the middle. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done; if it comes out dirty, it needs about 10 more minutes in the oven. It will also no longer jiggle.