Sweet Stuff

Pecan Pie from Hell

Yesterday, all I wanted all day was a pecan pie (yes, I had Ally McBeal flash-forwards of eating the entire thing while I drove home). When I got to the grocery store, I found almost every kind of pie, but not pecan. I mean, isn’t strawberry-rhubarb a summer pie? Especially in Maine? How could they not have pecan? It’s probably something to do with the fact that they are extortionately expensive, but what do I know?

At any rate, I didn’t give up, I just bought some pecans and figured I would have a go at making my own. I have at least a dozen recipe books even if Pinterest suddenly let me down. I lucked out – Mr. A had a snow day, so there was no leaving the house except to shovel!

“Time to do this!” I said. “It will be easy.” I thought.

I have to admit, I do not like failure, especially at something that I feel fairly comfortable doing. I can make a decent pie crust. I have made flaky crust for latticed apple pies and a more savory crust for chicken pot pies (bacon lard instead of shortening!) and they have all come out just fine.

Today, though, I practically had to use warrior magic to get the crust for to work as intended. I should have stuck with my regular crust recipe, but I was trying to follow the recipe I had found to a T, including the instructions for the crust.

Good grief, I think I went through all stages of life making this one pie: hope, enjoyment, doubt, frustration, anger, and sheer stubbornness. And that was before putting the pie in the oven! Once that step actually happened, I started the cycle again to rehash a few emotions, hope, doubt, and stubbornness, before actually achieving satisfaction.

Poor Dray. He actually offered to help during the frustration/anger transition…kind, but not the wisest timing. I practically bit his head off.

All I can tell you is that I willed this pie crust to work. It would have taken less time and energy to just start over with my usual, but no…that stubborn streak kicked in.

If you ever, ever, ever, find a pie crust recipe that does not include instructions to refrigerate it (or put it in the freezer) in between the steps, run away and find a new one. That’s actually how I even remotely saved the crust. I did absolutely everything I wasn’t supposed to: handled it too much, used too much flour, didn’t refrigerate it in between. So why I am sharing my failure?

Because I didn’t fail! The pie is absolutely delicious. It’s not going to win any beauty prizes but not a big deal – it won’t be around long anyhow. Also, I tried making something for the first time and had no idea what to expect for each phase.

Did you know that when making this pie, the pecans get placed on the bottom of the pie crust and float through the liquid part to be on the top when you eat it? I had no idea, and seeing that actually (sort of) work, was really neat.

So what’s the moral of the story? If it doesn’t happen the way you’d hoped the first time, pick yourself up and dust yourself off and try, try again. Sometimes you just have to convince yourself you can do something in order to make it happen.

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