Oops! I revised this recipe on 12.24.2014 to correct an error–the pie shells should remain frozen until ready to bake. Otherwise, the bottoms could end up soggy. Sorry for the oversight!
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, now is the perfect time to share this seasonal treat with you all. This is a sweet, festive finger food perfect for holiday entertaining. And, in my opinion, it’s the best way to serve pecan pie. Not only do the individual pies make everyone feel extra special, each serving has that perfect filling-to-crust ratio and the baker never has to fret over whether or not the center of the pie sets—an issue I always struggled with when making one large pie. As you can see from my ingredient list, this is my traditional, Deep South pecan pie recipe. While I do love me some bourbon pecan, chocolate pecan and even bourbon-chocolate pecan pie, I prefer the basic, pecan-centric version during the holidays.
And now for the fun part—pairing these personal pies with a holiday-worthy beverage. Beer. Oh yes! Beer. There are a bunch of really tasty craft beers that pair perfectly with pecan pie. The two main types I suggest focusing on are creamy stouts and big porters. Over the years, I’ve chased my pecan pies with many different beers and this year I’m really into the Tin Roof Parade Ground Coffee Porter and the Dogfish Head Brewery Chicory Stout. Both provide you with that wonderful coffee and pie duo. Okay. So it’s more like an iced coffee and pie hook up with a kiss of alcohol. But it’s all really nice stuff. Now if you’re one of those few missing your chocolate pecan pie or bourbon pecan pie, seek out a chocolate or bourbon barrel aged stout. Milk stouts would be wonderful too. And although you may be tempted to wash your pecan pie down with a pecan pie porter or IPA or brown ale (yes, they make those), please don’t. That’s too much pecan pie in one sitting and the beer will overwhelm the pie or the pie will end up canceling out the beer.
Until next time …
Individual Pecan Pies Recipe
4 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 8-ounce packages of frozen pastry shells (mini pie shells)
1 1/2 cups pecan halves (preferably Louisiana), coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla and salt; whisk until smooth. Place frozen mini pie shells on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Scatter an even amount of pecan pieces in each shell. Pour filing over pecans. Bake until centers are set and crusts are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Makes 16 individual pies.