Friday, January 13, 2012

Pecan Pie Disaster

So after the last three heavy posts I decided to lighten things up a bit.  Today I bring you my pecan pie that I took to my future in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner.  As you can guess from the title, this confection turned out to be a slight disappointment.  No, on second thought the words "slight disappointment" would be a huge understatement.  From the very beginning I told you I'd share my kitchen triumphs and fails, and boy was this a fail.  A humorous fail that definitely made for great stories, but still a fail.

I've made pecan pie before and have been very pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out if I do say so myself.  I love it's gooey, rich texture from all of the corn syrup, and the crunch of the pecans just makes the whole thing irresistible.  It's a classic and I hate that I never seem to cook it any other time besides Thanksgiving.

Now for some of the backstory.... I was with my future in-laws at a UGA game one day this fall and we were all talking about what kind of food we wanted for their Thanksgiving dinner that year.  Turkey?  Obviously.  Sweet potato casserole?  Yes please!  Rolls?  Of course.

But what about dessert?  Suddenly everyone turned and looked at me.  "You have a blog dedicated to (basically) to sweets.  You should fix something!"  I was delighted.  We finally settled on a pecan pie because that was Trey's grandad's favorite.  I did a slight jump for joy inside because I had just made a pecan pie earlier that week and it was quite possibly one of the best things I've ever eaten.

The day of the dinner I was also baking a test turkey as practice for another Thanksgiving get together, so I had to bake the pie on the very top rack.  At the time I wasn't sure if that was going to cause the pie to cook differently, but because the tubby turkey was a 16-pounder and took up 2/3 of the oven I didn't really have another choice.  So in the pie went right up in the tip top of the oven.

It seemed to cook a little slower, but I figured it was just because of the turkey.  I pulled it out when I thought that it was done and then Trey and I headed over for dinner.  After the meal we went into the kitchen to cut the pie and enjoy.  Except there was no cutting or enjoying.

The pie was as hard as a rock.  WHAT?!  How?  I had cooked it exactly the same as before.  Except this time you literally couldn't get a knife through the thing.

See?  Told you.  We had to use a knife like an ice pick to chip the pie out of the pan so that we could clean it.  It was the craziest thing I've ever seen.

I wracked my brain trying to figure out what happened....was it the new pan?  Was it that it was up in the top of the oven?  Ugh.

About a week later (yes, I was still thinking about it) I did happen to recall that I had bumped the top wrack when I was removing the turkey.  The only thing I can think of is that some of the filling spilled around the edges and got under the pie crust.  This would explain the insanely hard, thick caramelization that had formed along the entire bottom of the pie.

Needless to say I won't be volunteering to bring a pecan pie to any family get togethers any time soon.

So you want the recipe for this fail proof pie, right?? Just kidding.  I'll share that next time I have a *nice* photo to accompany it :)

What is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?  Did yours turn out as excepted?

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