HAPPY PI Day! (3.14)
About 10 years ago I attended a work meeting in San Francisco and the host of the meeting announced that he had planned a good spot for dinner for all of us. We left the meeting room, hopped in cabs and found our way to the California Culinary Academy (which is owned by Le Cordon Bleu). At the time there was a restaurant that they operated where the students would be able to practice in a restaurant-type environment. We walked in to this very large room and were led to two large circular tables. Surrounding the room were these glass walls. Beyond the walls were kitchens with groups of students working in them. The waiter pointed out the bakery, the pastry room, the working kitchen and several other spaces. We were informed that the first year students would be working as the wait staff and that more experienced students would be making our dinner.
The menus were presented and we ordered for all of our courses at once. I don’t really recall what was on the menu for any item but I recall the dinner was a very good one. After we had completed our dessert and were thinking about paying the check and leaving when the house manager came to the table and asked if we all could do him a favor. He indicated that one of the dessert choices, Bananas Foster, was a special tonight and as it was flambéd at tableside, it was a skill they were practicing. Unfortunately, no one at the table had ordered the Bananas Foster and so they were not able to practice for us. He asked if we were willing to have a second dessert that was the Bananas Foster, it would be for no charge. Twist my arm, I get to have a second dessert!
As you can imagine, we all had a second dessert and loved it. A win for all. Unfortunately the restaurant is now closed.
How do you make pecan pie even better? Add caramel! Just don’t set it on fire.
There is just nothing to the ingredient list.
Melt the butter.
Mix the pecan pie filling.
Putting it all together.
Mix in the pecans.
Ready for the oven.
Sweet, crunchy and gooey greatness!
Caramel Pecan Pie
Prep Time: 45 M | Cook Time: 35 M | Makes: 6-8 servings.
- 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 Eggland’s Best Eggs
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups ground pecans
1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine milk and egg yolks; stir into crumb mixture until dough forms a ball. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. deep-dish pie plate; flute edges. Cover and refrigerate.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and syrup; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites and vanilla. Gradually add hot syrup mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry shell.
4. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 6-8 servings.
1 serving (1 piece) equals 797 calories, 52 g fat (19 g saturated fat), 206 mg cholesterol, 398 mg sodium, 78 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 11 g protein.