We always begin our Thanksgiving feast with antipasti, followed by the turkey dinner. We take a break to clean up and distribute leftovers, build a fire in the family room, and perhaps watch a movie before we have dessert. We are still a bit full but everyone looks forward to that final dessert course. We always have cake, roasted chestnuts and fruit, homemade eggnog, local apple cider, ice cream, and a good assortment of pies. We try to have everyone’s favorites. There is the coconut custard pie that I must have. My son favors the Dutch Apple and sour cherry. My brother’s family is partial to pumpkin and key lime pies. My sister loves chocolate cream and banana cream. My husband, daughter, and mother adore this Southern pecan pie. The recipe came from my mother-in-law by way of a Southern neighbor. She made it every Thanksgiving and sometimes at Christmas. Granted, this seems like a lot of dessert after a huge meal, but whatever we can’t consume on Thanksgiving night becomes a great morning-after breakfast treat!
Southern Pecan Pie
3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 c. lard, room temperature (not cold)
1/2 c. (or a little less) ice cold water
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. salted butter, softened
pinch of fine salt
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the Pie Crust: In a bowl combine flour and salt. Mix. Cut lard into flour and with your hands to form pea-size crumbs. Make a well in the center and add just under 1/2 c. ice water. Gently and carefully work the dough into a ball with your hands. Just bring dough together; do not overwork because you want to see lard marbling the dough as you roll it out on a lightly floured surface (roughly 1/8″ thick). Fit dough into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges. (You will have enough pie dough for a second pie or save for another use.) For the Filling: In a mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and vanilla. Pour filling into prepared crust then sprinkle nuts on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes until filling is set. Cool on rack. Store covered at room temperature. Serves 8.