I loved math in high school. I'm not kidding, I really did. And I got As in Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II, which shouldn't be surprising, because anyone who loves math is probably going to be good at it
So it probably doesn't surprise you that I can remember pi (π) to five places after the decimal: 3.14159. Or that the area of a circle is equal to πr². Why I remember those things is beyond me, because in the 40 years since I've graduated from high school, I've never once had the occasion to actually use pi in one single practical instance in my life. It's just one of those quirky things that sticks in my head.
Why am I chatting about math and pi? Because today is Pi Day! Yes, people all over the world celebrate Pi Day on March 14th, because...well...you know... 3.14. I really think it's just an excuse to eat pie.
My favorite pie in the world is pecan pie. The best pecan pie I ever had was at Josephine's Tea Room in Godfrey, Ill., in 1989. I begged for the recipe and they left me sobbing on the floor without it. But three years ago, P. Allen Smith came to my rescue.
I received a copy of his book, P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, and in that book was a recipe for pecan pie that rivaled Josephine's. The book has other scrumptious recipes too, but trust me on the pie. It's amazing.
I've got permission to share Allen's recipe, so here you go. You're welcome.
|The only thing better than Allen's pecan pie is getting to eat it at his farm in Arkansas.|
Buttermilk Pecan Pie
- 1 cup pecan halves
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 pie crust
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease the foil. Stir the pecan halves, light brown sugar, and dark corn syrup together in a small bowl. Spread the mixture out on the jelly-roll pan, and bake,stirring every 4 minutes, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the glaze thickens.
Remove the pan from the oven and spread the pecans in a single layer on wax paper. Let the pecans cool completely, separating them with a spoon as soon as they cool.
Lower the oven to 325°F.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, and pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Scatter the chopped glazed pecans evenly on top of the pie filling.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until set. Let the pie cool on a wire rack before serving at room temperature.