Mini Pecan Pies are individually-portioned in a muffin pan and fun to eat, featuring a tender, buttery crust (no rolling pin needed) and a sweet, nutty filling.
You probably think I’m posting pecan pie because of a certain impending holiday that starts with Thanks- and ends with -giving. Well, that may be so…but the truth is, last weekend, we celebrated my husband’s birthday. And he’s not a big fan of cake but he looooooves pecan pie, so every year I bake him some incarnation of it for his special day.
Do you have a particular recipe that just never seems to turn out for you? For a long time, my culinary nemesis was pecan pie. I’ve always fancied myself a decent baker, but as soon as I fell in love with a man whose favorite dessert of all time is pecan pie, I quickly determined that it was the one thing I couldn’t seem to master. For years, my pecan pies would never solidify in the center. Or if they did, they’d burn on top. Or the crust would fall apart. No matter which recipe I tried, all of my pecan pies failed…and here I was, simply trying to impress my boyfriend/fiancé/husband!
Well, I’m happy to report that after many, many failures, I’ve finally mastered a fool-proof recipe for pecan pie! It’s a good one, and I’ll post it here on the bloggity-blog one day. But in the meantime, I’m going to share one of my cheater, pecan pie-ish recipes that worked for me back when a legit pecan pie never would. Even though I typically make a full-fledged pecan pie for my husband’s birthday, now that I can (Hallelujah and Amen), I sometimes fall back on this recipe when time is a little tight or when I want individually-sized treats for everyone to enjoy…à la, the pecan pie version of birthday cupcakes! 😉
These little pecan pies are totally scrumptious, and that’s coming from someone who’s never really cared for pecan pie (me) as well as someone who considers himself a pecan pie expert (the hubby). They boast a 3-ingredient homemade crust that you form into a circle with your fingers and then lightly press into the pan…no rolling pin required! The crust turns out tender and melt-in-your-mouth flaky, and it’s the perfect vehicle for the gooey, sugary pecan filling.
The filling itself only requires five ingredients — brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and (of course) pecans — but by some sort of voo-doo magic, those simple ingredients morph into the most delicious pecan filling. My husband would claim that the key to a perfect pecan pie is finely chopping the pecans…like, really finely chopping them. That’s how his Nanny always made pecan pie, so by golly, it has to be right. By finely chopping the nuts, they form this crackly pecan veneer on top of the layer of brown sugary goo. Of course, if you prefer larger pieces of nuts, save your arm the workout and go for a coarser chop…it’s totally up to you. 😉
So…I had planned on baking these for my hubby’s birthday with no thought of posting them on Five Heart Home. And then, as I was making them, it occurred me that posting this recipe this week would actually be perfect timing for sharing them as a Thanksgiving menu idea…because wouldn’t these Mini Pecan Pies be a fun addition to all of the full-sized pies on the Turkey Day dessert table?!
I decided that, if I had a chance, I would quickly and covertly photograph the pies for a blog post before presenting them to the birthday boy. They were cooling on a rack as I put the two-year-old down for a nap, and when I came out of her nursery, I walked into the kitchen just as my husband was taking a big bite out of a little pie and telling me how good it was. I smiled and nodded through clenched teeth — because what kind of evil blogger wife would tell her husband that he has to wait to eat his birthday dessert until she could take pictures of it??? Then I waited for him to leave the room, quickly threw the remaining 11 pies on a tiered stand, grabbed my camera, and started snapping.
So forgive me that these photos aren’t all propped out. You’re seeing rich, nutty, Mini Pecan Pies, pure and simple. And after these pics were taken, we stuck a candle in one, sang ‘Happy Birthday’ (to my patient and understanding spouse…love you, honey!), and proceeded to devour the rest of them. Because whether it’s Thanksgiving or a pie-lover’s special day, these Mini Pecan Pies are sure to be a hit. Hope y’all enjoy them as much as we do!
Adapted from Cooks.com
More Thanksgiving ideas…