Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Lemon Pecan Pie

Hang on to your oven mitts – here’s a fresh twist on an old Thanksgiving classic! (See our traditional pecan pie recipe here!) Warning: a week after we made this, my pie-loving sister complained about some store-bought pecan pie she was served. She was spoiled by the awesomeness of this pie, and now she can never go back!

Another warning: this isn’t one of those smooth, creamy pies with all the pecans nicely sprinkled on top. This is a nutty blend of goodness packed with a punch of lemon!

The original recipe was from Taste of Home, but we made a different pie crust recipe and added in a few ideas of our own.

These ingredients were used to double the recipe I’ve shared below and make 2 pies.

Our first priority was taking care of those nuts! The used our handy-dandy nut chopper to dice a cup (recipe is for ½ cup) for the crust, and then we spread 4 cups of unchopped pecans (again, we were making 2 pies) on a baking sheet to toast in the oven. This really brings out the flavor!

Then we made the pie crust! Whole wheat flour, oats, pecans… could it get any healthier? This really is a diet pie! (Haha - just ignore the 2 sticks of butter in there – at least it’s not lard!)

The best part was zesting a lemon into the crust dough. (P.S. Isn’t “zest” a fun word? It might be onomatopoeic.)

Then press the dough into the pie pan – no rolling required!

Now it’s time to get those toasted pecans out of the oven and add them to the pie crust. Luscious.

Side note: The original recipe called for only 1¼ cup of pecan halves for the pie filling, but it just didn’t fill up our 9-inch pan enough, so we upped it to 2 cups. This was how few there were before we did some more! Your pie pan should not be this empty.

But wait! There’s more! No pecan pie would be complete without the sticky sweetness of corn syrup, brown sugar, and eggs.

And don’t forget to swirl in the vanilla. This pie is so flavorful!

This pie also has THREE TEASPOONS (that’s a tablespoon) of lemon extract (not lemon juice – this is strong stuff!)

Then just pour the liquid over the pecans and pop it into the oven. And that’s it!

When it emerges from the heat all browned and beautiful, grate some lemon peel on top of it as a garnish. I only wish I had set some aside from the large pieces we put in our pie crust dough earlier. Still, you get the idea.

Despite how much I’m writing about each step of the baking process, this really is a pretty simple pie. There’s no chopping (well, except for those pecans for the crust), no pre-cooking, no chilling or rolling for the crust, and easy mixage for the filling.

The taste is unexpected and amazing too. There’s that little wake-up burst of lemon that promises to perfectly complement your Thanksgiving turkey tryptophan.

Lemon Pecan Pie (recipe adapted from Taste of Home & Cooks.Com)


½ cup butter

2 T. sugar

¾ cup flour (optional whole wheat flour)

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup chopped pecans

zest from 1 lemon (optional)

  1. Cream butter and sugar, then flour, oats, pecans, and lemon. 
  2. Press into pie pan evenly. (Makes one 9-inch pie crust.)


1½ - 2 cups pecans, toasted*

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 T. all-purpose flour

1 cup light corn syrup

3 eggs

1/3 cup butter, melted

3 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt

lemon zest (optional for garnish)

  1. Make pie crust as directed above, then place pecans in crust. *To toast pecans, spread in a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Add the remaining ingredients; beat until combined.
  3. Pour over pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with lemon peel if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

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