hello! I'm Johnny Cash! Wait. No. I'm not Johnny Cash.
Lately I've been developing minor obsessions with random things. Butternut squash soup (I've eaten at least once a week for the past two months), cranberries and red stuff are a few of them. But there's one that's getting serious. And that's my love for Johnny Cash.
I can't believe I spent 24 years of my life without listening to his music. Seriously folks, what's not to love? I guess I like the idea of the 'tortured' guy that finds redemption through his songs.
And the love story! Jeez! the poor guy spends years trying to marry June Carter and she keeps saying no (what were you thinking June?). Finally they get married and they live together for 35 years. Then she dies. 4 months after he dies as well. Isn't it the most romantic story ever? Ok, I'm getting super cheesy here.
Anyway, a few days ago I thought... What about I make a southern recipe as a tribute to Johnny?
Since I couldn't find any typical Arkansas or Tennessee desserts, I chose a traditional and delicious Pecan Pie.
Yes, I know. At this point you're thinking:
A) I have a terrible taste for music
B) I'm suffering a terrible mental disorder
C) Both A and B combined
Well, even if you think I'm nuts, please, please, make this pie! The crust is flaky, the brown sugar caramelizes the pecans and the sides of the crust, the custard part is soft and gooey...
Oh! and unlike the traditional pecan pie, this one doesn't have corn syrup, just brown sugar! No super refined anything!
For the crust (adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup very cold water
In a bowl mix flour sugar and salt. Then cut the butter (cold) into cubes and mix it with the dry ingredients with a pastry tool or your hands, until pebbles form. You should be able to incorporate all the dry mix into the butter. Add the cold water and work the dough until it comes together as a ball. At this point you can refrigerate for a couple hours before rolling. I didn't have time so I rolled right away.
Blind bake the crust at 350 F for 15 min. Don't overbake. The crust is gonna be in the oven for an hour when you add the filling to the pie. You don't want it to burn.
For the filling ( very adapted from here):
3 large eggs
3/4 cups water
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur, rum or brandy
1 1/2 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 325 F
In a bowl mix together the eggs and water until frothy. Add the sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the melted butter (not warm, you don't want to curdle the eggs), the vanilla extract and the liqueur.
On the bottom of your baked crust, place the pecans. Pour the custard mixture over them, they'll float to the surface. Bake for an hour or until the center of the pie is set.
This pie is better the day it's made and it's even better with Johnny as a soundtrack. If you have any leftovers (I doubt it), I'd recommend reheating it in the microwave for a couple minutes before eating.