Bake This Pie If You’re Not In Love & It’s The Holidays

It tastes better when you don’t share.

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I know.

If it’s the holidays and you’re entirely alone, boy do I have the pie for you. As we sled at rather concerning speed into another season of mistletoe and gift exchanges and social media surprise engagements and all kinds of things that don’t apply to single people, I’ve found that there’s no blue mood a homemade round pastry can’t fix.

I know what you’re thinking: Really? Homemade crust? Aren’t there freezer aisles for that sort of thing? But really, with all the time we save not purchasing gifts for a significant other and/or offspring, we can afford the fifteen minutes it takes to marry (sorry) flour and butter in a mixing bowl.

This particular pie is pecan pie, however since we’re entirely unbound by tradition, obligation, or the preferences of other human beings, I’m thrilled to say that this particular recipe does not include bullshit corn syrup of any kind. It requires high quality maple syrup instead, and since you’re not making pancakes as breakfast in bed for anyone anytime soon, you should have plenty of it lying around. It also doesn’t have perfectly arranged pecan halves on top because organizing nuts on top of unbaked pie filling is not my idea of a fun afternoon.

If I haven’t yet convinced you that this pie is the single person’s secret recipe for pie, I’ll ruin the spoiler and tell you up front that there’s bourbon in this pie, too. That’s right, you have to buy an entire bottle of hooch for the one shot it takes to make this pie. How you utilize the leftovers is up to you.

This pie’s difficulty level is very low, so if you’re terrible at baking and cooking but a real ace at enjoying pie, this should be the perfect recipe for you.

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CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 stick of butter, very cold, cut into small pieces (put the other three sticks it came with in the freezer for future pies)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • some ice water

Directions: Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Take a pastry cutter (you need a pastry cutter, don’t try to do this with forks unless you want to hate both yourself and me by the end of this recipe), and moosh the butter into the flour until it’s in little pieces about the size of Runts candy.

Next, drizzle in the ice water (but not the ice!) a little at a time and gently bring the dough together with your hand. Don’t use a spoon, a spoon can’t feel anything, similar to our blackened hearts, and you need to make sure your dough just barely comes together and isn’t too wet. When it’s ready, all the dough should be in a non-sticky ball with no flour remaining in the bowl. Put the ball of dough in plastic wrap, shape it into a disk (I definitely typo’d and wrote “dick” there the first time, which you don’t need to do but certainly can if it amuses you). Put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour.

When you’re ready to make actual pie, not just crust, take your dough out of the fridge and the plastic wrap, dust some flour on your work surface, and roll the dough out with a rolling pin (or wine bottle you don’t have one, but a rolling pin is far superior and is also what I’d use to beat an intruder) until it vaguely resembles a circle. I have no idea how thick pie crust is supposed to be. I guess mine is the thickness of one of those coupon packs you get in the mail and immediately throw away. You want to work quickly and not touch the dough too much, you don’t want to melt the butter with your hot ass hands.

Grease a pie pan and lay your crust into it, how you accomplish this is up to you—thoughts and prayers. Do whatever you like with the crust edge, I usually just make little fork marks all along it because it’s easy and I want pie. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust and fill it with pie weights. Yes, you need to use actual pie weights. They’re like $5 on Amazon, treat yourself. Then you will “blind bake” your crust with the pie weights in it for about 15 minutes at 375. This is so you won’t have perfectly baked filling but gross raw crust later on.

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You’re welcome.

PIE FILLING

  • 1 1/4 cups of maple syrup (spray the inside of your measuring cups with nonstick spray so it doesn’t feel like you’re working with cement here)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar tightly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or if you’re me salted vegan butter because that’s all you have
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • a teaspoon ish of vanilla (honestly does anyone measure vanilla?)
  • a splash of bourbon, brand of your choice, splash size of your choice
  • 1 1/4 cups of crushed pecan pieces

Directions: Mix all ingredients except for the pecans in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Then dump in the pecans and mix those in, too. By this time your crust should be done blind baking. Pull it out of the oven (with potholders, FFS) remove the pie weights and parchment, and fill the pie with your pecan mixture. Bake at 375 for about an hour. If the center looks a little puffy and has maybe cracked open a bit, it’s done. Let the pie cool completely before you eat it. Watch a movie or something to distract yourself.

Bonus: This pie freezes really well, so I cut mine into slices, and individually freeze them. That way, when I want pie, I don’t have to make a whole goddamned pie.

That’s my pie recipe, singlefam. I hope you have a very happy holiday, and a very delicious pie.

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Written by

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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