Pecan Pie

There is an upscale restaurant in San Francisco near Union Square called John's Grill where Dashiell Hammett ate or which he used as a setting in his book The Maltese Falcon, or something along those lines. It doesn't look like much on the outside, but the inside is nice and there's a ton of memorabilia and photos of famous people who probably got someone else to pay for the meal. You too should visit when someone else is footing the bill. See if you can get a seat upstairs, you’ll feel special.

More relevant is that they have a delicious pecan pie. This…is not their recipe.

But my point is that you can’t find good pecan pie at most restaurants, and the frozen ones in the supermarket are worse. The great sin (discounting poor crusts and whatever hydrogenated-insoluble-benzenate-isoproply-wood-pulp-as-a-preservative it is they add to increase the volume and lower the cost)…let me start again — the great sin is a poor ratio of pecans to filling. Pecans are expensive, I guess. The pecans float to the top of a very light, gelatinous caramel filling, and you don't need, want, or tolerate three inches of filling below one lousy pecan. Just pour yourself of bowl of Cap’ Crunch if your blood sugar is that low — and the Cap’n gets his ratios right for what he's doing. No, with pecan pie, you want the filling relatively thin, maybe, maybe an inch thick including the pecans. This recipe is perfect. You won't eat anything else afterwards, except at John’s Grill.

1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Dark Corn Syrup
3 Eggs
4 Tbsp. Melted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Pecans – Broken

Don't multi-task while preparing the filling. You’re making a thin caramel… and sugary stuff can overcook, burn or get globby so it won’t mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook sugar and syrup until it starts bubbling. The sugar should dissolve. Add hot to beaten eggs — don’t get smart and add eggs to the pan of syrup. Stir. Add melted butter, vanilla, and nuts. Stir.

Pour into pie shell. For Pete’s sake, learn how to flute the edges of the pie crust, show you care. There must be an online video somewhere. The big secret is keeping only a small gap between your two fingers and then pushing the other finger into them not through them, which would force the gap too wide. Also, cover the edges of the crust with foil until the last ten minutes of baking — this is a huge pain, but generations after you will praise you for your golden crusts, instead of leaving the burnt edges uneaten on their plates.

After 10 minutes in the oven, turn the heat down to 300 degrees and bake another 35 minutes.