This is my new traditional Thanksgiving pie. My sister and I made one two years ago with walnuts (delicious), I made one last year for Christmas with pecans, and decided to use pecans again this year.
I adore pecan pie. I always have. Growing up, my grandma always made them at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and only then. I looked forward to them all year. And in my family, pecan pie is not topped with a dollop, but a mountain of sweetened whipped cream. Ummmmm.
I was doubtful that anything could replace that original pecan pie. But this pretty much has. And plus, Grant likes it, which is more than I can say for the original.
Don't do what I did and make your own pie crust with oil instead of shortening.....I had to try it because it's healthier and it had great reviews on Allrecipes, but it did NOT turn out well for me.
1 9" unbaked pie crust
36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped, OR an 11 oz bag of Kraft caramel bits
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm. ( I actually had to bake mine a bit longer....it was very jiggly at 50 minutes)
If you've never baked pecan pies before, it can be hard to tell when they're done. Basically, they puff up while in the oven and settle back down when they cool.....and it's best to take them out while they still have a tiny bit of jiggle, but not much. You don't want a soupy pie, but you don't want it as hard as a rock either. I know, I'm very helpful. What can I say, I've only made four pecan pies in my life, so I'm no expert. But all of mine have turned out wonderfully, except for my lousy oil crust.