Normally, I either come up with my own recipes for this website or I put my own spin on a favorite recipe. However, there is no beating Ree Drummond’s The Pie That’ll Make You Cry pecan pie recipe. It’s straight up impossible to top/enhance the absolute treasure that is her pecan pie. I’m not even going to entertain the thought of attempting to create a subpar pecan pie. Nor do I want to eat one. I have made this pie more times than I can count & as an avid pie-maker, I can say with complete certainty that this is the best pie that I make. This pie will make you cry, that’s how good it is! I want you to experience this deliciousness that is this pie, so I figured I would hype her recipe up (not that it needs it) & give you some tips along the way.
But first, let’s start with the base. The foundation of any pie is the crust & as long as you have that right, you’re already halfway there. My all butter pie crust recipe is the easiest pie dough recipe that you will ever find. I always say, as long as you can follow a few simple directions to the tee then you can make pie crust. Don’t let it intimidate you! Pies are easier than cakes & more impressive! I make my pie crusts a few days before I plan to make pies in order to make my life a little easier. For example, I made my Christmas pie crusts a few days ago & popped them in the freezer. All you need to do is thaw them out in the fridge the night before you need them. Trust me, make them ahead of time.
Once ready, I set up my rolling out station, which basically means that I flour the surface, my rolling pin & my hands. The last thing you want is for the dough to start sticking to everything it touches. Only after all of that will I pull the crust out of the fridge. When making pies, you want to keep the pie dough as cold as you can, so you need to work fast & handle the dough as little as you can. Cold dough makes for flakier crust since the goal is to make the butter in the dough melt in the oven, not in your hands. I keep my pie pan next to my rolling station in order to eyeball how much I need to roll it out. I always roll it out a bit more than I need to, so I can pinch over the crust. As soon as it becomes the right size, I roll it onto the rolling pin & transfer the dough to the pan. Don’t worry if there’s a few tears in the crust! Just patch it & no one will ever know. Pies are forgiving.
I use any leftover pie dough pieces to create tiny pie cookies with tiny pie cookie cutters. Pie cookie cutters level up any pie & they perfectly mask any pie imperfections too! I highly recommend them if you don’t have them, especially since they’re so cheap too. I pretty much have a pie cookie cutter for every occasion & I have less than ten altogether. Be like me. Now, the thing with pie cookies is that they look better uncooked, therefore that’s the time to snap pictures. Once the pie cookies are cooked things can go a little sideways, especially with pecan pie, since the filling overflows. I suggest taking pics with the pie cookies topping the crust, then removing the cookies & baking them on their own. Top your pie with the cookies once they are both already baked.
Now onto the main event, the goody goodness that is The Pie That’ll Make You Cry. I follow this pie filling recipe to a tee & make no substitutions. I suggest that you do the same. Sure, there’s so much sugar here that you could power your entire Christmas light display with it, but this is the holidays! It’s been a tough year, so let’s swim in some sugar! For real though, there’s a crazy amount of sugar here, but that’s what makes it so good. As far as pie filling goes, this recipe is a breeze. You basically just throw all of the ingredients into one bowl & mix, then pour into the crust.
The first time I made this filling I didn’t understand why it was so light in color, afterall every pecan pie I ever ate from the store was full of rich caramel goodness. Worry not, the color will deepen while baking. It may not look like a pecan pie going into the oven, but it will surely look like one coming out. While I LOVE this recipe, Ree wasn’t kidding when she said that cooking times vary. None of my pecan pies have ever baked as fast as the recipe says it will. Most of the time, I needed to bake the pie for twice the amount of time that it states. Keep that in mind & give your pie plenty of time to cook or you will get frustrated fast.
The pie is done when the center isn’t overly jiggly, which is a little vague. Listen, the middle of that pie is still supposed to jiggle once you finally remove it, but it shouldn’t be jiggling like a bowl of soup. Keep an eye on it & jiggle here & there. The pie is ready once the sides set & the middle slows down the jiggle. The pie will continue to bake once you remove it & let it cool down. Make sure to let it cool completely before you place it in the fridge. As much as you may want to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven, refrain. That pie needs to set overnight. Practice that self-discipline, it will be worth it!
That’s all I have for you! This pie truly is the best pie that has ever been created, hats off to Ree Drummond! I promise you that you won’t be able to make it just once because you’ll end up making it over & over again. It is by far my most requested pie from family & friends. I also make it every Thanksgiving & Christmas because I just can’t get enough of it. Go ahead & give it a go, you know you want to! Merry Christmas, everyone!