Contributed by: Joyce Pierce of Emerson Publications
I used to think I was the only one who liked the gooey filling in pecan pie but hated the pecans on top. That all changed when one of my co-workers commented one day that he, too, hated picking through the pecans to get to the good stuff.
For his birthday, I decided my contribution to the birthday treat table would be a pecan-free pecan pie. I got out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and looked up "Pecan Pie." I considered just baking it and leaving the pecans out, but was delighted to find a "Coconut-Oatmeal Pie." Having seen pecan pies before and marveled at the craftmanship involved in arranging all of those pecan halves on the top made me wonder how I would ever place those tiny pieces of coconut and oatmeal on the top of this pie without using tweezers!
Not being one who generally reads the entire recipe before plowing right into it, you can imagine my delight when I got to the part that said to "stir in coconut and oatmeal." I paced around the oven anticipating how it would all come together and to my surprise, magic occurred! The coconut and oatmeal joined during baking to form a beautiful crisp, lacey topping.
Not having the option of tasting the pie before I paraded it through the halls to place it on the birthday table, I could only hope that it would be pleasing to all who might try it. As it ended up, I didn't have to worry about anyone but the birthday boy! He liked it so well that after one piece he sneaked it off to his office and either gorged on it for the rest of the day or took it home with him that night. All I know is that I didn't have to take a dirty pie pan home with me! It was returned to me clean a few days days later.
If there are any of you who share my aversion to the combination of pecans and the sweet, gooey filling, here's the recipe. It comes straight from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. My copy is the Tenth Edition.
By the way - it's not that I don't like pecans, but for me it's a texture issue. I can eat nuts by the bushel as long as you don't throw them into something that doesn't require chewing!
For filling, in a mixing bowl beat eggs lightly with a rotary beater or a fork till combined. Stir in corn syrup, sugar, margarine or butter, and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in coconut and oats.
Place a pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate on the oven rack. Pour the filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Remove foil; bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or till a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool pie on a wire rack. Cover and chill to store. Makes 8 servings.
I might mention that if you actually like pecans or other nuts on your pie here are a couple of other variations.
Maple Pecan Pie:
Prepare as above, except substitute maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup for the corn syrup.
Prepare as above, except substitute coarsely chopped peanuts, macadamia nuts, or cashews for the pecans.
Prepare as above, except substitute pecan halves. Believe it or not, they do rise to the top of the pie!
Copyright 2002 Joyce Moseley Pierce
She is also the editor of The Family First Newsletter, an ezine for families with young children. To subscribe: http://www.emersonpublications.com/pages/848640/index.htm
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