Friends, it has been a bittersweet week.

We lost a beloved member of our community in a horrible accident that hit far too close to home for many of us.

We turned our clocks back on the weekend, which has resulted, paradoxically, in some very short nights around here; and our hitherto unseasonably lovely weather is finally starting to turn, resulting in long days spent indoors and the reminder that those sorts of disgruntled days are only just beginning.

On the sweeter side, my mom has been here, and it’s been everything that I adore about her visits: long conversations, wine in vast quantities, delicious food, a bit of shopping, and all kinds of convivial giggling with my children. A week of pure bliss.

She left this morning, and, because I am home alone just now and taking solace in food is such an integral part of who I am, I suspect that the leftover pecan pie from last night’s dinner will also be gone before I know it.

We did have some spectacular meals this week, though, and I am looking forward to sharing them with you – but first, the pie.

Solace in a dish.

Classic Pecan Pie

We couldn’t quite remember our family recipe for pecan pie, so my mom and I took the one from Gourmet’s All-Time Favourite Seasonal Recipes edition and made it our own.
pastry to fit a 9-inch glass pie plate
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4c packed dark brown sugar
3/4c maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of an orange
a pinch of salt
4 large eggs
3c pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a baking sheet on the middle rack.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface, and transfer to pie plate. Crimp edges decoratively, if you can manage it – I often can’t, and frankly I have given up worrying about it. Chill until ready to use.

While shell is chilling, make filling: melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and whisk together with sugar, syrup, vanilla, orange zest, and eggs; mixture should be quite smooth and sugar mostly dissolved. Stir in pecans.

Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Place pie on baking sheet in oven and bake until crust is golden and filling is mostly set (it will be a touch wobbly in the middle), 45-55 minutes.

Cool completely before serving, preferably with whipped cream.

Serves 8.

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