I've been sluggish about posting the past few days; apologies to anyone who was kind enough to drop by anyway. I've been under the weather, and pies needed to be baked - both pumpkin and pecan - along with all the other trappings of Thanksgiving dinner.
When I lived in Germany, I came up with my own version of pecan pie that didn't require corn syrup. Since I couldn't find it there, I substituted maple syrup instead. (This was before nutritionists started to pillory corn syrup as the devil's own nectar.) My maple pecan pie is still plenty sweet but I think it's way yummier than the conventional version.
Maple Pecan Pie
1/2 cup butter (one stick), melted
1 1/2 cups pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
9-inch pie crust
Melt the butter and let it cool. Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which will keep them from getting soggy; then chop them very coarsely. Beat the eggs until frothy. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and butter; beat until mixed. Sprinkle the pecans over the bottom of a prepared pie crust (I cheat and use Marie Callendar's frozen crusts, which are quite good and vegetarian-friendly to boot). Pour everything else over the nuts. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 350 for about 40 more.
This is what mine looked like. It wasn't my biggest blessing, this Thanksgiving, but it was still pretty darn good.