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Best tools for making pecan pie

With its sweet, rich filling laced with crunchy toasted pecans nestled in a buttery, flaky crust, pecan pie is one of the most delicious treats you can make. It’s a frequent guest at the Thanksgiving table but is welcome at celebrations all year long. Preparing this truly American dessert isn’t hard, but a few critical tools make all the difference.

Making the perfect pecan pie

Start with the crust

The crust makes or breaks your pie. It’s the difference between a pleasurable eating experience and a tough, nearly inedible slog through a brick of pastry that is impossible to remove from the pie pan.

There are a few tips to help you get it right:

  • Start with the proper fat. Some bakers use butter, lard, shortening or some combination of these.
  • Keep your fat chilled, and work quickly.
  • Cut the fat into the flour without touching it, if possible.
  • Let your crust rest in the fridge before rolling.
  • Bake the crust empty (parbaking) before adding the filling.

Get the filling right

Pecans are native to the U.S. and originally propagated by indigenous people from Illinois to Iowa all along the Mississippi River. When it comes to the filling, they are the star of the show, but they share the stage with a few other ingredients that include:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Butter
  • Eggs

These ingredients are pretty standard, but there are many regional additions that can help you customize your pecan pie filling. Try adding in:

  • Whiskey
  • Chocolate
  • Shredded coconut

Some enterprising bakers have stretched the form of pecan pie even further, adapting it to cheesecakes, cookies, and hand pies.

Be patient as it bakes

If you use glass pie pans, it’s easier to tell when the pie is done on the bottom, but you’ll need to give the pie a little wiggle to see if the filling is set. You’ll want a slight wave in the middle of the pie when you jiggle the pan. It will set further as it cools.

Cool and enjoy

If you cut into your pie while it’s warm, be prepared for a runny mess. Cool on a rack to at least room temperature before serving. It’s traditional to serve pecan pie at room temperature or colder, but if you like it hot, pop a slice in the microwave to warm it slightly.

Everything you need to make pecan pie

best KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups

KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups

Baking is a science, and guessing at the measurements has no place in the process. These plastic measuring cups come in standard sizes — 1 cup, half-cup, third-cup and quarter-cup — and are a colorful addition to your kitchen tools. Rubber-tipped handles give you a firm grip, and chemical-free plastic keeps your household safe.

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best Farberware Color Measuring Spoons

Farberware Color Measuring Spoons

These measuring spoons are clearly labeled and dishwasher-safe. A plastic ring keeps them hooked together in your utensil drawer. In addition to teaspoon, half teaspoon and quarter teaspoon measures, they also come with a tablespoon and half tablespoon measure.

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best Spring Chef Professional Pastry Cutter

Spring Chef Professional Pastry Cutter

Keep your hands off your pastry with this pastry cutter. Incorporate butter with a stainless steel blade topped with a thick rubber grip. It’s big enough to handle a double-crust recipe for pie, but smaller sizes (and multiple colors) are available.

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best Old Dutch Solid Copper Stone Hammered Bowls

Old Dutch Solid Copper Stone Hammered Bowls

Make pie baking an occasion with these beautiful hammered copper mixing bowls. They have a flat bottom to stay stable on the counter and are the preferred material for home bakers who prefer a luxurious touch.

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best KitchenAid Maple Wood-Handled Rolling Pin

KitchenAid Maple Wood-Handled Rolling Pin

The wide barrel covers 22 inches of dough. It’s made of one of the hardest woods available in baking tools and resists dents and dings. The handles are comfortable to hold. It’s big enough to transfer rolled crust from the work surface to the pie pan.

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best Ateco Stainless Steel Bench Scraper

Ateco Stainless Steel Bench Scraper

Choose this stainless steel bench scraper to clear your work surface, portion foods and transfer ingredients from one place to another. It has a wrapped metal handle, but is also available with wood or plastic.

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best Oxo Good Grips Glass Pie Plate With Lid

Oxo Good Grips Glass Pie Plate With Lid

Securely take your pie on the road with this covered glass pie pan. It bakes a 9-inch pie. The borosilicate glass resists temperature shock, and the pan is microwave-, freezer- and oven-safe.

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best KitchenCraft Tub of Ceramic Baking Beans

KitchenCraft Tub of Ceramic Baking Beans

When parbaking a crust, ceramic is the preferred material for baking beans. Add baking beans to a parchment-lined crust to prevent air bubbles and cracks from forming. These beans are reusable and come with a 12-month warranty against breaking or defects.

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best Karo Light Corn Syrup

Karo Light Corn Syrup

When it comes to healthy eating, corn syrup may have fallen out of favor, but indulging every now and then is okay. This is a critical ingredient for a pecan pie with a luscious golden syrup and signature pecan pie flavor.

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best Vofo Flatware Pie Server

Vofo Flatware Pie Server

Cut and serve your pie with this stainless steel server.  The serrated edge slices cleanly through the pecans for picture-perfect service. It’s dishwasher-safe and can be used to serve pizza and lasagna, too.

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best Silpat Half-Size Nonstick Baking Mat

Silpat Half-Size Nonstick Baking Mat

Silpat is the most trusted name in baking mats, and these two mats meet that high bar. They are both 11.6 inches by 16.5 inches. They line a half sheet pan but are perfect for rolling out pie crust. Silicone coats a fiberglass core that is durable and dishwasher-safe.

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best Mora Ceramic Flat Plates

Mora Ceramic Flat Plates

The neutral tones of these 8-inch ceramic dessert plates. The slight lip keeps ice cream on the plate. The glaze is scratch-resistant, and the plates are safe in the freezer, dishwasher, and microwave.

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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