[Photograph: Steve and Anne Truppe]

Pecan pie is almost as common as roast turkey on Thanksgiving. And yet it is often too sweet, too dense, or the crust too dry. The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie addresses these issues with a buttery crust, toasted pecans, and a bittersweet chocolate drizzle. The cup of maple syrup is a huge sugary hit, but a bit of bourbon makes it more than bearable.

Tips: If you're just joining us now, this is the second Hoosier Mama pie we've featured using an all-butter crust. The recipe is lengthy because instructions for making, crimping, and blind-baking the dough have been included. To make it easier on yourself, make and shape the pie shell the day before you intend to blind bake and fill the pie. "Blind bake" refers to the practice of pre-baking a weighed down pie shell before it's filled; it keeps pie crust from getting soggy. Large coffee filters filled with pinto beans are recommended for blind-baking; just be careful and scoop out most of the beans before trying to lift out the filter.

Tweaks: Instead of corn syrup, the filling for this pie calls for Grade B maple syrup. It can be found at natural food stores, or online. But if you can't find it, or don't want to be bothered ordering syrup just to make pie, buy the highest-quality, most natural maple syrup you can find, and replace a few tablespoons of it with blackstrap molasses. It'll deepen the flavor.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Hoosier Mama Book Of Pie to give away.


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