Thursday, November 22, 2007

let them eat pie

Every nation should have a national holiday on which they celebrate the fact that they were welcomed warmly by strangers who nurtured them to health until they were ready to engage in a rather successful 200+ year genocidal campaign against said strangers. You would think it would be day of national mourning maybe?, but if that's what you think you seriously misunderstand how nations work. Nations are little (or in our case not-so-little) bands of we-ness with their guns pointed at everyone else's they-ness. So, your national celebration of successful genocide should be....a celebration. We here in America call ours Thanksgiving. "God are we ever thankful that you gave us the military superiority to clear most of the continent of its indigenous inhabitants."

The food you eat on such a holiday should reflect the national character: therefore the food of choice in our case is Turkey; after all, you are what you eat. I like to follow up my holiday gorging with some fun reading. I highly recommend a happy novel, like Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West. If more people read this book they would have a better understanding of American foreign policy (we are so misunderstood).

Finally one should not forget dessert. Seriously. I am from the South so therefore my dessert of choice is pecan pie. Sure pumpkin pie is nice too, and I will be making one of those as well, but nothing matches the pure super-caloric consumptive delight that is pecan pie. A slice of heaven. Seriously.

1. Don't make your own pie crusts. Are you insane? Is there anything more depressing and annoying than the frustrating process of trying to roll out your own pie crust. No, no there isn't. Seriously. Buy a refrigerated pie crust. Thank you.

2. 28 sure to eat the rest of the bag while you are unwrapping the other 28; there are starving children somewhere (Canada, I think).

3. 1/4 cup butter

4. 1/4 cup water

5. 3/4 cup sugar (now you're talkin')

6. 2 large eggs

7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8. 1/4 teaspoon salt (yes, I said salt, don't argue with me)

9. 1 cup chopped pecans


After you have baked your pie crust and you have set it out to cool, combine the caramels, butter and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly!, 5 to 7 minutes or until caramels and butter are melted; remove from heat.

Stir together the sugar and next three ingredients. Stir into caramel mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the pecans (it is a pecan pie, remember). Pour into the crust.

Bake the pie at 400 degrees Farhenheit for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 20 more minutes, after you shield the edges of the crust with aluminum foil to keep them from over-browning. Remove pie and let it cool.

And let them eat pie.



Tasmiya said...

I knew Thanksgiving was all about the turkey but I had no idea there was PECAN PIE as well. Goodness how spoiled you are. I was telling my husband just the other day I had yet to try pecan pie and here is the recipe. Thanks!

Lawrence of Arabia said...

its my pleasure. happy to share the sugary goodness. it goes well with a spot of whipped cream or ice cream on the side too. :)

thekingpin68 said...

Every nation should have a national holiday on which they celebrate the fact that they were welcomed warmly by strangers who nurtured them to health until they were ready to engage in a rather successful 200+ year genocidal campaign against said strangers.

Yes, viewing history from different perspectives...

One can be thankful for some things and yet mournful for others.

koonj said...

I vote the Food Network start a cooking show for you called Larry the Dessert Deconstructer.

mayya said...

I'm over via koonj, doesn't FDA have this requirement for vanilla extract to have 35% alcohol?

UmmFarouq said...

I have a fool proof pie crust involving only butter, flour, and brown sugar, since I can't find pre-made crusts in Jordan. It's so easy and I make my pecan pie in a 13 x 9 inch pan because there are six of us; eight slices just won't do.

Yours is the first recipe I've seen using caramels, which I also can't find here. How about Karo syrup?

Lawrence of Arabia said...

thats a good question about the karo syrup. im sure it would work from the standpoint of sugar content and providing a thickener, but you would certainly lose some of the caramel yumminess. and im not sure how much karo you would substitute.

i apologize if the recipe is non-halal, mayya, and indeed alcohol is probably the second ingredient listed on any container of vanilla extract (i dont know about the FDA or percentages, but it is right there on the label...i had to go look). BUT any actual alcoholic content should cook off very quickly as soon as this goes in the oven and you wouldnt actually be consuming any alcohol...i would think. im not sure; does that count? i had never really thought of vanilla (almond, etc.) extracts as an issue before you just brought it up.

and Koonj....Deconstructing Dessert sounds like a hit program to me! sign me up. And im sure if the desserts are deconstructed, then they cant possibly be as fattening.

alienbea said...

The alcohol content isn't actually burned off and in addition, alcohol is najlis and makes what it touches najlis so, at least according to prevalent Islamic thought, even if the alcohol burned off it still wouldn't be halal. BUT there is a viable alternative. :) I can't stand the taste of artificial vanilla so what I use is vanilla powder -- alcohol-free and all the yumminess of real vanilla, with a 1:1 ratio measurement-wise versus the liquid sort. It's available in gourmet shops and online. I know some Muslim cooks who make and use vanilla sugar, as well (and the local Kroger carries vanilla beans, so it's actually pretty do-able for most Americans as I live in small-town USA).

Karo syrup's in my mother's recipe. Caramel is new to me also -- but I imagine the burnt sugar taste of caramel harmonizes perfectly with the rest of the pie. :)

Lawrence of Arabia said...

thanks b. for the halal suggestions. :D they are greatly appreciated!

another pecan pie variant will follow shortly on this blog.


Anonymous said...

Genocide & pie. mmmmmmm.

I, being from the South (GA & Helmand), would like to thank you for the recipe...

- homeinkabul

Ayesha said...

hi lawrence!! came here from koonj too. yeah, true, the alcohol doesn't cook off, but if you are blessed enough to live near a trader joe's they have an alcohol-free, non-artificial vanilla extract that works just fine!!!
they also sell pie crusts, but i haven't tried those yet... sad to say, even being a carolinian, i'm more of a cheesecake person than a pecan pie person... i went with apple pie-crisp and pumpkin marble cheesecake for my t-day dinner...

Lawrence of Arabia said...

ayesha, i have just the thing for you! pecan pie will be post later today i hope. :)

good to know about trader joe's. we love that place.

Alaleh said...

there is not one single nation who doesn't have its share of shadows lurking somewhere in its past.

Lawrence of Arabia said...

without a doubt that is true. sadly, a lot of those nations also live in denial of that fact. one wishes, now in the case of the u.s. in particular, that those failings, which were often monumental (genocide of a native population, slavery to name the most obvious two), and which were in the not-very-distant past, would endow the nation some humility.

this does not seem to have happened though.

acertain said...

Lots of places sell alcohol-free vanilla, usually called vanilla flavoring instead of vanilla extract. Same for almond, coffee, mint, etc. Apparently, though, sometime vanilla flavoring means a combination of natural and artificial vanilla, so read the label.

Frontier Co-op has a line of alcohol-free flavorings that is available online, at many Whole Foods, and presumably other places.