"This classic dessert comes straight from the heart of Virginia. The made-from-scratch simple crust holds a moist, sweet, cream-based filling topped with roasted, nutty pecans."
For the pie crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
5–7 tablespoons water, ice cold
For the pie filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in four pieces
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecan pieces
For the Pie: Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the smallest pieces are about the size of corn kernels, roughly 10 to 12 pulses. Add 5 tablespoons of water, and pulse 4 to 6 times, until the dough is no longer dry (when squeezed in your hand, it should form a ball and hold its shape; if the dough is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of ice water). Turn the dough out onto your work surface and use your hands to form it into a disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 1 month; defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using).
Heat the oven to 325°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if it has been chilled for more than a few hours, you may need to let it sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften before rolling). Generously flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle that is about 1/8-inch thick. Fold the dough into quarters, and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough and fit it into the edges of the pie plate, and then trim off all but 1/4-inch of the overhang. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the pie dough together to form a granny crimp, working your way all the way around the edges. Chill while you make the pie filling.
For the pie filling: Toast the pecans by spreading them onto a baking pan and baking in a 325°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool.
Next, combine butter, corn syrup, sugar, cream and salt in a small 1-quart saucepot, and heat just until butter is melted and mixture is hot, but not to a boil. Place yolks in a small heat-proof bowl, and add vanilla. Temper the hot sugar mixture into the yolks, whisking vigorously. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, and reserve. Place the toasted pecans into the prepped piecrust, and then pour in the filling.
Place the pie on a baking sheet and put it in the center of the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, just until set. The center of the pie should be slightly firm to the touch.