Li'l Pecan Pies (recipe attributed to Christine Boitos of Livonia, MI. Not sure in what magazine the recipe had appeared; possibly Taste Of Home.)
1/2 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening (see note)
4 teaspoons cold water
1/3 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (see note)
Whipped cream, optional
In bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 6" circle and transfer to two 4 1/2" tart pans. Fit pastry into pans, trimming if necessary.
Arrange pecans in pie crust shells. In bowl, combine filling ingredients; mix well. Pour over pecans. Place shells on baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Top with whipped cream if desired. Yield: two servings.
Notes: I used butter instead of shortening in the pie crust. The chilling period of at least 30 minutes seemed silly to me for such a small recipe. So instead, I divided the pie crust in half, flattened each half, wrapped them separately in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. I then proceeded to make the pie filling. By the time I had whipped that up, the pie crust halves had firmed up enough to roll out. Much quicker!
Upon tasting a portion of a baked, cool pie, I felt that the vanilla taste was too strong. I looked at some pecan pie recipes for full-sized pies and saw that they called for 1 teaspoon vanilla. Since my recipe's filling seems to yield 1/4 the amount of filling used for a full-size pecan pie, I think 1/4 teaspoon vanilla would work better.
Instead of 4 1/2" tart pans, which I don't have, I used two of my mini pie pans. They have the same diameter.
Here's how one of my baby pies looks:
And a quarter of it:
Yeah, I know the recipe was written as two servings, but pecan pie is pretty rich, so I'll stick to smaller helpings. If you're familiar with the even smaller pecan pie-like dessert known as Pecan Tassies, the above slice is about the same size as two of those pastries.
And another reason for eating a small slice from a small pie: I'll be the only eating these mini pecan pies. My husband's far more interested in the number Pi than in pie!