Individual Pecan Pie

I tend to go through dessert phases.  I try to love all desserts equally (or at least eat them equally, you know, to be fair), but sometimes one particular dessert will constantly haunt my thoughts. Last year, it was key lime pie.  I am pretty sure I ate key lime pie everywhere possible within a 50 mile radius of my hometown.  (FYI, the best key lime pie is at Cheddar’s but I have only seen it at one of their locations which is a crime).
Now, it is pecan pie.  It all began when my Mom and I went to try some Houston barbeque before I moved away at Goode Company.  The barbeque was disappoint, but the pecan pie.  Thank God I had the foresight to order dessert, or the meal would have been a complete waste.  The crust was flakey, the filling wasn’t overly gooey and perfectly sweet.  The pecans were divine.  Basically, I love this pecan pie and need it at least once a month to survive.  No, I am not over dramatic when it comes to dessert, why do you ask?
I am seriously missing Goode Company’s pecan pie, so I had to try my hand at my own.  There are an infinite number of pecan pie recipes, so I had a hard time picking which one to try.  I settled on Cook Illustrated’s recipe.  It was good, but I won’t lie, still not as good as what I’ve had.  So I must experiment more and see what kind of pecan pie Lubbock has to offer.  Or, I can just wait until Thanksgiving back in Houston…
Slightly Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
1/2 recipe pie crust
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 ounces dark brown sugar (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces pecans halves, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Divide crust into 3-4 equal sized pieces.  Roll out to 6-7 inch cirlce and press into 5 inch mini tart pans.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
Preheat oven to 275°F.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position.
In a double boiler over smmering water, melt butter.  Remove bowl from double boiler and stir in brown sugar and salt.  Whisk in egg, corn syrup, and vanilla.  Return the bowl to a double boiler until mixture is shiny and 130°F.  Remove from heat and fold in pecans.  Pour mixture into warm, partially baked pie crust.  Bake until filling is set but still looks like gelatin, about 17-20 minutes (watch carefully!).  Let cool at room temperature until filling is set.
Makes 3-4 individual pecan pies

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