Ipso Fatto Instant Photo: Bravetart's Impossible Pecan Pie

Stella Parks, aka Bravetart, has a pecan pie recipe that she refuses to publish because of its extreme difficulty. The Twitterverse refers to this dessert as the "impossible pie," "secret pie," or even "murder pie." Stella will send a copy of the recipe to anyone emails her to ask for it, and this year I decided to take the plunge. I made the impossible pie back in late November at the same time that I made the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie from Baked: New Frontiers. Stella's pie crust recipe conveniently makes two crusts, so it was easy enough to make two pies at once. Also, the DC League of Women Voters has an annual holiday fundraiser where they sell bags of beautiful pecan halves, and I stocked up this year and had plenty of pecans on hand to make multiple pies.
Because Stella doesn't publish this recipe, I'm not going to go into details about it -- except to say that I had some problems with the caramel, even before I tried to use it to temper raw eggs. My filling had rocks of crystallized sugar in it and I was convinced of my failure even before I put the pie in the oven and I fully believed the pie would be a total loss. I was even less optimistic when I pulled the pie out of the oven and there were a bunch of burnt pecan halves on top. But I patiently waited for the pie to cool and cut myself a slice. It was phenomenal. I usually don't even like pecan pie because of the overly sweet and bland filling. This pie filling was a robustly-flavored, chewy, decadent, almost candy-like, caramel-y dream. And of course Stella's crisp, buttery crust is the perfect base for everything.

I know I made some mistakes with the pie and I want to make it again and conquer it. But even my error-ridden version was by far the best pecan pie I've ever had. If you're feeling brave -- or want to tempt the baking gods -- shoot Stella an email and ask her for the recipe!

Recipe: "Impossible Pecan Pie" by Stella Parks. Recipe available on request by emailing stella[at]seriouseats.com.


Louise said…
I emailed Stella and asked for the recipe. I have lots of nuts left from my Christmas baking so I'll try to bake this in a few weeks. There are still several cookies I want to bake and a couple of cakes too, but I'll definitely get to this.
adamds said…
So, what was the trick for you to finally nail this recipe?
I don't have it down yet... I need to give it another try!