1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening, cut into small pieces
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
⅓ cup cold water or apple cider
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and stirred but not separated
1¾ cup pecan halves, divided
For the crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add shortening pieces and pulse twice at 5- to 6-second intervals. Add cold butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. Turn into mixing bowl and ⅓ cup cold liquid by the tablespoon, stirring with folk to moisten.
Using your hands, press mixture into dough ball. Scrape bowl well. Flatten into disk, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours or overnight before rolling.
After dough has chilled, roll out and fit into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with plastic and freeze 15-20 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
For the filling: In large bowl combine sugars, salt and cornstarch. Add eggs, brandy and vanilla. With an electric mixer beat on medium speed 30 seconds until mixture is combined. Scrape bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add melted butter and beat on medium speed until mixture is light. Reserve 2 tablespoons filling in small bowl and set aside.
To the mixing bowl add 1¼ cups pecans halves and stir to coat. Spoon into pie crust and smooth top. Add remaining ½ cup pecans to reserved filling. Stir to coat. Place pecans on top of filling in circular design. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 35-40 minutes until center feels set. Cool 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Baker's hint: Bourbon or rum can be substituted for the brandy.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 351 calories, 22 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 35 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein, 93 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium.