This is one fabulously rich pecan pie. While this recipe replaces the traditional corn syrup with applesauce (a genius secret ingredient!), there is no reduction in taste. It is sure to please everyone’s taste... buds.
Roll out the tart dough to a ¼-inch thickness, and transfer to a 9-inch tart pan or pie dish. Poke tiny holes in the dough with a fork and cover with wax paper. Place dried beans on top of the wax paper to weigh down the dough. (This is known as “baking blind” and prevents the dough from rising too much.)
Bake the pie crust for about 20 minutes, or until the edges have turned brown and have started to shrink away from the sides of the pan. Remove the beans and wax paper.
While crust is baking, combine the butter, brown sugar, applesauce, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Stir in the pecans and vanilla. Let it cool.
Once the sugar mixture has cooled, slowly add in the eggs, whisking constantly. Then pour the mixture into the hot pie shell. Bake the pie for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges of the filling are firm, but the center is still slightly loose.
Julianne Scott, Drexel Food Lab
To prevent the edges of your pie crust from getting too dark in the oven, take it out halfway through the cooking time and put foil over the edges.
If you like to bake, keep a set of dried beans just to use for blind baking.