Joanna Gaines Adds a Bold Ingredient to Her Pecan Pie Recipe

Former Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines is known for her decorating skills, but she is also a cook. In her latest book, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, Gaines shares her secret for adding a pop of flavor to pecan pie. What’s her secret to out-of-this-world pecan pie? In her book, Gaines says she takes the recipe one step further by adding spices.

Joanna Gaines says a small tweak can improve an old recipe

Chip and Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Change can be good when it comes to cooking and baking. In her book, Gaines says traditional pecan pie is good, but adding spice can take the flavor to another level. Her preferred spice for this recipe is ancho chile. “It’s funny how a small tweak to a classic recipe can make it seem completely new and exciting. I’m not saying traditional pecan pie needs improving but adding a bit of ground ancho chile creates a sweet-and-heat pairing that sends this pie into another stratosphere. I serve it with whipped cream and a dusting of ground cinnamon,” wrote Gaines.

What are ancho chiles?

According to Cooking Light, ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers. These peppers tend to be shiny and dark green, with a heart shape. They also have mild to moderate heat and tend to produce a meaty flavor, according to the publication. “Dried, they are called anchos and take on notes of deep cherry, raisins, and prunes,” say the folks over at Cooking Light.

Joanna Gaines recommends using coarsely chopped pecans for this pie recipe

Chip and Joanna Gaines on The Chew | Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
Chip and Joanna Gaines on The Chew | Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Ingredients count when it comes to making a tasty meal or dessert. Gaines recommends using coarsely chopped pecans for your pie. She says this type of pecan is best because it makes it a lot easier to cut the pie into neat slices. Gaines also says you can use an equal amount of halved pecans. Another suggestion is to arrange the pecans in a circle on top of the pie. This might take a little extra time, but it could make your dessert more visually appealing. It takes roughly 10 minutes to prep the pie, one hour to cook, and about 1 hour to cool. This recipe yields eight servings.

The ingredients you’ll need for Joanna Gaines’ spiced pecan pie

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans   
  • 1 unbaked deep-dish pie crust or a store-bought 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
  • Homemade whipped cream or store-bought whipped cream

Directions

1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Mix in the eggs. Next, mix the cinnamon and ancho powder. Finally stir in your chopped pecans.

3. Pour your mixture into the pie crust.

4. Bake until the filling puffs around the edges and is almost set in the center. This should take roughly hour. Gaines recommends checking to see if your pie is done by inserting a knife about two inches from the center. The knife should come out clean. Next, cool to room temperature. 

5. Serving suggestion: Gaines suggests serving the pecan pie at room temperature or lightly chilled with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

6. If you have any leftovers, keep the pie fresh by covering it with plastic wrap and placing it in your refrigerator for up to two days.

Read more: Can You Hire Chip and Joanna Gaines?

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