Father's Day is an occasion to treat Dad to something he especially likes. In our family, the man of the house loves pecan pie, so often that's our indulgence on his special day.
This pie differs from most others in that the pie shell must be baked so it's dry and flaky before the moist filling is added. And after the crust is cooked, it takes only about 10 minutes for the filling to set.
Although microwaved pastry is fast, some object to the fact that it does not brown. To add color to the rim of the pastry, lightly brush it with dark corn syrup or vanilla. Or you can bake the crust conventionally and then microwave the filling.
If you make pecan pie in advance you can enhance the flavor by warming it before serving. To do so, place a single serving on a microwave-safe plate and warm it at MEDIUM HIGH (70% power) 15 to 20 seconds.
If pecan isn't Dad's favorite, try lemon pie. You can make a smooth lemon filling by boiling it in the microwave. And it takes only minutes to assemble.
For a different type of nut pie, substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup and walnuts for the pecans.
FATHER'S PECAN PIE
1 (9-inch) unbaked pastry shell
1/4 cup butter
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Whipped cream or ice cream, optional
Pierce pastry shell all over with fork. Microwave at HIGH (100% power) 5 to 6 minutes, rotating pie plate after 3 minutes. Or bake conventionally at 450 degrees 8 to 12 minutes. Pastry is done when appearance is dry and opaque.
Place butter in large glass microwave mixing bowl or 2-quart microwave casserole. Microwave at HIGH 1/2 to 1 minute, to melt. Add eggs and quickly beat with fork to mix well. Blend in syrup, sugar, flour and vanilla. Stir in pecan halves.
Pour filling into baked crust. Microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) 9 to 12 minutes, rotating 1/4 turn every 4 minutes, until top surface is dry and puffed. If center is not completely set, filling will firm as pie cools. Let pie cool to room temperature before cutting. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
2 drops yellow food color, optional
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell
Whipped cream and chocolate curls, optional
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in 2-quart microwave casserole. Add water and food color and stir until smooth. Microwave at HIGH (100% power) 7 to 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes, until mixture is slightly thickened.
Beat egg yolks well in medium bowl. Gradually add about half of hot cornstarch mixture, stirring well. Stir egg yolk mixture into rest of hot cornstarch mixture in microwave casserole.
Microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) 4 to 7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until mixture is thick. Stir in butter and lemon juice and peel, then pour into baked pastry shell. Chill. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate curls. Makes 6 to 8 servings.