We have a cool front coming as I write this today, which would be Oct. 7, then another one coming Friday. Hurray! I am so happy that we finally get to see a change of seasons. Something tells me we are going to be sick of cold weather before all is said and done. I don’t know how I know, I just know.

I go by Emily, who is not shedding like she would usually do, and neither is Doblo. So what does that tell you? Cold weather up ahead for us. By the time you read this it will probably be in the 90s again at one point, but trust me, it’s coming. Emily’s shedding doesn’t lie.

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Here is a good recipe Becky sent in with this comment: “I might make this, but with Pillsbury pie dough!”

That’s my girl. Pillsbury makes the best and easiest pie dough in the whole world. Personally, I’m like Becky. If I was going to make a pie, I would use Pillsbury. I always have, for one thing, and another is they have given me permission to use any of their recipes.

Notice I am including the crust recipe Becky sent because it is, after all, a recipe if you want to make your very own.

Pecan-Date Pie

Crust

About 1 1/4 cups flour, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup whole pitted Medjool dates (or whatever dates you can find)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup dark colored corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

Prepare the crust

Combine two-thirds of the flour with the sugar, milk powder, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse twice to mix. Add shortening and cold butter; pulse until dough begins to clump, about 20 pulses. Add remaining flour; pulse five times. Place in a bowl. Add up to 4 tablespoon ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a rubber spatula until combined. Turn out on a floured surface; shape into a flattened disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill two hours.

Unwrap dough; transfer to a floured surface. Let stand 10 minutes. Roll to a 10- to 11-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp. Chill until ready to fill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the filling

Spread pecans on a baking sheet; toast at 350 degrees until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Pulse dates in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 90 seconds or until browned and fragrant, swirling pan frequently.

Combine corn syrup, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Whisk in eggs, and gradually whisk in browned butter until smooth.

Spread dates in crust; sprinkle pecans evenly over top. Pour in egg mixture. Bake at 350-degrees for 40 minutes or until filling is set around the edges. Loosely cover with foil; bake 10 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.

Wow, I would suggest when you eat this dessert that’s all you have, and a very dainty piece at that. My beloved Aunt Pauline from California sent me some dates one time, and I was eating them like they were coconut bon-bons. I made a mistake and looked at the calorie content and almost had a heart attack right then. I closed that bag up so fast and put them in the fridge. After that, I would take one out (of what was barely left) and enjoy it immensely until the two that were left in the bag were gone before I got stupid and had to look at the calorie count.

If you are lucky enough to find a bag of coconut bon-bons, enjoy looking at them, then turn to the back for the depressing information about the calorie count. Put them back up and buy a box of raisins. Or if you some willpower, buy the bon-bons, ration them out like, one half every three days!

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531 or email ginscolumn@hotmail.com.

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