After Valentine's Day, National Pie Day (today, Jan. 23) is the sweetest "holiday" of all. To participate in the festivities you've got to at least indulge in a piece of pie, if not bake one yourself.
I think pie is good any time of day, but this Pecan Oat Pie is my second pie-as-breakfast/breakfast-as-pie recipe this year. The first, Breakfast Apple Pie, is a recipe I tested from the new cookbook "United States of Pie" by Adrienne Kane.
You might be surprised at an oat pie, but this is no bowl of granola. The oats add texture and creaminess that complements the pecans and tempers the sweetness. I remember some time back, when I freelanced at Woman's Day magazine, a reader sent in an oatmeal pie that everyone raved about. So when I found Pecan Oat Pie in the new book "Tasting New Mexico," by husband-wife team Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, I knew I had to make it. Fabulous! Crunchy and sweet with just the right amount of everything.
"Tasting New Mexico" discusses the culinary history of the state and offers iconic recipes, many highlighting New Mexican green chiles. This recipe (chile-free) is from baker Kathy Knapp, owner of the Pie-O-Neer Cafe in Pie Town, N.M. The authors write: "The Pie-O-Neer Cafe [is] so popular now that folks often refer to Highway 60 through town as Pie-way 60."
The recipe made two pies, but I cut it in half to make a single pie. It's good anytime, but especially at breakfast.
PECAN OAT PIE
Pastry for a single crust pie
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup light Karo syrup
½ cup dark Karo syrup
3 large eggs
½ cup old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup toasted pecan pieces
Toasted pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fit the crust into a 9-inch pie plate, fluting the edges. Place in refrigerator while making filling.
With electric mixer at medium speed, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add spices and salt and mix well. Stop the mixer and pour in both syrups. Mix at medium-low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Mix in oats by hand.
Scatter the pecan pieces in the bottom of pie shell. Pour in filling and arrange pecan halves on top as you wish. Bake 45 minutes, then check to see if pie still jiggles at the center. If it has more than a very slight movement, bake a few more minutes. Do not overbake. The pie will set up as it cools.
Transfer pie to wire rack and cool at least 1 hour before serving.
-- Adapted from "Tasting New Mexico: Recipes Celebrating One Hundred Years of Distinctive Home Cooking" by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2012, $29.95).
Miriam Rubin writes the Miriam's Garden column and other regular food stories for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She has her own blog, Garden, Cook, Write. And this spring, she has a cookbook coming out, titled "Tomatoes," that's part of the University of North Carolina Press' Savor the South series.
Miriam Rubin photo