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Joanna Gaines' Secret Ingredient for Pecan Pie is Kinda Genius

My Recipes logo My Recipes 11/19/2018 Corey Williams
a close up of a woman © Rob Kim/Getty Images

Joanna Gaines really out Gaines-ed herself with her gorgeous cookbook, Magnolia Table.

Not only is it chock-full of approachable, family-friendly recipes, the book is also packed with priceless nuggets of kitchen wisdom from Queen Gaines herself.

One such gem is her surprising twist on classic pecan pie.

The recipe itself is pretty basic, spare one unexpected ingredient: ancho chile powder.

“It’s funny how a small tweak to a classic recipe can make it seem completely new and exciting,” Gaines writes. “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.”

Pecan pie purists might be offended by the addition, but we think the hint of heat is pretty genius.

Though ancho chile is commonly paired with chocolate, this brown sugar/cinnamon/chile mashup seems pretty innovative and perfect for fall.

The secret ingredient (well, as secret as something published in a #1 New York Times bestseller can be) seems to be a new-ish discovery, as it wasn’t included in Gaines’ pecan pie recipe from a 2016 Magnolia Journal.

Perfection does take time, after all.

Joanna Gaines’ Spiced Pecan Pie:

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Cooling Time: 2 hours Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup firmly 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 ground ancho chile
  • 2 cups pecan halves chopped pecans
  • One 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
  • Homemade Whipped Cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs. Whisk in the cinnamon and ancho chile. Stir in the pecans.
  3. Pour into the pie shell.
  4. Bake until the filling puffs around the edges and is nearly set in the center, about 1 hour. A knife inserted 2 inches from the center should come out clean. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  5. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled with a dollop of whipped cream dusted with cinnamon.
  6. Cover leftover pie with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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