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English Toffee Pecan Pie

This mouthwatering recipe from audience member Marjorie Johnson took home the blue ribbon at our first pie contest.

  • yield: Makes one 9-inch pie

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Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold leaf lard, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 22 pecan halves, for garnish

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in lard and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about the size of peas. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix lightly with a fork after each addition, until mixture is moistened. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and shape into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic; transfer to refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Lightly flour a pastry cloth and roll out dough on cloth, using a covered rolling pin, to a 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold under and crimp edges.

  3. Step 3

    Make the filling: Preheat oven with a rack set in the lower third to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, almond extract, toffee bits, and chopped pecans.

  4. Step 4

    Pour filling into pie crust. Top with pecans by evenly spacing 14 of them around the outer edge of pie filling. Make a second row by evenly spacing seven pecans in a smaller circle in the center; place 1 pecan in center.

  5. Step 5

    Transfer pie to oven; bake for 20 minutes. Cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil and continue baking until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, November 2009

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Reviews (33)

  • KamenBeringer 10 Nov, 2011

    The crust is indeed tricky.
    I stronly suggest using Martha's single crust Pate Brisee recipe or simply buy a refrigerated pie dough (Pillsbury is best). The filling is really what makes this pie unique and delicious.Do not make a pie in a larger than 9 inch plate.
    I also suggest using a pyrex clear glass dish with a solid 1/4 inch lip and unfluted edge. Proceed with the recipe as written from there. Hope this helps anyone who has any doubt about this recipe.

  • pattipoopidoo 25 Nov, 2010

    This crust is very difficult to roll and was almost like a paste when made. There are MUCH better crusts out there to choose.
    After the designated baking time, the knife does not come out clean, and when left in longer than the time states, waiting for the knife to come out clean -- which it never did -- the edges of the filling burned a little, even when covered wih the foil. The parchment paper was unnecessary, since the pecans would never stick to the foil. This was a grade C pie, if that.

  • allwhippedup 21 Nov, 2010

    I made this pie last year and it was amazingly delicious!!! Came out perfect....cant wiat to make it again in a few days :)

  • jocassidylynn 14 Nov, 2010

    I was excited to try this variation on the traditional pecan pie. I usually love the recipes on this site and would think that I could trust Martha's opinion on this recipe. I followed the recipe exactly. I have never so thoroughly hated a pie, I love pie, I bake pies all the time. I found this pie to be completely distasteful and I had to throw it out, I have never thrown out a pie. I would not recommend it and would strongly encourage others not waste time trying this one.

  • chipndale 3 Dec, 2009

    All contests have rules. If the rules didn't exclude her then she should be eligible to win. Surely you know there were many other blue ribbon winners in the audience, we just didn't know who they were. The pie is awesome, by the way!

  • Boscompb 27 Nov, 2009

    I've been making pies for years, and was suspicious that there wasn't enough flour in the recipe. Sure enough, it shrunk quite a bit. I'd suggest you up the flour to 1-1/2 cups to avoid this problem. Otherwise, it's a nice variation from the overly sweet traditional version.

  • ChefGreen00 27 Nov, 2009

    I made this pie for thanksgiving and omg this is the best pecan pie, my new favorite pecan pie recipe, definitely try!

  • carolpiotrowicz 25 Nov, 2009

    Although I think Marjorie is a sweet and talented lady, I agree that thie was unfair to the other pie contest contestants. I can NOT believe that Martha was not aware of who Marjorie was!! Not a GOOD THING Martha!!

  • ccbachman 24 Nov, 2009

    This is the best pecan pie I ever tasted. The flavors are a buttery pecan not sickening sweet like some pecan pies. The Heath bits are packaged in an 8oz package, I measured out the 1 cup which did not use up the entire bag. I enjoyed the interaction between Martha and Marjorie, I hope she is a guest again soon, showing us more great pie recipes! As for the contest, Marjarorie made the best pie, so she won, end of story.

  • lainer30 22 Nov, 2009

    awesome pie! just when i thought pecan pie couldn't get any better, i made this for my family's early thanksgiving dinner. the toffee, almond and vanilla combine to give it a remarkable flavor. definitely a keeper. i did use my own pastry recipe, however, as i did not wish to deal with lard.

  • Mitch4you 21 Nov, 2009

    The pie looks great but contest this was not.

  • pastrymaven 20 Nov, 2009

    Why is this not fair to other contestants? Marjorie has certainly paid her dues. Professional or not she has put a lot of work into pursuing her dream. All of us have the ability to do that, but few have the passion and drive. I myself have won plenty of ribbons. It is a lot of hard work and expensive for just a piece of satin and a few dollars pay back. Give her a break already. Lets see some of the complainers here go out and do that, the only thing stopping it is perhaps a lack of talent. And

  • Maryanne50 20 Nov, 2009

    Here is a link that explains "cold leaf lard":

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/15/dining/15crus.html?pagewanted=print

    Sounds yummy!

  • veritas10 19 Nov, 2009

    Marjorie cannot enter the Minn State Fair anymore. She is a pro. I think the link to her website from Martha's is inappropriate.

  • tcarillon 18 Nov, 2009

    She and Martha were hillarious together! They make a great team! Let's see more of her on the show.

  • cookiejunie 18 Nov, 2009

    Marjorie is an incredible woman who has a passion for baking. It is obvious by her enthusiasm when she talks. The fact that someone enters their state fair and chooses to create a cookbook does not make her a pro. How sad that some viewers are so critical. I know several women that bake something from scratch every week of the year - does that make them a pro?

    Dept 56 has recently honored Marjorie with a village piece to honor her passion for baking.

    Cookiejunie

  • veritas10 18 Nov, 2009

    Butterball has a similar Toffee Pecan Pie.

  • suziron 18 Nov, 2009

    Bad move Martha. Not right to choose a professional who is well known, especially after you cited her in the audience before the contest was over. Not fair to all the other everyday bakers who entered and who are 99% of your audience. It looked like FIXED contest. Naughty Martha.

  • suziron 18 Nov, 2009

    Naughy Martha. It was not right to choose a "professional" who is well known. Wasn't fair to the other contestants and it looked FIXED especially when Martha cited Marjorie in the audience prior to choosing her pie. Not right, and if I were a contestant I would be upset ... the rules of the contest should be non-professional, everyday bakers like 99% of us are who watch her show. Bad move, Martha.

  • marykskin 18 Nov, 2009

    She baked it at 375 and yes it was Heath Toffee Baking Bits. Also if you don't put in the toffee bits, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup.

  • retire51 17 Nov, 2009

    Being at the pie show I didn?

  • camoody 17 Nov, 2009

    I missed the beginning of the show - what type of toffee did she use? Heath toffee bits, or something else?

  • susanloretta 17 Nov, 2009

    I think Marjorie and Martha make a great pair in the kitchen . Can she come more often. I loved her on the Jay Leno show

  • parkermb 17 Nov, 2009

    I watched Marjorie on the show and LOVED her!!! She is so cute and vibrant...what a great guest!! Can't wait to try out the recipe for Thanksgiving!!

  • marykskin 17 Nov, 2009

    Did she say she uses 1/2 cup of brown sugar if the toffee was not used?

  • BarbWine 17 Nov, 2009

    What temperatures do you use for baking the pie ?

  • MNJohn 17 Nov, 2009

    Marjorie used to dominate the State Fair. The Fair now considers her to be a professional and she can no longer enter the cooking contests. I think that "leaf lard" is actually a brand name.

  • CristyR 17 Nov, 2009

    what is cold leaf lard? and what is a pastry cutter?

  • chrisfalk 17 Nov, 2009

    I am not surprised to hear that Marjorie won the contest. She dominates here in Minnesota at the State Fair. I can't wait to try her recipe!

  • jlamb42247 17 Nov, 2009

    I have seen her on the Jay Leno Show. She was on his a lot.

  • Beckygc 17 Nov, 2009

    She should be considered a "guest" not an audience member.

  • LMMontgomery 17 Nov, 2009

    And what a wonderful guest she is! She is charming and her recipes are right on the mark. I hope we hear more from her in the future.

  • KsMartha 17 Nov, 2009

    I too recognized Marjorie from Food Network