What a refreshing twist to Gram's pecan pie recipe!
I made these Lemon Pecan Pie Slab Bars at Christmas, but they are actually refreshing at any time of the year.
This is a delicious mixture of refreshing lemon zest with my favorite pie, Pecan Pie, made into a bar with a real pie crust. It’s an easy slab to make with a real crust or even a graham cracker crust. Plus, it’s so refreshing with the lemon that it’s tasty all year round.
The pecan pie filling is just like the real thing, like Gram used to make, but with an added twist to it. I’ve taken her pecan pie and added the lemon which I think she would love; she was famous for her lemon meringue pie!
The lemon juice balances the sweetness of the sugary pecan pie filling. And the abundance of pecans satisfies any nutty craving. This recipe just uses white and brown sugar – no need for any corn syrup. That’s why it tastes so much like Gram’s Pecan Pie, but with the added natural lemon flavor.
This recipe is so easy to make for a crowd of friends and family. My recipe makes a pan, just enough for a small crowd, while doubling it makes for a much larger crowd.
This recipe fills an 8-9” x 12” rimmed baking pan. A double recipe will fit a 17”x12” rimmed baking pan.
Preheat your oven to 325F degrees.
Gather up your Ingredients:
2 Pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)
½ C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
½ C Butter, melted
2 T C Milk or heavy cream
2 T Flour
4 T Lemon juice, fresh from 1 lemon
2 T Lemon zest, fresh from 1 lemon
1 T Vanilla extract
1 ¼ C Pecans, rough chopped
1 ½ C Pecan halves for the topping
Garnish and topping Ingredients:
1 C Chocolate chips, semi-sweet (optional)
Lemon rind twists from 1 lemon
First, set up the crust:
- I’ve shortened up the time needed for the crust by using two refrigerated store-bought pie crusts. When I have more time, I like to make a homemade crust from my Grandmother’s recipe.
- Take the time to bring the store-bought crusts close to room temperature.
- Fit them together, trimming and patching the pieces together so the crust fits the pan. Overlap the seams a little and press all the seams together. Use a rolling pin to even all the seams and patches.
- The crust should be larger than the pan, so the crust fits up all four sides with enough overhanging the pan. The crust should be about 3” larger on each of the four sides than the pan when flat on the counter. I lay the pan on top of the crust to make sure I’m rolling it large enough.
- The overhanging portions of the crust will be folded over and crimped around all four sides.
- Fit the crust into the pan and crimp the edges. It’s easy to do with your forefinger and thumb on one hand and the forefinger on your other hand.
- Place the pan with crimped crust into the refrigerator and chill while making the filling.
Mix up the delicious pecan filling:
- Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice. You will need at least one lemon, maybe two. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and cool a little. You don’t want it so hot that it cooks the eggs.
- Whisk together the sugars and eggs. Set aside.
- Whisk together the cooled melted butter, milk or heavy cream, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and rough chopped pecans.
- Stir in the sugars and eggs mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled pie crust.
- Line up the half pecans on top of the filling, carefully creating a back-and-forth pattern of pecan rows, or a circular pattern. If you want to create a circular pattern, start with one pecan in the very center and then line up the rest of the pecan halves in circles around that pecan working from the center to the outside. Fill in the odd corners with the halved pecans or with smaller pieces, continuing the circle pattern.
- Bake at 325F degrees for 40-50 minutes. I check the pecan pie bars at the 40-minute mark. When the crust is lightly browned and the center is just a little jiggly, the pie is done. It will continue to set as the bars cool.
- Option: If you like semi-sweet chocolate with your pecan pie, spread the chocolate chips on top of the bars as soon as the pan comes out of the oven. Let them get soft before spreading them around for a nice topping. Or, you can omit spreading them and let people see the individual chips. Either way it’s delicious!
- If you like, slice a lemon and candy the slices by simmering in lemon juice for about 20 minutes. Let dry on parchment paper or foil. Twist the lemon rinds and let cool and dry before laying them on top of the pie slab. If you want them to stay in place, put them onto the chocolate topping while it's still warm.
Serve it up as a delicious after dinner dessert or as an afternoon treat with coffee:
- Serve the pecan pie bars warm or at room temperature with whipped cream on top.
- Turn it into a turtle sundae by serving it with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and a lemon twist toothpicked to a bright red cherry on top.
- Serve it cold with a hot cup of coffee for a quick afternoon treat.
No matter how you serve these Lemon Pecan Plie Slab Bars, you’ll enjoy it with friends, family and workmates. Just be sure to “Bake your own Memories!”