Ask A Sacramento Expert: Your Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipe

Ask A Sacramento Expert: Your Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipe
katiecaters logo by valerie heimeirch Ask A Sacramento Expert: Your Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipe

Katie Caters (Credit, Valerie Heimerich)

Katie Chaney
Katie Caters
(530) 409-9504

Katie Chaney, owner of Katie Caters, knows from experience that preparing delicious holiday meals and treats means having strong time management skills as well as great recipes. The talented culinary artist and businesswoman does extensive charity work within the community, particularly in her role as vice president of Only Kindness, Inc. and with the organization’s soon-to-open vintage and home boutique re:Visions. This is one of her favorite Thanksgiving desserts.

Dark Rum Pecan Pie


  • Flour, for dusting the work surface
  • Flaky Pie Crust – see recipe below
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pie plate
  • 2 tbsp dark rum (special dark or spiced)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tsp Mexican vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with butter; set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 12 inches in diameter and between 1/4- and 1/8-inch thick.
  4. Place sugar, syrup, butter and dark rum in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly and scraping sides. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm, at least 15 minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs in small bowl until mixed, and then beat the mixture into the cooled syrup. Add pecans, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. Pour into the chilled pie shell.
  6. Bake until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 50 minutes. Cool the pie completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Related: Best Pumpkin Dishes In Sacramento

Foolproof Pie Crust

This easy, perfect and flaky crust only takes 10 minutes. Makes two 9-inch, double-crust pies or four single-crust pies.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups shortening or lard (like Crisco – NOT oil)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup very cold water


  1. Add flour, shortening or lard, sugar and salt to a large bowl. Mix flour and shortening or lard with a pastry cutter or in food processor until crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, egg and water. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until well moistened. Knead lightly to mix in all of the flour and then shape it into ball. (Do not over handle.)
  2. Divide dough into four ball-shaped equal portions. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or in freezer for 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on waxed paper and on top of the pastry dough. Roll it out from center to edge, adding flour when necessary to keep it from sticking. Place in a buttered pie pan, crimp edges and add filling. For double-crust pie, add filling and place second piece of rolled dough on top; vent the top several times with a fork.
  4. Cook filled pie as directed.

Note: The dough keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for several months. Place dough balls in sealed freezer bags for storage.

Related: Best Chocolate Shops In Sacramento

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at