It's impossible to go wrong with pecan pie. Especially one that is really loaded with nuts, has a little verve from orange zest, and isn't overly sweet—exactly like the one here. Taking the time to track down new-crop pecans will push things right over the top.
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves (1/2 pound)
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (for serving; optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest, and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.
Put pecans in pie shell and pour corn syrup mixture evenly over them. Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely.
Pie can be baked 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving