Large whole pecans make a prettier pie, but they’re difficult to cut through when slicing. For a pie that’s easier to slice, use chopped pecans, and save whole nuts for decoration.
Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll Single-Crust Pastry Dough out from the center to an 11-inch circle, turning dough occasionally to avoid sticking. Transfer into a 9-inch glass pie plate.
Crimp edges; then put pie shell into the freezer while you prepare the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar. Slowly add corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt, blending until smooth. Whisk in melted butter and Kahlúa or rum (if you like). Stir in pecans.
Remove pie shell from freezer; pour pecan mixture into shell. Bake until edges are firm and pie stops jiggling in the center, about 40 minutes. (Shield crust edges after 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning.)
Cool. Serve at room temperature with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.
Single Crust Pastry Dough
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.
Sprinkle butter over f lour mixture, and use your fingers to work it in (rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Stop when the mixture looks like cornmeal, with some pea-size bits of butter remaining.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water on top, and stir with a fork until dough begins to come together. If needed, add another tablespoon ice water.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three times, or just enough to make a cohesive dough—don’t overmix!
Gather into a ball; then press into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes.