Get a jump on Thanksgiving and put this classic pie recipe on your menu now
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 375 F (190 C). Meanwhile, lightly but evenly rub the inside of a 9-inch (22.5-cm) tart pan with removable bottom with some butter, or coat with nonstick spray.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the sugar dough into a circle 11 inches (27.5-cm) in diameter. Loosely roll it up on the rolling pin, then unroll over the tart pan, pressing the dough into the pan. With the tip of a knife, carefully trim the edges. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling, put 3 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. With the back edge of a knife, carefully scrape the seeds from each vanilla bean half; add the pod halves and scrapings to the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes, taking care not to let the butter burn.
Scrape the melted butter into a medium mixing bowl; remove and discard the vanilla pod. Add the corn syrup, sugar, whole egg and yolks, and liqueur. Whisk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To assemble the pie, place the prepared shell on a baking tray. Spread the chopped pecans over the bottom. Carefully arrange the pecan halves on top, rounded sides up, in concentric circles, starting along the outer edge. Evenly ladle the filling over the nuts, to reach the top of the shell.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake until the filling feels firm when lightly, quickly touched and the edges of the pastry are deep golden brown, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes.
To unmold, use the back of a spoon or a knife to tap all around the side of the tart pan. Place the pan on top of a wide-mouthed jar or can narrower than the pan. Gently free the outer ring, letting it slip down the side of the jar. Return the pie to the rack to cool completely.
Use a sharp knife to cut into wedges. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.