The Best Pecan Pie in the Whole Wide World
Do people north of the Mason Dixon Line appreciate the cuisine of the south, or do things like cheese garlic grits and fried okra send them running out the door?
If there’s ever been a food that would pull down the barrier between the two, it’s Pecan Pie–#1 sweet in the southland of my youth. Thanksgiving and Christmas meals were perfectly complete with a slice of this nutty caramel delight.
Not only was Pecan Pie a treasured dessert in our home, it was also the reason for rambunctious family adventures. In the groves out north of town, the nuts were waiting to be gathered onto our big clumpy blanket. At home, we cracked and cleaned them, got out the big metal mixing bowl, threw in the magic ingredients and popped a pie or two into the oven.
If you’ve never tasted this treat, you owe it to yourself to try it. And if you’ve enjoyed it in the past, it’s time to have some more!
Here’s my mother’s award-winning recipe.
3 Tbs Butter
½ C Sugar
1 C Karo Syrup (the light one – red label)
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 ½ C Pecans
Combine the first five ingredients—mix well (with electric mixer).
Make crust (God love ya if you know how to make it from scratch) or buy them. My favorite is Marie Callendar’s frozen crust—thawed, or Pillsbury’s – Red Box in the dairy case. Each package has two crusts.
Line the crust with pecans and pour mixture over it.
(Important) Bake at 425 for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 325 for 35 minutes—this ensure the bottom crust will be golden brown.
Pie is done when firm with slight jiggle. Shake pie pan lightly to see. If it jiggles (a lot), allow it to bake a few more minutes, then, test again. (Do not over bake.) Serve warm with ice cream or cold with homemade whipped cream. (Oh, no! Oh, no! Please do not cut corners by using a “whipped topping” from the dairy case.)
Here’s how to make old-fashioned whipped cream:
Lick-the-Beaters-and-the-Bowl Whipped Cream
Pour a small carton of whipping cream into cold bowl½ hour before, place mixing bowl with beaters in freezer
Add ¼ C of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla
Beat until cream is fluffy and forms peaks
Do not over beat
Put a dollop or two on each slice and prepare to eat and smile!
P.S. Most people think Pecan Pie is hard to make. Not so. Just follow this recipe, and before you know it you’ll be saying, “Oh, this is easy as pie!”