Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pecan Pie

This recipe for pecan pie truly is a family recipe. Even though I chiefly remember it being made by Nanna, the recipe originally belonged to Granny, my great-grandmother on my dad's side. Granny is a wonderful Southern woman, both sweet and spunky. She was full of many memorably unique sayings, like "he just sat there like a bump on a pickle" and "I remember when you were knee high to a puddle duck." Whenever I visit her, her vivid expressions always make me laugh.

Granny is wonderful in many ways and her willingness to share her recipes is one of them. She first gave her pecan pie recipe to her granddaughter-in-law (my mom). Later on, my mom shared it with her mom (Nanna). And that explains how a Maltese immigrant ended up with a traditionally Southern recipe in her repertoire.

To put my own thumbprint on this family classic, I made a few minor tweaks to the original: I used brown sugar instead of white, added salt, increased the amount of pecans, and then toasted them. These alterations gave the pie filling a darker, richer appearance, and I really liked the taste of the extra toasty pecans. To be honest though, I couldn't taste a substantial difference in the filling itself. They are both really delicious! I think a side-by-side taste test is in order soon... and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I see the perfect opportunity.

Pecan Pie
Adapted from Nanna and Granny

Yield: One nine-inch pie

3 eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark brown corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs thoroughly and then beat in the brown sugar. Once it's incorporated, whisk in the corn syrup. After it is thoroughly combined, add in the melted butter, continuing to whisk, and then beat in the vanilla extract and salt. Finally fold in the toasted pecans. The pecans will rise to the top of the mixture -- don't worry, it's supposed to do that.

Pour the filling into an unbaked 9-inch pie crust and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the center has puffed slightly and quivers with a gelatinous quality when gently moved.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before cutting it. Best served chilled.


  1. Hi Kristin: Liz here from Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen. I just received your cookies and I love them. How did you know that almond cookies are one of my favorites? I have to share the cookies w/ my co-blogger, Janice ... otherwise, all dozen would be devoured by me and my troops instantly (boo hoo. Now we only get six). Thanks for the treat. I'll share a photo and a link to your blog in our post on the 12th.

  2. Thanks Liz! I'm so happy that you're such a fan of almond cookies. Sorry that you had to divide the cookies up. I would have made more if I knew you were sharing with a co-blogger! Thanks for linking the photo you took to my blog. I appreciate it.