Pecan pie seems to have originated as a purely Southern dessert. It belongs to a group of pies referred to as “transparent pies” and includes such favorites as Shoo-fly, Jefferson Davis and Chess pies. Fillings are usually based on brown sugar, molasses, or corn syrup. These are usually thickened with eggs, but sometimes, as in Shoo-fly pie, with a flour base, or Chess Pie, which includes eggs and corn meal.
Pecan pie is Beloved and Darling Daughter’s favorite pie, and I’ve made the same recipe for many, many years – the one on the back of the bottle of Karo syrup. It’s the recipe my grandmother made, and is the pie I grew up with; it is comforting and intensely sweet. However, over the last few years, I’ve made a couple of modifications to the recipe that reduces that sweetness a little and keeps the pecans crisp instead of “chewy.” If you can’t find Lyle’s Golden Syrup, feel free to use light corn syrup.
Note: If you omit the pecans and substitute the vanilla with 3 tablespoons bourbon, you will have a Bourbon Pie.
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup pecans
1 – 9″ unbaked pie shell
Preheat oven to 325 F. Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet or other shallow baking pan and toast in the oven, stirring frequently, 7 – 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and cool completely. (If making ahead, keep in an airtight container until ready to use.)
Increase oven heat to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, syrup, salt, butter and vanilla together well; stir in the pecans. Pour into pie crust.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between the center and edge comes out clean (the middle may look slightly underdone; this is fine). Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.