My daughter, home for Thanksgiving, suggested we bake pecan pie. Handily, I had pecans in the cupboard and, voilà, Thanksgiving Day dessert (in addition to the traditional pumpkin pie, of course).
Making, baking, and eating this pie sent me into reminiscences. When I was a child I wasn't a huge lover of tree nuts but pecans fell into favor in my taste buds when my dear grandmother began making this pie. Who could not love pecans when they are presented in this sweet, rich, flavorful filling, then baked to perfection? Not me.
Gramma probably clipped this recipe from a newspaper. Disappointingly, I didn't find the clipping - or a hand-written version of the recipe - in her recipe box. Perhaps she memorized it. In my childhood transcription of the recipe, I omitted the quantity of salt to include. We rectify the problem by adding a teaspoon (already included below). Here's the recipe for your baking (and eating) pleasure.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup (light works fine)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans [but we enjoy them whole]
Allow the butter to stand in a covered medium mixing bowl at room temperature until it is extremely soft. Add sugar, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla; with a sturdy hand rotary beater or mixing spoon, beat until thoroughly blended.
Add eggs and beat gently just until blended.
Fold in pecans.
Pour into 9" pastry shell. Bake in moderate (370-degree) oven on the rack directly below the center rack until top is toasted brown and filling is set in center when pie is gently shaken, 40-50 minutes. Pastry edge should be browned and the bottom pastry a pale gold. If top of pie gets very dark toward end of baking time, place a tent of foil over it.
Cool on wire rack. If desired, serve with unsweetened whipped cream.
In past years we've always had to put a tent around the crust toward the end of baking time. This year my daughter make an oil crust and no tenting was necessary. I suppose oil crusts will become a family tradition, too.