Sweet Saturday: Grandma’s Pecan Pie
Growing up, I always looked forward to Thanksgiving for one main reason, eating my Grandma Scott’s pecan pie! We only had the pie once a year back then, at Christmas time. I remember joking with my parents as we “fought” over the last piece of pie. Dad would then say, “You know, I made a big mistake. I convinced you to try the pie in the first place.”
I guess you can say it was love at first bite. To this day, I still love the pie, but I bake it instead of my grandma who passed away in 2001. I’ve yet to taste another pecan pie that measures up to her version. Perhaps that is because I am used to pecan pie tasting like hers and no one else’s. It could also be because it is the best pecan pie ever. I’m not sure, but I lean toward the latter. So, I’m biased.
The first time I made this pie was over 20 years ago when I was in high school or college (can’t remember which). My mom tasked me with it. As I looked at the recipe, I saw it called for butter but it didn’t say if it needed to be melted or not. So, I didn’t melt the butter. That was the only time I failed making this pie. Trust me when I say that the butter must be melted. I shudder at the memory of that Thanksgiving pie disaster.
Now, when I feel a craving for pecan pie, I bake it. I don’t care if it is Thanksgiving or just a random Wednesday. I love the pie and the indulgence is occasionally worth it.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup light corn syrup, 1/3 cup melted salted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
What I do next is a bit unusual. Instead of placing the pecans on top of the pie after pouring it into the pie plate, I add the pecans to the filling. It works out great! The pecans all get nicely coated and float to the top as it bakes. So, add 1 cup pecans and mix.
Personally, I prefer Georgia pecans* or pecans from the farmer’s market. They taste better than Diamond brand pecans (a fine brand and product but not nearly as flavorful).
Now, pour the pecan pie filling into a 9-inch pie plate lined with pie crust.
Bake the pie in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes. Before removing the pie, check to see if it jiggles. It will jiggle a little, but if it jiggles a lot, it needs to bake longer, at least another 15 minutes. Keep checking until it has only a slight jiggle before removing. Sometimes baking the pie takes me only 45 minutes, other times an hour or so.
Allow the pie to cool and set for a few hours before serving, then enjoy!
*I admit I have a source for my Georgia pecans. A grocery store I used in Florida when I lived there sells them. They do cost more than your standard brand in the baking section but the flavor difference is huge. When my parents come to visit, I beg them to buy me 2 bags, one whole pecans and another bag of pieces (which I love on ice cream). Of course, I was out of the whole pecans when I made the pie so I used pieces instead. Flavor matters more than looks to me.
- 1 C light brown sugar
- 1 C light corn syrup
- 1/3 C melted salted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 C pecans
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt.
- Add eggs and mix.
- Add pecans and mix.
- Pour pie filling into 9-inch pie plate lined with pie crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes. If the pie has a lot of jiggle, bake an additional 15 minutes. Bake until the jiggle is minimal.
- Allow to cool and set a few hours before serving.