I know I joke and say “oh this is my Italian Grandmother’s sauce recipe!” and whatnot but for reals, this is actually my grandma’s pecan pie recipe. I don’t have an old Italian Grandma but I do have a super-southern, up-at-6am-to-put-the-green-beans-on Grandma, which is equally fabulous.
I’m not sure how she’d feel about me giving away her pecan pie recipe but she thinks a “blog” is something you can clean off the linoleum with enough elbow grease, so. I think she’d like to know other people are making and loving her perfect pecan pie.
Once a few years ago I got it in my head that I’d get my grandma to verbally outline all her classic southern recipes for me while she could still remember them. I planned on putting them in a book for the family because stuff like that’s what life’s all about, you know? It was a hilarious exercise in patience: every recipe included instructions (over the phone, mind you) that were about as subjective as a Jackson Pollack painting.
The conversations went something like this:
Me: “So, how much sour cream do I use, Grandma?”
Grandma: “Oh you know, just a bit.”
Me: “Well, how much is a bit? Like…a teaspoon? A cup?”
Grandma: “Just…enough. Enough to make it right.”
Me: “(Sigh) Well okay. How long do I boil it then?”
Grandma: “Until it’s done.”
Me: “Grandma, what does that mean? How long, exactly?”
Grandma: “Oh I don’t know, about 5 minutes, maybe 20 minutes, somewhere in there. Unless it’s raining outside. If it’s raining you can’t make it at all and you’ll have to wait until the next day.”
So be thankful for this coherent pecan pie recipe. I’ve made it and made it and I finally put proper a number to Grandma’s proportions. It’s a modern miracle, really.
GRANDMA’S PERFECT PECAN PIE
1 frozen deep-dish pie crust (or homemade)
3 eggs, beaten slightly
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cups light Karo Syrup (light colored, not light calorie)
1/2 stick melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5-2 cups whole pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prick the bottom of your pie crust with a fork to vent it and bake in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, or until the bottom is just beginning to brown. Remove and allow to cool while you make the pie.
***You can certainly use a homemade pie crust but they’ve always been too much work for me. Stores sell perfectly passable frozen pie crusts especially if you spring for the name-brand ones. And they come in a tin already for easy pie-giving.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, Karo Syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs a little at a time to avoid scrambling them if your butter is still warm (this is more or less called “tempering”.) Add as many pecans as you like and stir together. Pour the mixture in the pie crust until it’s almost full – the pie won’t bake “up” much, although it will probably get a little dome that falls as it cools.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-50 minutes, or until the pecan mixture becomes set enough that it doesn’t wobble when you shake it. Remove the pie and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before cutting.
***If the crust gets too brown while the pie bakes, remove it and cover just the crust with a little ring of tin foil to prevent overbrowning. Or buy one of these, which is what I use (and it’s AWESOME.)
Pecan pie doesn’t need to be refrigerated – it’s best when left out at room temperature on a gorgeous Pinterest-worthy white cake stand with a lid and a glass of lemonade and some gingham and…oh. Sorry, I went overboard. Make some whipped cream or serve with ice cream, to cut the richness.