Monday, December 9, 2013

Nanny's Pecan Pie



Louisiana pecan pie is chewy and gooey, full of pecans and sticky goodness, in a flakey short crust. My aunt's recipe is the best. Christmas is not Christmas without it! What better kickoff to Christmas Week! 

We were there!  After five hours of driving dark highways in the bitter cold, the whole family piled into the warmth of my grandmother’s yellow kitchen.  As usual, everyone talking at once.   Following shortly behind us, coming from the opposite direction on Interstate 10, my aunt’s family banged through the old screen door, arms laden with luggage and goodies.  Nanny had a stack of pecan pies, all baked in foil pie plates and wrapped in more foil, a tower of shiny as welcome as any star on the nearby Christmas tree.  Pecan pie was one of her specialties and this year, she claimed, she had perfected the recipe.  Baking pie after pie until the mixture was just right.  We laughed when she said 7/8 cup of Karo, because how do you even measure that!

In southern Louisiana, your godparents are your nanan and parran, the Cajun French words for godmother and godfather.  Aunt Karen was not my godmother but she was my older sister’s and since I was three years younger, I called her Nanny as well.  That was just her name and it never occurred to me until I was much older that she wasn’t my godmother too.  On Christmas Day, 20 years ago, we lost Nanny to breast cancer, after a few years’ hard fight.  She was only 49.  She lives on through her children and grandchildren and in the cherished memories we have of the most generous and loving aunt, sister, mother, friend anyone has ever known.  I eyeball that measuring cup each time I make this pie and channel her precision for 7/8 cup.  Her recipe hasn’t failed me yet.

Ingredients
For the filling:
1 large egg
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
7/8 cup or 207ml clear Karo corn syrup  (Just do your best.)
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups or 180g chopped pecans
4 small pats of butter (about 1 teaspoon each)

1 unbaked pie shell  (I use this recipe.  Stop when the crust has been pricked with a fork, and come on back here to make the filling.)

Method
Preheat your oven to 300°F or 149°C.

Put your pecans in a large baking pan and pop them in the oven as it preheats.  Set a timer for five minutes and shake the pan every time it rings.  Take the pecans out when they smell all toasty and nutty.  Depending on your oven, this could take 10 minutes or even 20.  Depends on how fast your oven preheats and the toasting can really start.  Remove the pecans from the oven and set aside to cool.

Beat the egg and sugar until yellow and creamy looking.


Add the Karo and the pinch of salt and whisk again.


After thoroughly mixed, add your cooled pecans.


Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Put pats of butter on top.



Bake in your preheated oven for 50/60 minutes.  (I suggest putting a piece of foil under the pan, for easy clean up, in case it boils over a little.)

Remove from the oven when the pie is almost set.  It might still be just a little bit wobbly in the middle.

Allow to cool completely before cutting.



Enjoy!

Visit all the other Christmas Week Peeps for  more Holiday Baking Goodness:





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46 comments:

  1. I would love to use the food processor to make chunky sauces, make fresh hash browns, and dough for noodles!

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  2. I am sorry to hear about your loss. =I
    How wonderful of you for sharing her perfect looking recipe with us. Very much appreciated Stacy!

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  3. What an amazing tribute, in your words and in this pie!



    Thanks for participating, and happy day #1!

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  4. Thanks for including me! Happy day #1 to you as well, Jen!

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  5. Oh, thank you, Helene. It was my pleasure.

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  6. An ambitious program, Danielle! I think I would like dinner at your house!

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  7. Oh my goodness this pie looks great - but 7/8 Cup?? Wow - It looks great and that's the way we are down south isn't it - everyone is family and it never occurs to you that they aren't!

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  8. The pie looks incredible. What would i make if I won? What wouldn't I make? :-)

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  9. Your pie is a Christmas miracle, Stacy. I love that all the goodness of your "godmother" lives on in her pecan pie with a 7/8 cup of corn syrup =)

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  10. I have been on the lookout for a tried and true pecan pie recipe. This is it, I think!

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  11. I would add some chopped jalapenos to my cornbread.

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  12. The first thing I would make is a rhubarb crumble

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  13. Man alive do I love a pecan pie. Yours looks delicious!!

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  14. Mmmmmm, pecan pie....one of my favorites. This looks amazing!

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  15. Beautiful story!! It is so wonderful to pass down traditions! My father passed when I was little and I am now learning about that side of the family! Oh..and can you believe I have NEVER made pecan pie. That needs to change.

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  16. I have a Magimix and love it. I would give this to my sister with a cole slaw recipe.

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  17. What a great way to honor your Nanny by sharing her recipe!

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  18. Well, she was still my aunt and my mother's closest sister but after I was old enough to realize, Aunt Karen just didn't feel right. She was Nanny.

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  19. You'd make me something lovely, just like you?

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  20. Thank you, Kim. This is one recipe we make with almost religious fervor. I am a pecan pie evangelist and I know of four people who made it for Thanksgiving, besides me, that I have influenced into baking it. :)

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  21. Oh!! Thanks for sharing a little bit of Nanny with us... we've lost a few friends very close to that age this year, and it's tough, isn't it? I'm so happy you shared this recipe... now her spirit will live on even more!!

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  22. This is it, Deanne, if you like sticky, chewy pecan pie. Which we most certainly do.

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  23. I would use it to make a crust for apple pie

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  24. It was tough, especially on my mother since they were very close. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to share her pie!

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  25. Thanks, Brianne. I am so glad it got written down for posterity.

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  26. This would be perfect for coleslaw! I make one every New Year's Day.

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  27. I am so sorry for your loss, Samantha. It is even harder when we also lose the traditions and connections. I'm glad you are finally getting a chance to learn about your dad's side. You need to make some pecan pie!

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  28. That was way too young also, Kim! I'm so sorry for your loss.


    She may not have been my godmother but she was my dear aunt. We had a lot in common because she was always in the kitchen. :)

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  29. Pecan pie wonderful, Aimee, in all its permutations.

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  30. Oooh, nice choice! We LOVE rhubarb crumble at my house.

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  31. And maybe grate some cheese for that cornbread too? My favorite cornbread recipe has both. :)

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  32. I would love this to be my Christmas tradition!!! Such nice memories of your Nannies...

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  33. Pecan Pie is on my list of things to make though I've yet to make it. Love this one!

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  34. Could I just win one of your pies??? LOOKS so wonderful!!!! I wanna make one but mine never turn out this good looking. ugh

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  35. I think I might try to make hummus; I'm pretty sure that you need a machine to do that.
    ******************
    {in the contest I am Margot Core on the Rafflecopter}

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  36. This Magimix would make the smoothest hummus! Good call!

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  37. Thank you! It probably wouldn't look that nice after shipping though. But I appreciate your kind words.

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  38. You need to, Heather! Everyone loves pecan pie.

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  39. My cousin, her daughter, shared this on Facebook and the comments from all her friends were so sweet to read. She is missed by so many people and remembered so fondly.

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  40. Looks wonderful! I make pecan pie for Christmas every year so I'm always looking for delicious new recipes to use.

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  41. Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story and delicious recipe.

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  42. I've been needing a new food processor and I also need this pie. :)

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