Your grandmother’s house in mid-fall. The air outside is crisp, eve though the sun is shining. Leaves swirl all around you in streaks of yellow, red and brown. And then a delightfully sweet, buttery scent reaches your nostrils and you hear your grandmother’s voice, “Pie’s ready! Come and get it!”
Aaah, pecan pie. A favorite not only in the United States but the world over, pecan pie is considered a staple of traditional Southern U.S. cuisine. So why not celebrate this delicious dessert on its very own day by making a pecan pie of your own? You’ve got to admit that sounds pretty delicious.
The History of Pecan Pie Day
There are various ideas about the origins of pecan pie. There are those who state that the French first made it soon after settling in New Orleans in the 1700s and being introduced to the pecan by the Native Americans of the area. Other claim pecan pie was first made in the early 1800s in Alabama; however, no recipes or other culinary literature has been found that would support either of those claims. The first actual pecan pie recipe was written in 1886. Originally, pecans were mized with custard, boiled, and then poured into a crust and baked. The makers of Karo syrup also contributed significantly to the popularization of pecan pie, as their product was often used instead of the more expensive honey or maple syrup. Pecan pie has been mentioned numerous times in American literature and television and has even become a literary symbol of the Southern States, as can be observed in the Zac Brown Band’s lyric:
“Beneath the shade of a Georgia pine
And that’s home you know
Sweet tea, pecan pie and homemade wine
Where the peaches grow.”
Today, pecan pie is most often eaten on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
How to Celebrate Pecan Pie Day
The answer is easy, make your own pecan pie! Even if you don’t have too much culinary experience, don’t worry! Pies are relatively easy to make and plus, this recipe calls for a frozen crust, saving you the Pecans can be expensive in some parts of the world, so you could use walnuts instead if you like, which will also make a very tasty pie. Still, if you want to really taste this traditional Southern dessert and celebrate this day to the fullest extent, pecans are the best bet.
Simple Pecan Pie
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup (or honey or maple syrup if you prefer)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) deep-dish frozen unbaked pie shell
1. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until just toasted.
2. Put the eggs, sugar, syrup/honey, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl and mix them all together. Then, stir in the toasted pecans and combine well.
4. Pour the filling into pie shell.
4. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until set. It’s probably a good idea to shield your pie with aluminum foil after 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning, or even the nuts getting a bit burnt and losing some of their flavor. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream, if desired.