Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Grandmotherhood and pecan pie

pecan pie Texas
My grandmother makes the best pies. Of course, everyone’s grandmother makes the best pies, but I’m not kidding when I say my grandmother’s pies are divine. Everyone in my family has their favorite: some like the peach, some like the sweet potato, some like the chocolate. But from my grandmother’s pie-making repertoire, there is one pie that we all agree is top notch: her pecan pie.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of her pies is how fresh they are. She and my grandpa live on a farm, where small groves of pecan and peach trees grow and where there is always an ample crop of sweet potatoes. So her pies are made with the fruit of the land, making them very, very tasty. My grandparents are pragmatic people, and as they're getting older, they always ask what we want willed to us. In yet another testament to her pies, the one thing we all fight over is my grandmother's rolling pin that she was given in the 1940s and has used ever since. Forget the land, the houses or the antiques--we all want that magical tool that has rolled out so many delicious crusts.

Family skirmishes aside, I’m fortunate that even though I live a thousand miles away, she always sends me a pecan pie for my birthday. This year I opted to freeze a slice for a time when I was most in need of a fix, and a couple of days ago when I was feeling very homesick, having the chance to eat a slice of her pecan pie filled me with great peace. I don’t know if it’s the freshness of the pecans or the love she puts into each pie, but they are delicious and always bring me back home. She has graciously given me her recipe, which she learned from her mother. Here it is:

pecan pie Texas

Pecan pie


Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup white corn syrup
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons of flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked piecrust

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix together the sugar, the corn syrup, the eggs and the vanilla. Stir in the milk, flour, melted butter and pecans. Pour the filling into the piecrust. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.


Yield:
1 pie

Author:


HOMESICKTEXAN.COM
PRINT RECIPE

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25 comments:

AdamH said...

How surprised I was to see your comment at The Amateur Gourmet re: Le Cirque!

:D

Patsy'd NEVER eat there! She'd have left, gone home and fried up some bacon and eggs! She'd have told them off, too.

The pecan pie looks GREAT.

Still Patsified!,
Adam

melissa mcgee said...

what a sweet, heartwarming post lisa. your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful, warm, loving woman, with a head and heart filled with stories, memories, and delicious, homemade comfort food.

just like my grandmother.

Danielle said...

I've been wanting a good and tested recipe for pecan pie for a while now. Thanks for posting this!

Homesick Texan said...

Adam, thanks for stopping by!

Melissa, grandmothers are the best, are they not?

Danielle, if you bake it, let me know how it turns out!

Cenk said...

It is so great that you are sharing your grandmother's pie recipe. The crust ingredients are quite different than what I am used to. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks again. And I hope you get to keep the rolling pin!

Julie said...

It seems amazing and wonderful to me that you're able to make pecan pies with a recipe handed down from your great-grandmother. It seems like a rare thing in this day and age. And the pie looks wonderful.

BTW, I love your blog's banner. What a great picture.

Tracy said...

finally! a unique pecan-pie recipe (my grandmother lived in Texas) and this will be the one I try to make today

[born in Texas, haven't lived there for 50 years]

Tracy said...

ps: Grandmother used to have a pecan tree in her backyard .. now I understand

Anonymous said...

I know this is really random, and I don't know if you'll see this comment, but...

I'm doing a project for a natural history class and I decided to bake something...Next week I'm going to pick some pecans and today I was Googling for a real recipe, not something out of a magazine. I stumbled across this and I'm so excited to make it. I just thought you might be happy to know that one more person is very thankful for you and your grandma sharing this recipe. I'm sure it will be wonderful!

Jen said...

Thank you for a wonderful recipe, and for giving me an excuse to spend Thanksgiving afternoon with my big brother baking a pie together, catching up and acting like little kids again! Since each of us has moved away from home, we try to make the most of the time we have together. Thanks again- it was definitely time well spent.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing pie recipe! My mother and I made it for thanksgiving tomorrow, can't wait to see how it is going to turn out!

p.s I live in Houston,TX born and raised.

Eugene said...

My beau made this for Thanksgiving and it came out amazing. We were scared about the oil crust, but it worked!

(Austin, TX)

Anonymous said...

Hi there Lisa
I'm an Australian who loves "Tex Mex" albeit not true to form as you describe, and I am over the moon that I have found your blog! I'd love to give this pie a go, however I don't want to use Karo, is there anything else that is similar that I could use instead?
Thanks for the great flour tortilla recipe too! Beats buying them when they are AWESOME fresh!
Sarah

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Lisa - it's almost three years since you wrote this post, September 9, 2009, but I just found it.

You mentioned the loss of your grandmother on twitter - this post about her is so lovely! And it was interesting to see that your grandmother made her piecrust with oil & milk, something I learned as a newlywed 40 years ago. (also started with corn oil, then switched to canola). My recipe comes from the 11th edition of the Fannie Farmer cookbook - wonder if your grandmother read Fannie?

In 2007 our trees bore nuts, but between drought and squirrels guess I'll have to buy pecans for pie this year.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Heidi said...

My husband loves pecan pie and for some reason I've never attempted one. He tried once and it was totally soupy, great over vanilla ice cream, but not pie. Now that I've lived in TX over a year, I'm fixin' to make us a pecan pie. Thanks!

Nettie said...

Just returned to Germany from a rare trip home to Austin. My German beau and i had pecan pie on our last night. I was filled with nostalgia and D with happy discovery so I've already promised to make it for him with the pecans we brought back. Was very glad to find your recipe, which looks authentic.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Lisa, for sharing stories of your grandmother and her recipes. My sweet Memaw passed away in May and she was a wonderful cook and loved to bake. Hearing your stories, brings to mind wonderful memories I shared with mine. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

I made this pecan pie. I love you and your grandmother! The very best pecan pie recipe in the world. I would know, I've tried a million. Thank you for posting.

suzie said...

I enjoyed this pecan pie over every pie I had ever had in my life,and trust me I've lived in the south but this pie is the GREATEST!!! I recommend this pie to everyone for the holidays..

The Good Taste Guide said...

I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was TO DIE FOR. I absolutely adored it, a good pecan pie is hard to come by up in Connecticut, as I'm sure you know.

~Barbara~ said...

I have been searching for a pie like this. It turned out just as good as everyone has said. I will never make the old syrupy one again!! Thanks so much to you and your gramma's recipe.
Barbara

oregoncoastgirl said...

This pie is in my oven right now. In the interest of full disclosure, I've never had pecan pie, nor made one, so my fingers are crossed! Thank you for the recipe!

Heidi in DF said...

I have now made this pie two years in a row to rave reviews. My grandmother made date loaf instead of pecan pie, so I never had a family recipe to use. Thanks for sharing your family recipes and stories with homesick Texans everywhere.

Monica Minnitt said...

I am always eager to improve the things I cook, and I am intrigued by this manner of making a crust. Nonetheless, I must ask if Grandma does anything else to her ingredients other than just mix them? Does she chill the flour? The dough? Does she let it rest, or does she just mix, roll, and bake? I ask because this morning I began this recipe with chilled ingredients and as I began to roll out the crust it drew back up every time I would give it a roll and so I decided to let it rest... Signed a Curious Monica

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Monica--She just mixes and rolls. It's important to use whole milk, though, so it will have enough fat.

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