Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Heritage Pie

When I won a contest recently with a recipe, my proud husband sent out an announcespam to everyone we know. I got back an interesting congratulations from my aunt. She is a lovely woman, a mother, grandmother, an accomplished quilter who has one of her quilts hanging in city hall, and a business woman who ran a successful coffee shop. She said that it was wonderful that the home arts are finally receiving recognition. My grandmother and her mother-in-law (who happened to be next-door neighbors) were the best cooks in town. There was no competition, no accolades, no prizes, but it was generally acknowledged that Mrs. O and Mrs. C were the best.

This set me to thinking about my grandmother. She raised a family in farm country, making ends meet through the Great Depression and World War II, keeping the family fed and clothed through thriftiness and hard work. Convenience appliances that I rely on weren't in her house. No dishwasher. No microwave. Not even an automatic ice maker, unless you count the way icicles automatically formed in the winter. I'm sure her menu did not include fresh mangoes, chimichangas, or sushi, but she certainly knew her way around a bin of flour and a stick of butter!

Pecan pie is my father's favorite pie and since I have my grandmother's recipe, I think of both of them whenever I make it. A wonderful, hard-working lady who loved making treats in the kitchen and her lucky little boy who raised me to see how blessed I am with what I have, however little or much that is.

Grandma's Pecan Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie shell
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter, melted
1-1/2 cups broken pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 350 deg. F. for 45 - 55 min. Check to see that the crust is not browning too rapidly. If it is, cover the edges with foil or a pie crust shield.

When you remove the pie from the oven it will still be slightly wobbly in the center, but will set up as it cools. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.


Gigi said...

What a lovely post and a spectacular looking pie!

Peabody said...

Oh how I wish I had a grandma who could cook like that.

Melinda said...

Laundry day at my grandmother's was an event. The agitator tub, the mangle (which scared the living fire out of me!) all the different things to remove stains... my grandmother had a thing for bluing the whites. Then hanging it all out to dry, and then she ironed everything. Her laundry smelled of fresh sunshine and the bedlinen was simply heaven to sleep in.
She was also a good cook but I will always remember her laundry skills.
I don't know if this is something to pass on to future generations...they would kill themselves laughing at all the work.
Much better to have a good recipe to pass on. Homemade pecan pie is a slice of heaven too! It looks delicious.

Nora B. said...

Hi Lynn,

A belated congratulations for all the things that you won in Nov.

It's wonderful to have such fond memories of family recipes. Thanks for sharing this one from you grandmother.

VeggieGirl said...

how wonderful that you were able to use your grandmother's recipe to recreate your father's favorite pie - looks sensational!! family recipes are great :0)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Lynn: You have the most beautiful way of saying so much with so few words. And I just run at the mouth.
I love that your grandmother and her mother-in-law (who happened to be next-door neighbors) were the best cooks in town.
But I liked best: A wonderful, hard-working lady who loved making treats in the kitchen and her lucky little boy who raised me to see how blessed I am with what I have, however little or much that is.
Thanks for this one. Pecan Pie is my favorite!

Sylvia said...

Beautiful post, pecan pie is one of my favorite, and your pie looks yummy

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never made pecan pie, Lynn - yours looks delicious and with a great story behind it!

chiffOnade said...

UMM, I love pecan pie. Of course, I am a PROFESSIONAL CHEF who graduated from Peter Kump's Institute of Fine Cuisine with a Master's certification as a PASTRY CHEF.

So I don't really need a recipe, but I enjoy looking at other people's ideas and evaluating their methods on my famous website on MySpace. I am also a senior advisor to the SeriousEats website.

My new boyfriend "Big Bear" cannot eat pecan pie because he has no teeth left (some kind of drug he used made them fall out) so when I make pecan pie, I have it all to myself.

Marcia said...

Perfection: I absolutely love pecans!

Cheryl said...

Wow what a lovely pecan pie. Your grandmother sure knew what she was doing.

One Food Guy said...

I absolutely love pecan pie. It is one of those things that I wish I had more of, but it's usually only at Thanksgiving that I enjoy this treat. I don't know why.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

You had me at pecan!
This looks like real comfort food to me. Thanks!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I came here via: Patricia's blog as she just made your peanut butter and chocolate cookies (which in turn I will now make too). I left a comment on that post. Then I clicked on the post about the competitions you won - congrats! Loved reading all of them. You should send this post to Inge of African Vanielje, she's doing an event which is all about celebrating time in the kitchen with mothers and grandmothers. This would be perfect for it.

Kevin said...

Great looking pecan pie!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Ever since I first visited the US, a worrying 27 years ago, I've been a complete sucker for pecan pie. But you rarely see it in the UK - so I guess, with this recipe now to hand - I'll have to have a go at making my own!

Debra said...

Lynn - I agree, from what I researched, it seems like switching the powder and liquid pectin called for in a recipe isn't that bright of an idea - unless I'm ready for trials & tribulations! :) Thanks for your help!

katiez said...

Leftovers?!? How could you possible have leftovers?

LyB said...

You're so lucky to have your grandmother's pecan pie recipe. Family recipes are the best! Your photos are making me hungry :)

Helene said...

Was a nice looking pie. I would take a piece right now with a good coffee.

Cakespy said...

Congratulations on your win--I will help you celebrate by making this fabulous pie!! You rule.

Tartelette said...

Beautiful pie and what a lovely story to read. Grandmas rock!

Elizabeth said...

The guy posting as "Chiffonade" is actually a weirdo named Charles R. Treuter.