Nothing says Thanksgiving and Christmas like a pecan pie. Let’s face it, folks, there is no way to make this scrumptious dessert healthy. It can, however, be made a little bit less unhealthy, with just a few tiny changes that no one will ever notice. I was actually surprised when these tiny changes made an even tastier pie.
I’ve had this recipe for pecan pie for almost as long as I can remember, and yes, as usual, I have made minor changes. To decrease the Karo Syrup would decrease the volume, so I decreased the butter and the salt some, and the brown sugar just tiny a bit. Unfortunately, I cannot say I was able to make it into a “good for you” recipe, as all pecan pies are almost pure sugar, but it certainly does make the best pecan pie ever. Oh, and it’s pronounced “puh-kahn” with the stress on the 2nd syllable; not “pee-can” which sounds really vulgar.
Reduce the Brown Sugar Just a Bit
Normally directions regarding brown sugar say to pack it. To reduce the sugar content just a bit, I did not pack it tightly, as I usually do, but only lightly so.
Crust Getting Too Brown?
If the edge of the crust gets too brown before the pie appears to be set, put a pie crust shield or strips of aluminum foil over the crust edge to prevent burning
Prep Time: 20 – 25 – minutes Total Time: About 1 hour Serves: 6 – 8
- 1 cup Karo Syrup (light or dark)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
- 3 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup pecan halves (or enough to cover the surface of the pie)
- Beat eggs, and set aside.
- Melt butter.
- Combine syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla.
- Mix well in electric mixer.
- Add beaten eggs.
- Pour into unbaked pie crust.
- Lay pecan halves on top (Optional: lay pecans in a series of concentric circles.)
- Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes.
- Allow to rest until firmly set.
If Cut While Warm, This is What Happens:
Placing the Pecans
For a pie that has a liquid or very thin filling prior to cooking, such as pecan pie, I line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil. The pan is for stability and easier handling; it also prevents spillage into my oven if the pie filling were to boil over. The foil keeps the pan clean so it doesn’t have to be washed.
A Little Trivia
Pecan Trees Grow Throughout the Deep South, and Get Quite Large
My grandparents used to have me climb their trees, and shake the limbs so the last pecans that were stubbornly hanging onto the tree would fall. As a child, one of my favorite preparation activities for Christmas was shelling pecans. I think I ate as many as I saved for pies, cakes, and cookies.