NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
Best Pecan Pie in the World
My mother in law, Jeanette, makes the best pecan pie. I asked her once how she does it, and she said, “Well, I just use the recipe on the back of the Karo Syrup bottle.” Then after giving it some thought, she added that she did a few things differently. First, she roughly chops most all of the pecans, leaving just enough pecan halves to form a pretty top layer. Then, she roasts the pecans in a dry (no oil) cast iron skillet. Oh, and she also uses a full stick of butter instead of the two tablespoons called for in the traditional recipe, and she uses half dark syrup and half light. To me, that constitutes a whole new recipe and one that’s undoubtedly worth sharing. What makes her pie all the more special is the homemade crust she makes. She says its the one from the Betty Crocker cookbook, but knowing her I’d bet she adds her own touch to that too. I’ll leave the crust up to you. A store-bought frozen crust might work best for you if, like me, you’re not versed in dough making.
1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
Enough pecan halves to cover the top
1 cup Karo corn syrup*
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of butter (a full stick of the real stuff, not margarine)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust
* You can use either light or dark Karo syrup, but Jeannette uses equal parts of each
Preheat oven to 350°F.
On top of the stove, bring a dry cast iron skillet to medium heat and add all of the pecans. Stir them constantly to give them a good roasting. You want to continue stirring for a couple of minutes or until they barely begin to darken and become very fragrant, then quickly pour them out onto a plate before they burn. Once cooled, separate the halves from the chopped pieces.
In a large bowl, mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla using a spoon. Remove about two tablespoons of this mixture to a separate smaller bowl. Stir the chopped pecans into the larger bowl to make the filling, and stir the pecan halves into the smaller bowl to coat them. Pour filling into pie crust and then top it with the whole pecans to “pretty it up.”
(Jeannette takes it a step further and cuts some leaf-shaped pieces of dough from her crust scraps and arranges those on the top for a fancy look.)
Bake on center rack of oven until center reaches 200°F and springs back when tapped lightly, about 55 to 70 minutes.
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