Pecan pie

My mother came from a large brood. There were nine children born to her parents, my mother being the oldest. Her father had married late in life, and I suspect, felt that he had little time to produce a long line of progeny. He and his wife, though much younger than he, were dead before the younger children were grown. My mother and father would take two of them in and raise them to adulthood, which back then seemed to be 18 years.

One of my uncles lived his entire life after the military service in Georgia. Most of the time in Savannah where he married a very southern belle. She would see to it that he remained there until his dying day even though he was very devoted to his siblings who lived across the country, most in California. He would visit about every other year, coming on the train and bus. Of all my mother’s brothers, he was the most courtly, the most gentlemanly. The southern belle occasionally accompanied him, but usually he traveled by himself.

This uncle and aunt had only one child. One child on whom they doted something fierce. My cousin only came to California a couple of times to visit and spent his entire life in Georgia. His son, however, went to Princeton Theological Seminary and became a minister. Same generation as that of my daughter who also became a minister. Makes one wonder. My mother had an uncle who was an itinerant preacher in the Arkansas Ozarks. Does that sort of thing skip generations?

The Georgia aunt and uncle had a pecan tree in their Savannah yard and each year, some time in late fall, they would send a shoe box full of pecans to us in California. My mother would give me the job of shelling these nuts with the admonition to keep the meats from being smashed to pieces. In other words, she wanted pecan halves, not pecan pieces. These nuts would be used in her holiday fruit cakes and pecan pies.

Today I buy pecan halves (paying a king’s ransom) for my own baking. I soak them in brandy, along with the other fruits and nuts, for the fruit cakes. I also like to make an occasional pecan pie. Rachel at Cranberry Tea wrote about her pecan pies for Thanksgiving, making me hungry for one of those nut pies. I had recently bought a bag of pecan halves, so I was ready to do so. Rachel prefers pecan pieces, but I think, due to my mother’s demand for pecan halves, that I should use halves, not pieces.


This is my pecan pie recipe:

Melt 3 Tb butter in a very large mixing bowl.

Add 1/2 c white sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 c light corn syrup and stir well.

Beat 3 large eggs in another bowl. Stir in 2 Tb brandy (or other such liquor). Add egg mixture to sugar and butter. Mix well.

Stir in 2 c pecan halves. Pour into an unbaked 9 inch pie shell. (I buy my

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 and continue to bake about 25 min more, until the pie is set.


You should let the pie rest until very cool so that it cuts into beautiful slices. I cannot wait that long, so the first few slices always crumble. Doesn’t matter to Terry and me. The pie still tastes very good.



7 responses to “Pecan pie

  1. Many years ago a high school friend who’d settled in rural Southern Georgia would send me several quart-sized Ziploc bags of pecans from the tree in her back yard for Christmas. The accompanying note always apologized that she didn’t have enough money for a ‘real’ present, but I really looked forward to getting them each year.

  2. Thanks for the recipe and nice to learn about your family and the pecan halves.

  3. Trader Joes has pecans for a reasonable price, but I don’t know offhand whether they are halves. That cake sounds very rich!

  4. I meant to write “pie” of course!

  5. Gosh, that sounds wonderful.

  6. My father came very late in life to pecan pie and made up for lost time every year he visited me. Your post brought back good memories 🙂
    I love family stories.


  7. Pingback: Rainy & cold Saturday | Dkzody's Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s