Christmas afternoons when I was little were spent at Grandma’s house. After dinner, the grownups would talk in the kitchen upstairs and the kids would play downstairs, eagerly listening for some aunt or uncle to yell “Kids—DESSERT!”
The spread always included two of mom’s pecan pies. I remembered this recently, when I found her “easy” recipe written in the margin of her 1983 cookbook, next to Betty Crocker’s less-easy one.
Pecans are native to the Southeast United States, and recipes for using them in pie first appeared in Texas cookbooks in the 1870s. Pecan pie’s popularity picked up in the 1920s, when Karo provided a recipe for it on cans of corn syrup (Mom’s recipe uses two kinds of corn syrup, dark and light).
It’s still a Southern dish by reputation (half of my maternal family tree is in Kentucky), but people from all over love it. See more pecan pie history here.
I’d “help” Mom make the pies. She had a pastry mat marked with concentric circles for rolling out pie crust, but I think she usually turned to Pillsbury. As for the filling, it couldn’t be easier: Just measure everything and stir it together. Chop the pecans if you like them chopped, leave them whole if you don’t. Then pour it into the crust and bake.
Mmmm, rich and sweet. See the pecan pie recipe (along with other desserts) here.
One nostalgic dish can bring back a lot of memories. What recipes do you recall enjoying with your family during the holiday season?
From egg nog to Scripture Cake, we at Family Tree Magazine are sharing those we remember—one every day in December—on our website.