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At least 20 or more years ago, I was with my late sister-in-law Nancy and we were talking about pecan pie, of all things. Both Nancy and my husband loved pecan pie and it was one type of dessert I never made. I prefer either chocolate or fruit pies, but I was intrigued. Nancy told me her childhood neighbor’s housekeeper Olive in Waterloo Iowa – now, that is a mouthful – made the very, very best pecan pie. She proceeded to call her friend Janie, who just happened to have Olive’s pecan pie recipe.
This is one of those desserts that isn’t healthful in any sense of the word. However, it is really good and old school – think dark Karo syrup – gasp! I didn’t change a thing other than I baked the empty crust for a little bit so the filling wouldn’t make it as soggy, and I toasted the pecans because, well, TOASTED PECANS. Dollop some fresh whipping cream on top and you will have yourself a pretty darned good dessert.
My daughter in law Shira loves pecan pie and pumpkin pie, too, and this Thanksgiving when their family came and stayed with us before driving to Kal’s cabin, I had both a pumpkin and a pecan pie waiting for her. She is beyond wonderful to me, and she was happy to have HER special Thanksgiving pies too.
Olive’s Pecan Pie
For a 9” single pie crust, I roll out the crust and place in a 9-inch glass pie plate, prick it all over with the tins of a fork and bake it with pie weights for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I then remove the pie weights and cool the crust at least 12 minutes and then proceed with the filling. You can find one of my favorite pie crust recipes in this blog post from way back when.
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅓ cup melted salted butter
- 1 cup dark corn syrup (Karo)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Heaping 2 cups of previously toasted pecans, cooled to room temperature. I leave the halves alone because my family likes chunky textures, but you could chop them if you wish.
Beat and combine the first four filling ingredients. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes then cool 10 minutes. Next, add eggs a bit at a time and finally the vanilla.
Fill a partially baked (see above) single 9-inch pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until edges puff and center is a little jiggly. Serve warmish and store the remainder in the refrigerator.