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Thanksgiving Recipes: Dinah Shore’s Lethal Pecan Pie

November 25th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Editor’s note: Readers, I’m asking for your recipes now through the winter holidays. Send them to me by clicking on “Contact” above, and emailing them to me. We’ll print many of these, and maybe send you a cookbook as a reward!

A Gracious Southerner Made a Fabulous Pie

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore

The ever stylish Dinah Shore, well known singer, actress, golfer, philantropist, among other titles — hailed from Tennessee. She was by most accounts a fabulous cook and gracious hostess. I came across this recipe for her pecan pie, and found it’s quite close to the one my family prefers.

Pecan pies are a Southern staple at Thanksgiving; more on that later, with a story from Truman Capote.

Dinah Shore’s Lethal Pecan Pie

  • 1-1/4 cups dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups broken or coarsley chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup and sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow mixture to boil for two to three minutes; remove from heat and stir in butter.

In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs well. Continue to beat while slowly adding boiled syrup mixture. Stir in vanilla, pecans and salt.

To prevent spilling, pour only half of mixture into unbaked pie shell; place on baking sheet in center rack of oven. Pour in remaining mixture and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling has set.

Note: You may need to wrap crust edges in foil to prevent burning before pie is done.

Remove, cool to room temperature and chill well before slicing.

Makes one 9-inch pie.

This pie freezes well. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Tags: Holiday cooking · Southern Roots Run Deep

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shirley // Nov 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Cuisinart used to put out a great magazine called “Pleasures of Cooking”, and this recipe was published in the Sept/Oct 1981 issue, but it called for only 1-1/2 cups of broken pecans. I tried to make this for Thanksgiving, but even with the smaller amount of pecans, there was WAY too much filling for a 9″ pie pan, and while I believe it would have been absolutely delicious in a deep-dish 10″ pan, the results using the 9″ were disastrous. Maybe “large” eggs were smaller when Dinah wrote her book, but just be forewarned — it just doesn’t work as is!

  • 2 Jan Norris // Nov 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Hmm… Not sure what may have happened, Shirley, but I made this pie in a 9-inch pie shell – it was, however, a deep-dish 9-inch pan. Worked perfectly for me and no wasted filling.
    I used the 2.5 cups called for as above.
    Did you cook down the syrup slightly as indicated?

  • 3 Leanne // Dec 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I can’t believe I finally found this recipe. My mom made it for years and before she died made sure I knew how to make it. No other pecan pie is like this. Mom said that DS said it was the way you cooked the syrup and added the egg mix. Now, the way mom taught me to add the eggs is not the way it says here. My recipe ends up making 2 regular size pies. My mom recommended not using deep dish. After trying it anyway I agree. It’s much better with the regular size pie shell.
    Thanks for posting this.

  • 4 Darla // Nov 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    This is a fabulous pie and I have made it over the holidays receiving rave reviews!

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