I’ve got several recipes for pecan pie, and this year, tried one from James Villas, a good old Southern cook, who was writing in Southern Food. It was fine, but I still prefer the one from my late husband’s aunt, Bebe. She’s from the Mobile area (Grand Bay, Ala.), where pecan trees used to outnumber the people – might still. Another thing I love about the South.
While the Norris family used to own a pecan grove, they sold it years ago. To give us our pecan fix, however, Bebe would ship for Christmas every year several pounds of nuts from the Thames Pecan Co. on Broad Street, where they are available shelled, unshelled, in pieces and halves. I would bake all year from the 5-pound bag she’d send.
Most people like the looks of halves for pie; but I know that you get more pecans in the pie if you used chopped ones. More pecans, less gooey stuff, perfectly flaky crust: My idea of bliss on a fork.
Bebe’s Pecan Pie
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup (light, preferred)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup or more broken pecans
1 10-inch unbaked pie crust
Mix all ingredients except nuts in a large mixing bowl till combined. Stir in nuts; pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until pie cracks slightly in oven; it will settle upon sitting. Note: If pecans and pie crust edges look as though they are browning too much, place a piece of foil over pie plate lightly — do not seal. Continue to bake until done.
Refrigerate all leftovers.
Pie freezes well.