Recipe Origins: PECAN pie dessert

Origins of the PECAN PIE

Ahh...the wonderfully decadent Pecan Pie. 
Over many decades, recipes have been baked from the classic books of:
the Joy of Cooking,
Fannie Farmer Cookbook,
and the Canadian Cuisine cookbook...
just to mention a few...and far from an exhaustive list.
Of course, as far as I was concerned my Mommy made the best...
Pecan Pie ever until I started baking my own concoctions...sorry Mom.

Usually every Autumn towards the Winter months...
I begin sorting through my pile of recipe notes and bookshelf.
Excitedly, I get up and at it once more to start baking up my comfort sweets.

So here's more on one of my favourite DESSERTS...
which has been cherished by most North Americans.

I am not going to tell you that I have re-invented this classic.
However, I am going to share with you my transformed version.
To start with...it has a base crust made from Graham cookie crumbs.
Why not use the good'ole pastry pie shell?
Well, in truth, I still have not mastered the
non-vegetable shortening (trans fats be gone!) version of a flaky pie crust.
I am still frustratingly experimenting.
As soon as I find that magical formula...I promise to share it with you.
For now, I very much enjoy my organic cookies.
A ' Pate Brisée ' crust also lends itself very well.

Another interesting aspect was to balance out alternative
sweet ingredients in order to eliminate at least the corn syrup.

If I could help it...for obvious reasons...I would avoid the Queen of high fructose.
I guess I cannot avoid voicing my opinion on this one.
Well, until a palatable 'magic sugar alternative'  comes along...
I'll be stuck using it once in a while for certain recipes.
Ultimately, we all have personal choices to make.

I For the pecan pie, I finally managed to get the flavours and textures to...
cooperate and resulted into one very wonderful dessert.

Here is sharing what I found out
about our North American Classic.

. Natives from New Orleans, U.S.A. originally introduced the Pecan nut to the French settlers.    The French then used this flavourful nut to create the wonderfully rich Pecan Pie.
. It seems that there hasn't been a book published recipe for this pie anytime before the 1940s.
. What is still debatable is who really made the first Pecan pie?  Was it the French...the  Southern Americans or was it purely commercially fueled by the 'KARO' corn syrup brand??? We may never get a clear answer on this one. What is clear...is that it has become a North American dessert 'Classic'.

Here is a more complete excerpt from the very talented
informed Librarian who put together www.FoodTimeline.org

Food historians ...generally agree pecan pie is a twentieth century invention inspired by traditional sugar pies and sweet nut confections. It is a favorite of the American south, as are pralines and other pecan flavored foods.
"As a good daughter of the South practically weaned on pecan pie, I had always assumed that it dated back to Colonial days. Apparently not. Still, I find it difficult to believe that some good plantation cook didn't stir pecans into her syrup pie or brown sugar pie. Alas, there are not records to prove it. In fact, I could if no cookbooks printing pecan pie recipes before the early twentieth century. And only in the 1940s did "Fannie" and "Joy" begin offering recipes for it. In Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History (1987)...John Egerton writes: "We have heard the claim that Louisianans were eating pecan candies before 1800, and with sugar and syrup produced from cane at that time, it is conceivable that they were eating pecan pies, too, but there are no recipes or other bits of evidence to prove it."...If ‘ Karo’ did not originate pecan pie, it certainly popularized the recipe as a rifle through twentieth-century cookbooks large and small quickly suggests. Nearly all pecan pie recipes call for Karo corn syrup.

The only clue to earlier origins for pecan pie that I've been able to unearth is this syrup pie recipe published in From North Carolina Kitchens, Favorite Recipes Old and New published in 1953 by the North Carolina Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 384)

Other Printings - in Newspapers:
Late 19th century newspapers (mostly from Texas) offer pecan pie recipes.
Suggesting? The genesis might belong to German settlers recreating ‘ NussTorte ’ in the Lone Star state.
--- [March 24,1914] "Texas Pecan Pie"
Recipe: Cook together one cup of sweet milk, one cupful of sugar, three well beaten eggs, one tablespoonful of flour and one half cupful of finely chopped pecan meats. Line a pie tin with rich crust, fill with the mixture and bake until done. Whip the whites of two eggs with two tablespoonfuls of sugar until stiff, spread over the top of the pie and brown slightly in the oven, sprinkling a few chopped nuts over the top."

Again, as usual, I was very pleased to know
just enough to appreciate this dessert even more.

I think that should do it.
If you’ve had enough history for now ... let’s get baking.

Flavourful and delicious wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com