Hang onto your spurs for this Southern delight. If you ever want to woo your very own Redneck Romeo, this’ll do the gosh darn trick.
Even though I was born in the Pacific Northwest and have lived in many states, I’ve spent a majority of my life residing in Texas, which is the largest producer of native pecans, second only to the state of Georgia. The meat of the pecan is a prized cuisine here. In fact, former Texas Governor James “Big Jim” Hogg (March 24, 1851 – March 3, 1906) loved pecans so much, that he requested one be planted at his gravesite. Also, Gov. Big Jim Hogg, named his daughter, “Ima.” Get it? Ima Hogg. True story!
Not long thereafter, the pecan became the Texas state tree in 1919, and to this day, many festivals encompass this beloved nut. I’m not talking about myself. I know that I’m a beloved nut, but I was referring to the actual pecan.
A mature pecan tree can grow up to over 150 feet tall, with trunks more than 3 feet in diameter. That’s one big hunkin’ tree and that’s a mess load of pecans!
Pick any road in Texas and sure enough, you’re bound to happen upon acres and acres of pecan trees. Just look for the squirrels and you’ll know you’ve found a grove. Seriously. There are some fat ass squirrels here.
While many southerners make a habit of shelling the nuts and eating them out of their hand, there is also another favorite ’round these parts:
The Southern Pecan Pie
Can you hear the angels singing? I can.
Pecan Pie recipes are prized possessions and usually handed down from generation to generation. Well guess what? I consider y’all family, so I’mma gonna share!
I will warn you, that this recipe is not too easy. You have to follow the directions word-for-word. DO NOT skimp on ingredients, time, or arm muscle!
Here we go:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (you can make your own if you like)
- Heat over to 350 degrees F
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 6 minutes; stirring constantly, and I mean, CONSTANTLY! (your arms will get a good workout!). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Once mixture has completely cooled, add eggs. Mix until well blended. (If your mixture is not cool, it'll cook the eggs, which is a no-no!).
- Place pecans in the pie shell. Pour sugar mixture over pecans.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Again, let pie cool to room temperature before serving.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Yum!