Pecan pie

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For the film, see Pecan Pie (film).
Pecan Pie
Pecan pie, November 2010.jpg
Course Dessert
Place of origin United States
Main ingredients Pecan and corn syrup
Food energy
(per serving)
503 cal kcal
Cookbook: Pecan Pie  Media: Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a pie made primarily with corn syrup and pecan nuts.[1] Variations may include white or brown sugar, sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or honey.[1] It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavorings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe.[2] Pecan pie is often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Claims have been made of the dish existing in the early 1800s in Alabama, but this does not appear to be backed up by recipes or literature.[3] Attempts to trace the dish's origin have not found any recipes dated earlier than 1886,[4] [5] and well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert before 1940.[4] The earliest recorded recipes produce a boiled custard with pecans added, which is then baked in a pie crust.[4]

Some have stated that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, after being introduced to the pecan nut by Native Americans.[citation needed] Pecan pie may be a variant of chess pie, which is made with a similar butter-sugar-egg custard.[6]

The makers of Karo syrup significantly contributed to popularizing the dish[1] and many of the recipes for variants (caramel, cinnamon, Irish creme, peanut butter, etc.) of the classic pie. The company has claimed that the dish was a 1930s "discovery" of a "new use for corn syrup" by a corporate sales executive's wife.[7]

Cultural context[edit]

A slice of pecan pie.

Pecan pie is often mentioned in American literature (and television) as associated with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special occasions; for example:

Dooley handed them a basket stuffed with fruit, nuts, candy, a tinned ham, and a pecan pie. "Merry Christmas!" he said.

— Jan Karon, A Light in the Window[8]

The only kitchen item I usually bring to Italy is plastic wrap... This time, however, I have brought one bag of Georgia pecans and a can of cane syrup, pecan pie being a necessary ingredient of Christmas.

— Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun[9]

Pecan pie is a staple of the Southern U.S., and is often used in literary context as a symbol of the South; for example:

Beneath the shade of a Georgia pine
And that's home you know
Sweet tea, pecan pie and homemade wine
Where the peaches grow

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Griffith, Linda; Griffith, Fred (2003). Nuts: Recipes from Around the World That Feature Nature's Perfect Ingredient. Macmillan. p. 294. ISBN 0312266243
  2. ^ The FOURnet Information Network. "Bourbon Pecan Pie - Recipes -". 
  3. ^ Rick Mcdaniel (photographer); (et al.) (2011). An Irresistible History of Southern Food: Four Centuries of Black-eyed Peas, Collard Greens & Whole Hog Barbecue. The History Press. p. 215. ISBN 1609491939
  4. ^ a b c Lynne Olver. "Food Timeline: history notes-pie & pastry". 
  5. ^ Ladies' home journal, Volume 15 By Louisa Knapp, Edward William Bok
  6. ^ [Joy of Cooking: All About Pies & Tarts,Irma von Starkloff Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker; p93]
  7. ^ "History of Karo". Karo. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jan Karon, A Light in the Window (The Mitford Years). 1996; Penguin; ISBN 0-14-025454-4
  9. ^ Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun. 1997; Broadway; ISBN 0-7679-0038-3
  10. ^ "Zac Brown Band - Chicken Fried Lyrics". SongLyrics. 

External links[edit]