- 3 cups chopped or whole pecans
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup dark corn syrup
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup bourbon (add only if you’re feeling extra Southern)
- Deep-dish pie shell
About this recipe
Pecan pie is a Southern holiday favorite. I love making my pie with pecans I pick with my dad. Each year, we take a familiar journey to McIntyre Air Force Base located right outside of Columbia. In the middle of the base, there is a grove of pecan trees that are decades old. These hidden jewels bear the sweetest, most tender pecans. The urge to eat those pecans while I’m picking is so hard to resist. The best part of this tradition is the time I get to spend with my dad. As he rolls his handmade pecan grabber across the ground, he shares stories of his childhood on the farm or his days in the military. After gathering several gallons, he divides them into three piles: one for shelling and baking, one to mail to my sister in the Midwest so she can have a taste of home and one for old-fashioned nut cracking and snacking during the holiday. These are memories I will always cherish.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt. (If you have elected to use bourbon, add it now.)
Pour pecan mixture into pie shell and place in oven.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until set.
Remove from oven onto wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.