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From Grove to Table

Aunt Dorothy's Pecan Pie

We are in the Mississippi Delta gathering pecans and baking pies with Chef Jennifer McCullough, a devotee of Southern food. Her signature  dishes combine quality seafood with fresh vegetables and a delicate selection of herbs to create flavorful, delicious appetizers and meals for any occasion. But today, Chef Jenn is preparing the most Southern of desserts. From scenic pecan groves to holiday tables, this seasonal staple concludes many a celebration in the River City region. Key ingredients: A few pecans mixed with a dash of tradition and a taste for simple pleasures. Compliments of Chef Jenn, here is her family’s favorite pecan pie recipe.


1/3 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup white syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups pecans halves

1 9-inch pie crust


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, brown sugar, and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix eggs, syrup, vanilla, and butter.

Gradually add the egg mixture to dry ingredients and beat until frothy. 

Fold in pecans into the mixture.

Pour into uncooked pie shell. 

Place on middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or until the filling is set.


The pie is ready when a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. This recipe makes enough filling for a shallow, 9-inch pie plate. If you prefer a deep-dish, 9-inch pie, add 1/2 of each ingredient to the recipe. Store-bought pie shells are a good, time-saving option. If you make a homemade pie crust, remember to keep ingredients and even the cooking tools and pie plate chilled to minimize the development of gluten in the flour. Overworking the dough also encourages gluten and toughens the dough. After gently molding the crust into your pie plate don't forget to prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to prevent air bubbles.  

If you would like to add signature style to your pie, create a decorative edge on the rim of your crust with a knife or fork, or reserve some of the pecans from your mixture to place in an elegant design on top of the pie just before placing in the oven.

Happy Holidays!