Pecan vs. Pumpkin

Two Thanksgiving Pies Face-Off and Combine for a Winner


Pumpkin pie was not served at the first Thanksgiving because early settlers had no ovens for baking.

The first “modern” pumpkin pie recipe was published in 1796 by Amelia Simmons in American Cookery, the first known cookbook of the Americas.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, 95 percent of the U.S. crop intended for processing is grown in Illinois.

In 1929, Libby’s canned pumpkin was introduced to the United States. Libby’s is not actually pumpkin, but instead is a Dickinson squash that also has orange flesh.

By the slice:

316 calories*

Total fat, 14 grams*

Protein, 7 grams *

Sugar, 21 grams*


The name pecan is derived from the French word pacane, which is taken from the Algonquian word for “nut.”

Pecan trees are native to North America and over 80 percent of the world’s pecan crop comes from the United States. The pecan capital of the world is Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees.

The earliest printed pecan recipes began popping up in Texas cookbooks in the 1870s and 1880s.

Pecan pie surged in popularity during the mid-1920s when the manufacturer of Karo syrup began printing a recipe for pecan pie on cans of the product, as James McWilliams noted in The Pecan: A History of America's Native Nut (which explains the use of Karo syrup in traditional recipes).

By the slice:

502 calories*

Total fat, 27 grams*

Protein, 4.3 grams*

Sugar, 32 grams*

*Nutritional information from CalorieKing.com

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Pastry for single 9-inch pie crust

Pumpkin Filling

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (see below)

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: Combine 4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, ½ tsp. allspice, ½ tsp. nutmeg, ½ tsp. cloves. Use 1 ½ tsp. of the mixture for this recipe and store the rest in a sealed container.

Pecan Filling

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbs. butter, melted

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, beat pumpkin filling ingredients with a whisk until blended. Pour filling into prepared crust. In another medium bowl, beat all pecan filling ingredients except pecans with whisk until blended. Carefully spoon mixture over pumpkin layer. Top with pecans.

Bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack. Store covered in refrigerator.

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