Somebody Help This Poor Girl: Recipe for “Real Texas” Pecan Pie

She’s not from Texas and wants to impress her husband’s family.

Hi! I need some advice on what makes a pecan pie a real Texas pie. I’m from Newark and I married a Dallas boy. This is my first Christmas cooking for his family. They are fifth generation Texans. Feeling the pressure. Also do you say pecaaan with a long a or pecown?

Good lord, woman. You sure ask a lot of questions for a gal from New Jersey. Hit her, I mean it, y’all.


  • Chris

    This is the recipe I have been using for the past several years, and it is awesome. According to Dean Fearing, this was the winning recipe at the 1996 State Fair of Texas pie contest. That’s pretty Texas bona fide.

  • LJT

    Just use the Karo syrup recipe – dark of course

  • HB

    My family makes one with chopped pecans (in lieu of the halves) and heavy cream added to the filling, and meringue on top. Granted we’re not from Texas originally, but it sure is yummy. What I like is that the pecans don’t separate from the “goo”… not sure if it’s the cream that does it or not, but either way it works.
    I know it’s not “real Texas” pecan pie, but thought I’d throw it into the mix.

  • Bobby Ewing

    I would be more concerned about my crust.
    On pronunciation, is she suggesting that “pecan” can be pronounced with a long “a” as in “pih-cayn” or “pee-cane”? Well, I’ve heard everything now. Put me down as a “puh-cahn” with hard emphasis on second syllable.
    Proud Fifth Generation Texan

  • Bobby Ewing

    Whoah, Whoah, Whoah HB.
    That’s Texas pecan pie heresy.
    What’s next, creamy pecan pie artisanal free-range sliders?
    What makes a pecan pie a Texan pecan pie is the simplicity of the ingredients.

  • Jamie

    I’m a Jersey girl who married a Texas boy, too. Must be something about that pairing that works! I always make holiday pecan pies for my in-laws, and they really prefer the light corn syrup. Texas Monthly recently ran a recipe that comes out great. You need a subscription, but I highly recommend getting one – it’s been useful to this Yankee!

  • RD

    LJT is correct, use the Karo syrup receipe. Use 1/2 dark and 1/2 light, roll out pillsbury crust, 8″ glass pie pan, if you can find one. 9″ is little large for the roll out dough, but will work. Lightly butter pan, with butter stick and cover with flour. Fresh puh-cahns, is very important, largely chopped. Go to the Farmers Market for puh-cahns. Comb them over, no matter how pretty your pie looks, biting on a shell, ruins it. I’m not too fond, how pretty the pie looks, as how good it taste. I’ve been baking this pie for over 15 yrs, can’t go wrong.

  • B

    Just get a Goode Company Pecan Pie. They really are the best pecan pies:

  • Amy S

    @Bobby Ewing – Actually the oldest Texas cookbooks include cream in the pecan pie recipes. I’ve found one from pre-1920’s Texas that also was topped with meringue.

    The modern pecan pie using Karo syrup was popularized in the early 1930’s, the Chicago manufacturer’s of Karo published a popular free cook book that accompanied the purchase of the newly bottled (previously it was sold in tins) Karo. However similar pecan pie recipes using “corn syrup” are in Texas cook books as early as the 1920’s.

    I believe it’s completely possible this popular Southern pie made it’s way north via cooking instructor Ida Chitwood, who conducted free cooking demonstrations from Dallas to Chicago during the mid-late 1920’s and early 1930’s. She was an early pioneer of food in Texas. Nancy and I wrote about her story a few months ago: