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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pie chocked full of nuts...pecans, none the less!

How sweet is your sweet tooth? Do you like pie? How about nuts? What about a sweet pie chocked full of nuts...pecans, none the less? This pie is soulfully Southern but of course, not limited just to the South. 

July 12 is...

While pecan pie is considered a specialty of the Southern United States, as  pray-leen, praw-line or prah-lean and other pee-CAN' or 'puh-CAHN infused foods, it has become a holiday tradition nationwide but can be served and enjoyed any time of the year. 

A Bit of Pecan Pie History...
The history or exact birthday of pecan pie has become quite a challenge. Check out Abe Lincoln and Pecan Pie! While Lincoln may well have eaten pecan pies, there are concerns with published reports since all of them occurred about a century after he was President of the United States. Not a single document has been uncovered providing proof that such pies existed during his time. As for recipes, late 19th century newspapers offer pecan pie recipes, some with a Texas connection. German settlers might have been recreating nusstorte, a traditional sweet, caramelized nut-filled pastry, in the Lone Star state.
The reported earlier pies were made with molasses until the introduction of corn syrup made by the Karo company.
As a good daughter of the South practically weaned on pecan pie, I had always assumed that it dated back to Colonial days. Apparently not. Still, I find it difficult to believe that some good plantation cook didn't stir pecans into her syrup pie or brown sugar pie. Alas, there are not records to prove it. In fact, I could if no cookbooks printing pecan pie recipes before the early twentieth century. And only in the 1940s did "Fannie" and "Joy" begin offering recipes for it. In Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History (1987)...John Egerton writes: "We have heard the claim that Louisianans were eating pecan candies before 1800, and with sugar and syrup produced from cane at that time, it is conceivable theat they were eating pecan pies, too, but there are no recipes or other bits of evidence to prove it."...If Karo did not originate pecan pie, it certainly popularized the recipe as a rifle through twentieth-century cookbooks large and small quickly suggests. Nearly all pecan pie recipes call for Karo corn syrup." ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 384) Retrieved from Pecan Pie
It appears the pecan pie originated long before the Karo company, so here is a recipe with maple syrup and molasses. Maybe this is the Northern Pecan Pie. After all where do you find the best maple syrup?

Maple Pecan Pie Recipe
An account from 1886:

Pecan Pie is not only delicious, but is capable of being made a 'real state pie,' as an enthusiastic admirer said. The pecans must be very carefully hulled, and the meat thoroughly freed from any bark or husk. When ready, throw the nuts into boiling milk, and let them boil while you are preparing a rich custard. Have your pie plates lined with a good pastry, and when the custard is ready, strain the milk from the nuts and add them to the custard. A meringue may be added, if liked, but very careful baking is necessary." ---"Pecan Pie," Harper's Bazaar, February 6, 1886 (p. 95)
To enjoy a truly delicious pecan pie does not demand a visit to the local bakery or dining out at an exquisite restaurant. What is truly outstanding about this pie is the fact it is so EASY to make whether northern or southern!!

There are numerous variations, Pecan Pie Minis, Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites, Pecan Tarts, Vegan Pecan Pie, Rustic Ramekin Pecan Pies, Upside Down Apple Pecan Pie, Pecan Pie Muffins, Pecan Pie Cake but the most unique and simplest is the...

 Crockpot Pecan Pie

I made this one & it turned out delightfully de-e-e-e-licious!
  1 uncooked pie crust (Classic is best!)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar 
2/3 cup dark (or light) Karo syrup 
1 cup pecans, broken up 
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon double-strength vanilla

Step 1: Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Step 2: Place uncooked pie crust in the slow cooker pressing 1/2 inch up the sides.
Step 3*: In a medium-mixing bowl, stir the remaining ingredients until well mixed.
Step 4: Pour on top of the pie crust.
Step Five: Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.

*Need a chocolate fix? Just toss in a nice handful of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips into the mix.

 Want to 'bee' different in yet another way?

 Honey Pecan Pie Recipe

How about totally WOWING your family, friends, office workers or guests by combining two of the most decadent desserts possible into one?

Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe

Is your mouth watering yet? Oh, yeah!

  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!