Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Pecan Pie Problem

Posted November 21, 2007

What would a Carolina Thanksgiving be without it? Pecan pie. Oh, do I ever love it!

Smells great. Looks fine. Can’t wait to dig in. But it’s a bit mushy in the middle. It’s the perennial pecan pie problem. Sure, just leave it in the oven a little longer. Sorry, but the crust can’t take any more heat. Sound familiar?

Well, I reach out for help today. Could you please point me in the direction of a surefire pecan pie recipe? I will be forever grateful.

Now a few other questions as we prepare for the big feast.

What kind of dressing will you serve this year? Elizabeth Gardner insists there would be a family revolt if anyone tampered with the revered recipe for oyster dressing or stuffing.  What about your situation?

If you had to go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving where would you go? I assume most of you would prefer eating at home with family.   Please, no compressed turkey from a can!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

And what are you thankful for this year?

Some food for thought.


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  • msncdso Nov 25, 2007

    Bill, I've used Mama Dip's recipe since she was on Good Morning America and it hasn't fail so far. I used King syrup because that's what had on hand at the time and it worked so well I continue to use it.

  • thefensk Nov 25, 2007

    But we like the extra pecans. Good advice on the eggs though.

    Forgot about traditions. Our traditions are all about family recipes that have been used for many years. We've added one or two over the years but we keep the menu pretty much the same.

    One newer traditions I brought into the family when I started doing most of the cooking was the bacon-baste of the turkey. I forget where I got that, from a newspaper article in the 70s I think. Prepare the turkey as you normally would, then just drape your bird with bacon, put a foil tent over it for about 3/4 of the cooking time. The bacon bastes the bird then gets crisp. It used to be my secret ... munching on that turkey flavored bacon after the turkey comes out, but now we fight over it. The gravy is always fantastic, but you HAVE to use a gravy separator.

  • oldrebel Nov 24, 2007

    Only problem I can imagine with pecan pie is being next in line, when the person in front of you got the last piece.

  • tammyreeves Nov 24, 2007

    If you are using the syrup receipes (this is for all using syrup), you don't have to use more pecans you're beating your eggs to long I also had running , my sister told me what I was doing wrong and then bamm the perfect pie ,then found another receipe made some adjustments to it now it's the talk of all the neighbors and co-workers I may send this to your Bill, as for the dressing just use Stove-top you can't go wrong

  • thefensk Nov 24, 2007

    That's one I generally use the recipe on the corn syrup bottle as a guideline ... like others I use more pecans than they call for. I do the same thing with Pumpkin Pie ... even though this year I was using fresh pumpkin, I used the Libby's can recipe as a guideline but I always use more spices, especially more cinnamon. One suggestion: if you don't have an oven thermometer use one ... maybe your oven gauge is off.

    On Dressing/Stuffing. No special recipe there. I just sort of wing it but I do use a broth made from the neck/giblets, and adding some of the cooked giblets, finely chopped is a must. That, and some chopped celery and onion, some added butter and spices and maybe a little more broth (chicken if you run out of turkey) to make it moist enough. Always good.

  • kaperry1 Nov 23, 2007

    This is the BEST pecan pie recipe ever!
    1/2 c butter
    1 c sugar
    1 c light corn syrup
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp salt
    9 inch pastry crust 1 1/4 c pecan halves

    Melt sugar, corn syrup and butter until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add remaning ingredients gradually. Place pecans in pie shell before pouring mixture into pie shell. Bake at 325* for approx 55 minutes. To insure crust NOT overbrowning cut a circle in the center of a square of aluminum foil and cover the pie dish so that the foil covers the crust but the pecans are visible. I use a cover for all of my pies for the crust and have never had any problems of underdone pies. BTW, you can pie crust covers in specialty stores but since I always have foil, I make my own.

  • Just Once Nov 23, 2007

    My daughters (17 and 12) solved this dilema. It seems there was miscommunication on the amount of pecans to use after I told them I normally use about 50% more pecans than the receipe calls for.

    Long story short...if you use enough pecans I guarantee there will be no soft spot in the middle...or anywhere else... :o)

  • cj Nov 23, 2007

    I don't have the perfect pecan pie but I use a brown sugar pie receipe and add the pecans. What makes the pie as "perfect" as it is? - my 9 year old granddaughter helps and loves cooking with grandma and hopefully making memories that will last her a life time.

    I remember cooking with both my grandmas and raking leaves with my granddaddy and then being allowed to jump in them before they were burned. Before he became sick there were only about 8 of us grandkids who were privileged enough to know what fun it was to use your imagination and be able to play with granddaddy before he forgot who we were.

  • cwing77 Nov 23, 2007

    THIS is THE BEST Pecan Pie recipe - My mother-in-law gave it to me shortly after I was married almost 26 years ago:

    This makes 2 deep dish pies. Go ahead and use frozen crusts...they won't burn in this recipe!

    Preheat oven to 375

    Beat together with mixer:

    6 eggs
    2/3 c. sugar
    2/3 tsp. salt
    2/3 c. butter, melted
    1.5 c. light corn syrup
    .5 c. dark corn syrup
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Mix in 2 cups whole pecans or use 2 c. chopped and pour into 2 deep dish pie shells

    Bake at 375 for 15 min., then turn oven down to 325 and continue baking 30 to 35 min.

    Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

  • TobyJoe Nov 22, 2007

    Bill, this is the most wonderful Pecan Pie recipe you'll ever bake. It came from a church cookbook I purchased from a co-worker. Recipe follows:

    6 T. butter (melted) 1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 c. sugar 3 large eggs
    1 c. Golden King Syrup 1 c. chopped pecans
    1 tsp. plain flour

    Beat eggs with spoon. Add melted margarine. Continue to mix. Add flour and sugar and mix slightly. Add vanilla, syrup and nuts. Stir and pour into pie crust. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour.

    ***You can double recipe and make three regular size pies. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.





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Bill Leslie