[Sca-cooks] Sugar free pecan pie recipe

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Nov 19 05:39:20 PST 2009

> <<< Pecan pie seems to be another fusion dish or Old and New World
> ingredients. Is there anything close from period? Or is that too much
> sugar even for the Elizabethans?
> Stefan >>>
> <<< Pecan pie is a creation of the U.S. of A.  The native range of  pecan 
> trees
> is primarily within the boundries of the U.S.  I've been looking, but I
> haven't found a recipe earlier than the 20th Century.  The closest thing
> I've found is a recipe for molasses pie (no nuts involved) from a 
> cookbook
> published in 1879.
> Bear >>>
> I wasn't really thinking of the pecans. They can, and were, an easy 
> substitute for European nuts. There was a French candy that was  similar 
> to pralines, but used a different nut. Pecans were one of the  changes 
> that was made here.
> I was thinking more of the texture/custard-y filling since I was  putting 
> pecan pie, chess pies, custard pies together. I think there  were some 
> period custard-like pies.
> But your comments on molasses makes sense. From previous discussions 
> here, molasses really didn't show up in Europe until after the price  of 
> sugar had plummeted. Much more profitable to ship back the sugar  than the 
> waste product.  In our discussion of sugars and honeys I'd  forgotten that 
> molasses is often an ingredient to these pies.  I  wonder what the 
> earliest non-native American uses of pecans was.  Perhaps just eaten out 
> of the shell.
> Stefan

The earliest reference to pecan pie I've been able to locate thus far is 
from an Austin newspaper dated 1886.  Most of the early references I've 
found come from Texas, roughly in the time frame and locale of the large 
German influx into the state, so you might check for earlier nut pies in 
German or Central European cookbooks.  The 1879 cookbook I referenced is 
from Virginia, which had cultivated pecans by then, but apparently was not 
putting them into pies.

The earliest reference I can find to pecans is 16th Century and from some of 
the secondary information it appears the Algonquins were using them in a 
number of ways including a praline-like confection.


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