[Sca-cooks] History -- pecan pie recipe

Laura C. Minnick lcm at jeffnet.org
Thu Nov 19 07:30:28 PST 2009

Johnna Holloway wrote:
> Andrew Smith says anyway
> "Pecan pie is a very popular, and, unlike apple pie, a truly 
> all-American dessert."
> In Southern Food: At Home, On the Road, In History, John and Ann 
> Egerton note pecan pie starts becoming common only after Karo syrup 
> comes along and that is 1902-1903. The 1901 Picayune Creole Cook Book 
> includes a molasses pie but they don't add pecans to it.
> Karo syrup was very popular. Here's a recipe from 1916.
> Karo Syrup Pie
> Cup sugar, one tablespoon melted butter, two tablespoons flour, cup 
> milk, cup Karo cyrup, two eggs, beaten yolks. Flavor with vanilla or 
> nutmeg.
> orig, 1916 repub. in 2007 as Echos of Southern Kitchens (Cooking in 
> America)
> -------
> There's a 1910 Karo Cook Book but I've read reports that it doesn't 
> have a pecan pie in it. The second edition is listed as being at the 
> University of Iowa, 46 pages and it's not up on Google Book.
> I think they published this one first Corn Products Cook Book
>  By Emma Churchman Hewitt and then retitled it as the Karo Cook Book 
> for the second printing
> with more of an emphasis on Karo syrup.
> The Corn Products Cook Book is available in a 2009 facsimile and can 
> be seen on Google Books.
> Karo published a recipe for pecan pie in the 1930's that became very 
> popular. It may be in this 1937 volume titled
> 49 delightful ways to enjoy Karo, America's favorite table syrup  By 
> Corn Products Sales Co.
> ---------
> The Karo Syrup website says: 1930's
> The wife of corporate sales executive discovers a new use for corn 
> syrup. A mixture of corn syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla and pecans baked 
> in a pie shell produces the now classic Pecan Pie-destined to become a 
> world class favorite. Down South, today, that same recipe continues to 
> be called Karo Pie.
> ---------------
> The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, volume 7 is titled Foodways 
> and is edited by John Edge says the recipes begin to appear in great 
> abundance in southern cookbooks only in the 1940's.
> -------
> OED says pecan pie n.
> 1886 Harper's Bazaar 6 Feb. 95/4 *Pecan pie... The pecans must be very 
> carefully hulled, and the meat thoroughly freed from any bark or husk 
> [etc.]. 1901 T. P. MARSHALL Lone Star Cook Bk. 49 Texas Pecan Pie. 1 
> cup sugar, 1 cup sweet milk, 1-2 cup chopped pecans, 3 eggs, 1 tb. 
> flour. Bake and spread meringue on top. 1936  Boston Cooking-School 
> Cook Bk. (new ed.) Fanny Farmer.  633 Pecan Pie... 3 eggs... 1 cup 
> light corn syrup... 1 cup finely chopped pecans.
> So that 1886 mention and that 1901 reference are earlier than Karo 
> Syrup. Now the Lone Star Cook Book from 1901 is also out in a 
> facsimile. It's up for viewing on Google Books, so here's the recipe:
> Texas Pecan Pie
> I cup sugar, 1 cup sweet milk, 1-2 cup chopped pecans, 3 eggs, 1 tb. 
> flour. Bake and serve with meringue on top. page 49
> Look to me like the syrup goes in for the sweet milk.
> John Thorne has a chapter on pecan pies in his book Outlaw Cook but my 
> copy seems buried at the moment.
> Hope this helps
> Johnnae
Johnnae, just reading that makes my teeth ache. We eat/ate that? 
Voluntarily? Without barfing? Over 12 years old?

Makes me want to drink water. Lots and lots of water...


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