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Pecan Pie

A newlywed friend of mine, cooking her own Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, wrote to her aunt for the "traditional family recipe" for pumpkin pie. The aunt sent her the label from a can of Libby's pumpkin. Our "traditional family recipe" for Pecan Pie comes to you direct from the label of the Karo corn syrup bottle. Of course, we do make a few adjustments and have a couple of secrets to make it even better.

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup corn syrup (dark or light)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups pecans, divided (half chopped, the rest in pecan halves)
9-inch unbaked pastry shell
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened to taste with confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs and sugar. Add melted butter, corn syrup and vanilla; beat. Add chopped pecans.

Pour into shell (in a pinch we've used Pillsbury refrigerated -- not frozen -- ready-to-bake pie crust.) Float the second cup of pecan halves on the filling. Place pie in center of oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Makes 8 servings.

Tip: To prevent overbrowning, make a "collar" of aluminum foil around the edge of the pie crust.

The Secret: The pecans on top of the pie rest on a bed of pecans in the filling -- more drama and to heck with the calories. The pie should be topped with real whipped cream. (Hey, it's only once a year.)

Suzanne Martinson, Food Editor

Thursday, November 18, 1999

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