Our Thanksgiving is not complete without a pecan pie.  It’s just a rule or something…we have pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  Even if it’s just the three of us with no other family members attending.  We have a dessert table that usually goes untouched until hours after the meal or until the next day because, let’s face it, the meal usually leaves no room for dessert…pity, right?  This is one I make ahead and freeze to cut down on the cooking frenzy leading up to the feast.  This is an old family recipe handed down from my husband’s grandmother.  His “Nanny”, Lucy,  is over 100 years old, and she’s still doing well!  Side note…his other grandmother was named Ethel…so yes, his grandmothers were Lucy and Ethel!  Could only happen in this family!  Anyway…I’ve never known anyone personally who was 100…much less someone who is as active and engaged as she continues to be.  She has a number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren…one of which, of course, is my son.  Occasionally, she will invite us for a Saturday morning breakfast at her retirement community, and he always looks forward to that.  She’s quite a character, and we certainly enjoy our visits with her.   I feel fortunate that when I joined the family nearly 23 years ago, I was included in the “circle of trust,” and this gem was passed on to me.  I don’t think a year has gone by that it hasn’t been a part of our celebration.  There were many years after we were married, that Nanny would bake up a bunch of pies, and we were the lucky recipients of one!   Anyway, I hope it becomes a special part of your family celebration too!

This is how we know it’s Thanksgiving…


Into the fridge to wait their turn…


Sugar, syrup, eggs, vanilla and butter…oh my!


In goes the filling…


Into the oven…


Pie oh pie!…


Betcha can’t resist this!



  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped plus 1/2 cup halves to sprinkle on top
  • 1 tsp vanilla, plus 1/2 teaspoon almond flavor (optional if you like that amaretto flavor)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • pie crust


Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare your crust.  Ok…so you can make your own crust fairly easily, but I usually don’t.  The crust has never been my favorite part of a pie anyway, so I’m not motivated to bother.  Either use the prepared dough or the pre made crust.  Then, break pecan halves into quarters to make one cup.  I suppose you could just get chopped pecans instead of halves, but this is the way it’s been done for decades…so I’m not messing with the process! LOL!  Place the broken pecans in the bottom of the crust.  Leave in the fridge while you prepare the filling.  Melt the butter carefully in microwave (it will splatter) or on top of stove in saucepan.  Beat eggs in a bowl, add sugar, syrup, a pinch of salt and vanilla.  Add butter and continue stirring. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour the mixture over the nuts.  Do not stir.  Bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.   And, a pie shield or foil might be needed to cover the crust and/or the pie if it starts to get too brown before it’s completely set.   Nuts will rise to the top and form a crust.  Cool completely on a baking rack.  Enjoy right away, or wrap and freeze for the special occasion.