Pecan Pie History: Why Is Pecan Pie So Famous?

Pecan Pie History: Why Is Pecan Pie So Famous?

Whether you're gathering with loved ones for the holidays or craving something sweet after a meal, a slice of pie is one of the best treats. With all of the variations in ingredients, pies are a go-to dessert for many with a sweet tooth. One of the best flavors you can enjoy is pecan pie, a deliciously warm and rich baked good.

Learn more about the origins of pecan pies, what ingredients make this treat so delicious and why pecan pie is so popular.

What Is Pecan Pie?

Pecan pie is a classic American sweet that showcases pecan nuts. The pecans mix with a decadent blend of butter, eggs and sugars and bake inside of a flaky and buttery pie crust. You can enjoy this treat as-is or in one of its many variations. Just thinking about this dessert can make you crave a slice instantly!

Where Does Pecan Pie Originate From?

Pecan pie originates from the southern United States. Pecans are grown in North America, which helps explain the pie's origin story.

Pecans were cultivated by Native Americans in areas of Illinois and Iowa. The nuts also grew along the Mississippi River and made their way to the Southern U.S. You can now find a majority of pecans in Georgia — today, this state is the primary commercial farmer of pecans in the U.S.

People can date back pecan pie recipes all the way back to the 1890s, with the first recipe resembling a pecan pie published in 1898 in St. Louis. Older recipes for pecan pie used sweeteners like molasses or dark sugar-based syrup since corn syrup wasn't yet invented. The creators of Karo syrup made a huge impact on this well-known dessert. They marketed their corn syrup as a prominent ingredient in pecan pie — claiming that they were the originators of pecan pie.

While there are numerous origin stories of the first pecan pie recipe, the dessert was predominantly popular in the South.

What Is Typically in a Pecan Pie?

The most common recipe for a pecan pie filling contains:

  • Pecans
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Corn syrup or syrup equivalent

This combination of ingredients makes the well-known gooey filling people love. The sugary custard and crisp layer of pecans on top are famous characteristics of a pecan pie.

This classic recipe for pecan pie is closely connected to Karo and the recipe they listed on their Karo corn syrup bottles. This decadent pie filling with a traditional pie crust creates the tastiest dessert — perfect for any occasion. 

How Is Pecan Pie Made?

The pecan pie filling and crust are simple to make with the right ingredients. Bakers use different techniques and recipes that make their pecan pies stand out, but many follow similar steps for creating this dessert. The general steps for making a pecan pie with the most common ingredients are:

  1. Combine the filling ingredients: Mix together the melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and corn syrup in a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in the pecans: After the custard ingredients are mixed, stir in the pecans. Some leave the pecans whole or chop them up before adding them to the mixture.
  3. Add to the pie crust: Pour the pecan pie filling into the pre-made or homemade pie crust.
  4. Bake and let chill: Place the pie in the oven and let it bake until the filling and crust are fully cooked. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool before serving.

Bakers may decide to make their pie crust from scratch. You can do this by using the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cold unsalted butter
  • Ice water

With pecan pie being a staple in numerous households around the holidays or during gatherings, people have come up with their own twists on this classic dessert.

Variations of Pecan Pie

The classic pecan pie recipe is a favorite for pie enthusiasts — but many variations of the staple recipe continue to emerge as the pie grows in popularity. It's easy to tweak the recipe and add flavors or ingredients you love to a pecan pie.

You can substitute or add new ingredients to pecan pie to elevate the flavor. Common variations of the classic pie include adding whiskey, bourbon, chocolate, coconut, maple syrup and other ingredients. You can substitute corn syrup for brown sugar or molasses or try out a cookie or crumble crust rather than a traditional pie crust.

Some delicious updates to a pecan pie recipe include:

  • Turtle pecan pie: Add caramel sauce, chocolate chips and sea salt for this tasty version of pecan pie.
  • Bourbon pecan pie: Combine all of the typical pecan pie ingredients with a couple of shots of bourbon for this unique take on pecan pie.
  • Chocolate pecan pie: Add pieces of chocolate to the pecan pie filling for a chocolate pecan pie.
  • Coconut pecan pie: Sprinkle coconut flakes on top of your pie filling and bake for a sweet twist on pecan pie.

You can also find mini pecan pies, cheesecake pecan pies, semi-healthy pecan pies and plenty of other versions of this dessert staple. With the list of simple ingredients, bakers can add fun toppings and mix-ins that expand the definition of a pecan pie.

Purchase a Pecan Pie From Lane Southern Orchards

When you want a delicious and authentic pecan pie, buying one from the state known for farming pecans is the best choice. You can find excellent Georgia pecan pies and other pecan products from Lane Southern Orchards.

Lane Southern Orchards grows 11,000 acres of pecan groves and peach orchards. We're committed to growing and baking authentic Georgia foods for local and country-wide customers. With several varieties of pecans on our farm, we're proud to provide some of the best pecans and pecan pies from Georgia to your family.

Our pecan pies are packed with over a pound of pecans and contain fresh ingredients. Digging into a slice of pecan pie from Lane Southern Orchards can provide the sweet Georgia taste you're looking for.

Purchase a Georgia pecan pie from Lane Southern Orchards today! Visit our farm or order a pecan pie online and receive it directly to your home through second-day air. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our products or call 800-277-3224.

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