Anne's Pie Party continues today with Pecan Pie - a favorite mentioned often at the audiences of my programs. She quotes from my favorite chapter in the book, too - about pie! I'm off tonight to Plainfield PL to talk about Vintage Spring Holidays where we will not have pie but will have other delicious treats. Yum!-AA
I suppose it is not a surprise, given my crust-lust history, that when I was stuck while writing the second scene of The Luck of the Buttons, pie eased my way. For the record, I find good luck pie-worthy as well, but the Button family, having not so many occasions for good luck, had to take what they could get.
From The Luck of the Buttons, an excerpt from the chapter Pie Worthy:
There was pie on the table when Tugs returned. Pie in the Button family meant trouble.
When Uncle Norton sliced off his left foot with the scythe while trying to mow hay for the horses after having gotten into the cups, the Buttons baked pie-plant pies and gathered at Uncle Norton and Uncle Elmer’s farm to carry on about the sorry state of farm utensils and the difficulty of working the land. Now Uncle Norton sat on the porch spitting sunflower shells over the rail while Uncle Elmer wrestled the farm by himself.
When a card playing con man suckered Uncle Elmer out of his seed money and he had to plant with last year’s leftovers, which he did too hastily, and a storm washed all those seeds away, the Buttons baked up oatmeal pies and cursed the queen of spades, mother nature, and even Mother Goose for good measure.
There were apple pies for fall funerals and custard pies for the measles, mumps and broken bones. Fiona Button, like Aunt Mina and Tugs’ own mother technically only a Button by marriage, had once traveled all the way to Georgia and returned with a suitcase full of pecans begging to be baked into flaky crusts. It was nearly a month before anything pie worthy happened and when it did - marital trouble - Fiona and Albert - the pecans were passed around and the family was together eating pecan pie for enough evenings in a row that Fiona and Albert called a truce and mended their differences.
Now not only was there pie on the table, but Aunt Mina was there with a fork in her hand and eight year old Gladdy by her side.
I went through a pecan pie making phase myself once, a better stress reliever than drinking or gambling, I suppose. I used my trusty vintage Betty Crocker recipe and a bulk bag of pecans:
Pastry for 9-inch One-Crust Pie
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup margarine or butter (no vote needed: BUTTER!), melted
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves or broken pieces (again, not taking votes here: halves)
Heat oven to 375. (I love this about Betty: we heat the oven. We don’t preheat it!) Prepare pastry. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, margarine (butter) and syrup with hand beater. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
Bake until set, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly. (about the time it takes to walk around the block should be enough). Serve warm or refrigerate.
And a note: don’t forget ice cream. Pecan Pie must be topped with vanilla ice cream. It will melt down the sides and form a puddle around the base. A spoon and finger may be necessary to shovel up any remaining crust flakes floating in ice cream soup.