I had a sweet memory of my Paw Paw as I was chopping pecans for holiday treats. When I was a little girl we’d go pick pecans from the tree across the street from my grandparent’s home. While sitting in his lap, he’d take out his pocketknife and cut open the pecan—it was like he was peeling an apple—and let me eat the pecan meat.

My Mom and her Daddy, circa 1932

My Mom and her Daddy, circa 1932

The picture was my Mom’s favorite of her and her Daddy. I’m sure he peeled pecans for her just like he did for me. I imagine that my mom and her dad would eagerly await the delicious Karo Pecan Pie that my Maw Maw baked for her family.


Pecans are often given as a gift down here in South Louisiana. A pecan pie is about as Southern as a dessert can get. It’s been a family favorite for generations. I found my grandmother’s recipe on a small scrap of yellowed paper. If you received pecans as a gift (or if you didn’t, go buy some), here’s the classic dessert.

Maw Maw’s Karo Pecan Pie


4 Eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark Karo syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans (the fresher the pecans, the better the pie)
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
pinch of salt
1 deep dish pie shell

Crust: (I buy ready made though I’m sure my Maw Maw made her own.) Preheat oven to 300°. Prick bottom of shell several times with fork. Add mixture of sugar and flour and rub into the holes. Bake shell for 10 minutes. This keeps shell from becoming soggy.

Filling: Beat eggs and add remaining ingredients. Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Goes well with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (but what pie doesn’t).

Other recipes you may like:
Maw Maw’s Hot Milk Cake
Maw Maw’s Cocoon Cookies
Maw Maw’s Fresh Apple Cake
Maw Maw’s Chess Pie

I honor my maternal lineage: I am Connie Lee, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrine, daughter of Minnie Mae; mother of Jade Lee-Mei.