Sunday, February 27, 2011

Want to cook Southern? Put Pecans on it!

Pecans...a southern thing!

Why celebrate the pecan?

 Well, for one thing, many area farmers grow the crop, and pecans were native to the area. Pecans were staples of the diets of the local Native Americans, and when the settlers began arriving here from the Carolina's, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, large plantations grew pecans along with their other crops. Wild pecans were grafted and new varieties cultivated, and soon the crop flourished in the rich river land soils. Local homesteaders also benefited because almost every yard had one or two trees that produced enough pecans to “keep some and sell the rest”, providing them a small money crop in the fall.

Most people eat pecans only during the holiday season or in the form of candies, but the nut can be enjoyed all year round and the fact of the matter is that they contain such a great nutritive value that these nuts can be eaten on a daily basis. And it dawned on me that cooking "Southern" doesn't have to be complicated...just put pecans on it! 

In honor of this tasty Louisiana staple, I decided to make an easy Pecan Cheesecake Pie.   

You will need:

1 prepared pie crust, thawed
1  (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4  large eggs, divided
3/4  cup  sugar, divided
2  teaspoons  vanilla extract, divided
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1 1/4  cups  chopped pecans
1  cup  light corn syrup

Place the prepared pie crust on a baking sheet

1. Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into pie crust; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

2. Whisk together corn syrup and remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla; pour mixture over pecans. 

3. Bake at 350° on lowest oven rack 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool

This would be a great pie for Thanksgiving this year, but if you love pecans as much as I do you'll be "thankful" you made this cheesecake anytime of the year!


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