This is our family’s classic pecan pie recipe, inspired by my grandmother.
My Grandma Ebright was many things…
She was the faithful wife of a Kansas wheat farmer for sixty years, proud mother of five, and involved grandmother of thirteen.
She was a lover of singing, and insisted that anyone born or married in her family learn how to do so loudly, in four-part harmony, and with smiles, especially while caroling nursing homes together each Christmas.
She was a voracious reader, flying through nearly a book a day in her later years and then eagerly passing them along to her friends and family, although she prided herself on always reading the last page first.
She was a hard worker, graduating early and completing a degree so that she could teach in a 1-room rural schoolhouse, then picking up to help serve in WWII, then running a farm for decades while raising five kids on a shoestring budget, then later being a faithful caretaker for my grandpa with Alzheimer’s in the last years of his life.
She was a writer as well and officially published her first book in her eighties, although my favorite writings were the pages upon pages of handwritten letters that she faithfully mailed to each of her grandkids every few months.
She was sharp as a tack, and was a fierce believer in raising her family — especially the daughters and granddaughters — to appreciate and seek intelligence.
She was a matchmaker, and never passed up the opportunity to introduce herself to an attractive stranger in hopes that they might be the perfect match for one of her grandkids.
She was o-pin-ion-ated, for better and worse, and never resisted a moment to share her thoughts (even if whispering a little too loudly in church about a lady’s purple hair).
She was a firecracker. She was thoughtful. She was stubborn. She was giving. She was hilarious. She was creative. She was loyal. She was my grandma.
And she was an expert baker of pecan pie.
Actually, of the many things she was, my grandma would be the first to tell you that she did not consider herself a cook. She would much rather be spending time with people than “couped up” in the kitchen. So she was a big fan of treating our extended family to the local Pizza Hut or a round of chocolate-dipped cones at Dairy Queen.
But when we did all gather together to eat at home, she knew how to rock a huge batch of chicken and noodles, salty and butter sweet corn, “chip chocolate” cookies, and some good ol’ fashioned homemade pecan pie.
Her homemade pecan pies (pronounced peh-cahn, in Kansas) were classic — sweet, simple and overflowing with buttered pecans.
And they were always meant for sharing.
So it seemed only fitting that for my first week of really teaching myself how to bake pies, I begin with the first pie I ever knew — Grandma’s Pecan Pie.
I did brown the butter to give this version an extra nuttier, delicious flavor. And I’m pretty sure my grandma would have cracked up at me taking the extra time to line the top of the pecan pie with extra pecans. (Yes, I was the picky-eating granddaughter who used to always prefer playing with my food, rather than actually eating it.)
But I’m pretty sure she would have been proud, and even happier to know that this one was shared with a bunch of people I really love.
So Grandma, this one’s for you. Love you! :)
The best pecan pie recipe…according to my grandma. :)
*If you would rather not use corn syrup, feel free to substitute 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. OR, in recent years, I’ve also really liked using 1 cup packed brown sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Up to you!
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!
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