Happy to be sharing a beautiful new voice for #blogtribe Tuesday and a little story about Amy's dinner party in Melbourne with her grandmother's pecan pie...hope it stirs up some happy blogging moments of your own, it certainly did for me. Enjoy...x Jaclyn
“It’s our grandmother’s recipe,” she says.
A chorus of appreciative oohs and aahs sweeps the tiny apartment. And there it sits, a perfect example of southern culture, bubbling in its crust straight out of the oven. I was living in Melbourne, Australia at the time – one of my many foreign homes away from home. My sister had been in town for a little over a week, visiting big sis after her own college graduation that May. And there we were, two southern sisters and a mixed group of Aussies and Brits, gathered around one pie. My sister did the baking. She’s the cook in the family, not me. I’m not to be trusted in the kitchen. But in honor of her visit, we decided to throw a little party. A southern dinner party, complete with grandma’s recipes. It always amazes me to see how people connect over food. A group can start out virtually strangers, and by the end of a meal friendships are formed.
Cultural differences are explored rather than avoided. And sometimes those differences taste pretty darn good. The South in the United States tends to draw a certain fascination overseas. And the two aspects of the culture that draw the most questions: southern charm and southern hospitality. What are they? What are they like? What do they mean? Well, the surest way to understand is by showing, so that’s what we did. Shrimp cakes, sweet potato casserole, cornbread, green beans wrapped in bacon and, of course, that homemade pecan pie. A little slice of heaven, served to make grandma prouder than a peacock. That was several years ago now, but the memory still burns bright. My sister returned to Charleston, South Carolina and I eventually left Melbourne to go on to my next great adventure. I still keep in touch with those friends, and they still talk about that night. Especially that pie... And they get it. It couldn’t be defined, it was just southern. A half a world away.
Grandma’s Pecan Pie
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/4 cups pecan halves
Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar
dissolves. Let cool slightly. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt to mixture; mix well.
Pour filling into unbaked pie crust, and top with pecan halves. Bake at 325o for 50 to 55 minutes.
Serve warm or cold.
9-inch Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
Combine flour and salt; cut in shortening with pasty blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle cold water (1 tablespoon at a time) evenly over surface; stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape into a ball; chill. To fit into pie plate, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place in pie plate; trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under and flute.