Pecan Fun Facts
The pecan, Carya illinoinensis, is a species of hickory, native to south-central North America.
- “Pecan” is from an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack.
- It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end, to reach the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.
- April 14th is National Pecan Day.
- June 23rd is National Pecan Sandy Day.
- July 12th is National Pecan Pie Day.
- August 20th is National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
- September 21st is National Pecan Cookie Day
- Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919. In fact, Texas Governor James Hogg liked pecan trees so much that he asked if a pecan tree could be planted at his gravesite when he died.
- Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees, is the pecan capital of the U.S. Albany hosts the annual National Pecan Festival, which includes a race, parade, pecan-cooking contest, the crowning of the National Pecan Queen and many other activities.
- Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher. Native pecan trees – those over 150 years old – have trunks more than three feet in diameter.
- There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans. Many are named for Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.
- The U.S. produces about 80 percent of the world’s pecan crop.
- Before a shelled pecan is ready to be sold, it must first be cleaned, sized, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
Facts and picture Courtesy of
BA’s Best Pecan Pie
Recipe and picture courtesy of
Makes one 9″ pie
No booze, no chocolate, no hard-to-find ingredients in this rendition of the classic Thanksgiving pie. In this recipe, we focused on the things that matter: the deep flavor of toasted pecans, a caramely custard, and the flakiest, most buttery crust ever. This is part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes.
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons chilled lard or vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Filling and Assembly
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 4 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ⅔ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
- Vanilla ice cream (for serving)
- Pulse sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour in a food processor until combined. Add butter and lard and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pieces of butter and lard visible, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With motor running, drizzle in vinegar and 5½ Tbsp. ice water and pulse until dough is still crumbly but just holds together when squeezed (add 1 tsp. water at a time if necessary, but be careful not to overwork dough).
- Turn out dough onto a work surface. Knead 1–2 times, pressing just to incorporate any shaggy pieces. Flatten into a 6″-wide disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 14″ round. Transfer to a 9″ pie dish. Pick up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish, letting excess dough hang over dish. Trim, leaving about a 1″ overhang. Fold overhang under; pinch and crimp. Chill 30 minutes.
- Line dough with parchment paper or foil, leaving some overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is dry around the edges and just beginning to lightly brown, 25–35 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights and reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake until crust is set and beginning to brown in the center, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
- Do Ahead: Dough can be made 3 days ahead; keep chilled, or freeze up to 2 months. Crust can be baked 1 day ahead; tightly wrap and store at room temperature.
Filling and Assembly
- Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet until browned and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Whisk eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk in melted butter until combined. Fold in pecans and pour into cooled crust.
- Bake pie until edges are set and slightly puffed but center is recessed and wobbles like Jell-O, 55–70 minutes (it will continue to set after baking). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 3 hours before slicing. Serve with ice cream.
- Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead; tightly wrap and chill. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe by Rick Martinez
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