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National Pecan Pie Day

Pecan pie is bought, baked, and eaten today on National Pecan Pie Day! Pecan pie is made with pecans—about 75 to 80 in a normal-sized pie—and usually with corn syrup, which makes a sugary custard. Other sweeteners sometimes used are maple syrup, sugar syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and honey. Recipes also usually call for butter, eggs, and vanilla. Sometimes pecan pie is flavored with chocolate, shredded coconut, bourbon, rum, or whiskey. A traditional pie crust is used with pecan pies. The pies have a gooey interior, and a crisp top on account of the pecans, which rise to the top. Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are often used as toppings.

Pecan pie is popular throughout the year, but is most commonly eaten during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is popular around the United States, especially in the South, where it originated. It's largely accepted that pecan pie was created by French settlers in New Orleans after the indigenous inhabitants in the area introduced them to pecans, a nut native to North America. Early recorded recipes date to the late nineteenth century. An article in Harper's Bazaar from 1886 states "pecan pie is not only delicious, but is capable of being made 'a real state pie,' as an enthusiastic admirer said." The recipes were first common in Texas. A "Texas Pecan Pie" recipe appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in 1897, and there is a record of a recipe from a Texas woman being sent into a church charity cookbook in St. Louis the following year.

Karo corn syrup, a liquid sweetener used in making desserts and candy, came up with a pecan pie recipe in the mid-1920s and started printing it on their cans, which helped to popularize the pies in the 1930s. This modern pecan pie uses Karo corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and pecans. The Karo recipe made it so pecan pie recipes were similar in general, and pecan pie recipes haven't changed much since. They were a staple in cookbooks by the 1940s. Pecan pies have remained an essential pie, and are celebrated today on National Pecan Pie Day!

How to Observe National Pecan Pie Day

Bake a pecan pie! Why not try the recipe from Karo—the recipe that helped popularize the dessert? Maybe you could bake two of them, and give one to a friend or bring it to work to share with your coworkers. You could also buy a pecan pie at a bakery or store, or have a slice of pecan pie at a restaurant.

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