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by Abigail Van Buren

Pecan Pie Takes the Cake at Events Large and Small

DEAR ABBY: Years ago you published your recipe for Abby's Famous Pecan Pie. I cut it out and made it often because it was the best pecan pie I ever tasted.

Somehow I have misplaced my recipe. I have come across other ones, but not yours. Would you be so kind as to reprint it in your column? I have committed to bringing a couple of pies to an upcoming event. It would mean a lot to me to be able to use it again. I know everyone who tastes it will agree that it's the best they have ever eaten. -- RUBY IN LAKEWOOD, WASH.

DEAR RUBY: I have no doubt that they will. Years ago, a male reader informed me that a festival had been held in his community, part of which was a pie baking contest. "To the delight of my wife and friends," he wrote, "and the chagrin of the other contestants -- all women -- I took first prize." The recipe he had used was one my mother, Pauline Phillips, had printed in this column.

My mother had a notorious sweet tooth and had discovered the pie while a guest at the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington, Ky. (The hotel has since been demolished.) The recipe had been created by the hotel's pastry chef, who kindly shared it with her. Because one good turn deserves another -- here it is:


9-inch unbaked pie crust

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 heaping cup pecan halves

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour into unbaked pie crust; sprinkle with pecan halves.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is set. (Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean when pie is done.) If the crust or pie appears to be getting too brown, cover with foil for the remaining baking time. Cool.

You can top with a bit of whipped cream, but even plain, nothing tops this!

Readers, this recipe is included in my set of cookbooklets, which contains more than 100 mouthwatering recipes for soups, salads, appetizers, main courses and desserts. Some readers have told me they used them to host Dear Abby-themed dinner parties. The set can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $12 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

TIP: The original recipe stated that the pie should be baked 45 to 50 minutes in a preheated 350-degree gas oven. If an electric oven is used, it may be necessary to add 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time. (Begin testing the pie with a toothpick after 45 minutes.) Enjoy!

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