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Pecan or Pumpkin?

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

It just isn’t Thanksgiving without pie. What is your favorite? Pecan or pumpkin? My daughter, Jenny, prefers pumpkin. My husband loves pecan. This year I am making one of each.

My Auntie Beryl always made the best pumpkin pies. I love her recipe, and I make it every Thanksgiving. She swore by Libby’s® canned pumpkin, and I have never used any other brand. Libby’s® is the best.

I much prefer Magnolia’s recipe for pecan pie, so I am sharing it as well. When we visited Charleston, South Carolina, we ate at Magnolia’s and had to try their pecan pie. Nobody makes it better. I bought their cookbook—just for the pecan pie recipe. It is too die for. They use both dark brown and light corn syrup and use whole, lightly toasted pecans The recipe I use for crust recipe was my mother’s. This recipe makes only one single pie crust. Many pie crust recipes call for butter, but I must admit I have better luck with Crisco®. If you decide to make both a pumpkin and pecan pie, you will need to double the crust recipe.

For us, Thanksgiving is a mix of old family recipes, my Auntie Beryl’s Pumpkin Pie, and something new, Magnolia’s To Die for Pecan Pie.

Auntie Beryl’s Pumpkin Pie

For the pumpkin filling:

1 ½ cups canned Libby’s® pumpkin 2 eggs, slightly beaten 1 ⅓ cups milk ¾ cup sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¾ teaspoon ground allspice ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon salt For the pumpkin pie: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Make the pastry crust recipe. Fill the bottom of the pie plate with the pumpkin filling. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean. Cool.

Magnolia’s To Die for Pecan Pie

For the pecan filling:

2 cups pecans, lightly toasted 3 eggs ½ cup dark brown corn syrup ½ cup light corn syrup ¼ cup sugar ½ cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Pinch of salt

For the pecan pie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the nuts out evenly and toast lightly in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes. Nuts should get a shade or two darker in color and become fragrant. Watch closely so the nuts don’t burn.

In a medium bowl, which together eggs, dark brown and light corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Make the pie crust. Place toasted nuts in the bottom of the pie shell and cover with the filling. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the custard has set, rotating the pie halfway through cooking.

For the pastry: Makes 1 single pie crust 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup Crisco® shortening 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water Flour for flouring the work surface

In a large bowl, sift flour and salt together. Add shortening and cut it in with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture is the size of small peas. The smaller the pieces, the more tender the pastry.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over the mixture and gently mix with a fork. Repeat this process until the mixture is moist. The less water that is added, the more tender the pastry. It is not necessary to add all of the water.

Form the mixture into a ball. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface by pressing the ball with the edge of your hand 3 times across in both directions.

Using a rolling pin, roll dough from the center out to the edges until the dough is ⅛-inch thick. Line the bottom of a pie plate with the pastry. Trim the dough around the outside edges of the pie plate leaving 1 inch of dough. Fold the dough under so that the pastry is double around the outside edge. Flute the edges by pressing the dough with the forefinger of one hand against a wedge made by the finger and thumb of your other hand, forming scallops.

Place the dough-lined pie plate in the freezer for 15 minutes before filling.

Fill the bottom of the pie plate with the pumpkin or pecan filling and cook according to individual recipe directions.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates


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