Glen and Debbie’s Deep Dish Pecan Pie
Written by Debbie Sloan
Edited by Mandi Pitt-Reed
I got news a few months ago that a dear friend of the family passed away. I am not sure why it was shocking, but death always is – even when we expect it. Glen was my next-door neighbor growing up, but left home at seventeen to join the Army. He was much older than me so I don’t recall much of his time living next door, but I do recall how excited everyone was to learn he was coming home for a visit. He was quite tall and thin, very distinguished in his military uniform, and simply a delight to be around. He was a storyteller of the highest caliber. He could turn even sad events into fun, happy times.
I recall one visit when he was recently home from a tour in Vietnam. Any culture different from mine has always been fascinating to me. He would talk about being in Vietnam and the story would come alive. I could envision everything as though I was there. On one particular evening, he was talking about some sort of market area that he and his military buddies were visiting in order to get some candles. He said that children were in the marketplace selling them regularly, but one had to be careful to light the candle while the child was still holding it in order to make sure it didn’t explode later. He said that if you reached for your lighter and the child ran off, you knew it wasn’t a good candle. As he said it, he was smiling, simply telling of a night on the town so-to-speak in which candle purchasing was a small part of the event. The enormity of what he said didn’t hit me until much later when I was much more grown up.
A more recent visitation home prompted a trip to Beale Street. He said to me during our club-hopping adventure that people always want to see the main tourist attractions no matter where they are visiting and he was no exception. We had a great time making up stories about the various people in the clubs—you know, where they lived, their occupations, what they might be doing in Memphis, etc. - just fun stuff.
He was living in California at the time and I noticed that he was taken with how green everything here in Memphis was at the time. Finally, I asked what the fascination with our large beautiful trees was. He replied that he had been gone so long from here that he had forgotten how beautiful our trees are, and that the main green areas in Monterey were only the areas where produce was grown because they watered those areas heavily. I saw this for myself when we visited him and his family a few years later. Glen was jovial and easily accommodated when he visited. He required mainly two foods, Memphis bar-b-que and dessert. The type of dessert didn’t matter because he liked them all, but I specifically recall that he particularly liked pecan pie. I have made this pie hundreds of times, but I can’t remember if I ever made it for him when he visited home. I am making it now in his honor. Here’s the recipe:
Debbie’s Deep Dish Pecan Pie
Preheat oven to 350o F.
1 stick of butter (1/4 pound) melted
¾ cup of sugar
¼ tsp. of vanilla
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecans
1 prepared 10 inch deep dish pie crust
Whisk the melted butter, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla together and pour into prepared pie crust.
Next, pour the cup of pecans into the batter and make sure each pecan is coated with the filling so it doesn’t burn. Bake at 350o F for about an hour. Let the pie cool for at least an hour so it firms up before digging in.
I have been making this universal pleaser since I was about 12 years old. I especially like to double the recipe to make 24 small pies at Thanksgiving. Here is the original recipe:
This pecan pie is great because it freezes well so you can make it in advance and thaw it the day you need it.