Over the James River and through the woods of Dinwiddie County to Grandma’s house we went for the holidays. the pecan pie only it was worth the trip!

My grandmother “Meme” found her pecan pie recipe printed on The rate of progress on Wednesday, February 26, 1964 and was said to be “Mrs. Landon B. Johnson’s favorite cake” (typo and all). The recipe is actually the masterpiece of Zephyr Wright, the Johnson family’s White House cook.

White House Pecan Pie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 cup of sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Unbaked fluted puff pastry in a 9-inch pie pan or plate

Let the butter rest in a covered medium bowl at room temperature until extremely soft. Add sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla; Using a heavy-duty handheld rotary beater or mixing spoon, beat until well blended. Add the eggs and beat gently until combined. Fold in the walnuts. To form puff pastry. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) on the rack directly below the center rack until the top is toasted and the filling sets in the center when the tart is gently shaken, about 40 to 50 minutes.

The edge of the pastry should be golden brown and the bottom pastry should be a pale golden color. If the top of the pie gets too dark towards the end of the baking time, place a foil tent over it. Cool on a rack. If desired, serve with sugar-free whipped cream.

I make this cake every Thanksgiving and Christmas because it is absolutely delicious and brings back memories of vacations spent at Meme’s Farm in Ford, VA.


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