I stumbled upon a copycat recipe for this pie on the internet but it called for white Karo syrup. This is an imported product in Costa Rica, and consequently, it’s not what one would call economical. So I started researching the history of Pecan Pies. Legend has it the French invented this pie when the native American tribes first introduced them to the sweet pecan nut in Louisiana, long before corn syrup was even invented. Back when the pie was first invented the original recipes called for sugarcane syrup or molasses.
Talk about serendipity, I live in a sugarcane country and we have sugarcane syrup and molasses in abundance. In Costa Rica, I make my own sugarcane syrup from a raw sugar cake called a "tapa de dulce". In other Latin American countries, a raw sugar cake is called a "panela". I boil down the "tapa de dulce" with water until it turns into a thick syrup, similar to corn or maple syrups.
I modified the original recipe for the Goode Company's Pecan Pie to step back in time and return to its roots, using the original sweetener. This was a huge success for our Thanksgiving dessert.
Sugarcane Pecan Pie
- 1 unbaked pie shell
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar cane syrup
- 3 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup whole pecans halves for the topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Mix all ingredients, except the pecans, until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
- Fold in the chopped pecans and pour the mixture into an unbaked pie shell.
- Top the pie with the whole pecan halves if desired.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes. Testing for doneness with a knife inserted in the center. The pie is done when the knife comes out clean.