Abby’s Pecan Pie

pecan-top

When I went to work as a secretary in Procter & Gamble’s corporate offices, they were located in the old Gwynne Building on Sixth and Main Streets in downtown Cincinnati.  The 12-story Gwynne Building was completed in 1914 and Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt (wife of Cornelius III) dedicated it to her father, prominent Cincinnati lawyer and Judge, Abraham Gwynne. Procter & Gamble leased the building and eventually purchased it in 1935. The building served as Procter & Gamble’s corporate headquarters until 1956.  When I went to work there in 1950, on the ground floor was a Dow drugstore and an Italian restaurant.   The drugstore was handy for a quick candy bar or soft drink and when the girls got together for drinks after work, they usually chose the Italian restaurant (whiskey sours were a favorite).

The Gwynne Building - P&G's corporate offices from 1914-1956
The Gwynne Building – P&G’s corporate offices from 1914-1956

On the 12th floor of the building was a huge employee dining room.  I liked to choose a one-person table near a window where I could have a gorgeous panoramic view of the city while I ate the wonderful food that was served.  Maybe because of the Crisco connection, they always offered an array of pies which was excellent.  I had my first taste of pecan pie here and it was memorable.  After I left the company to start my family (most women did not continue working after their first baby at that time), I tried several recipes, trying to duplicate the P&G cafeteria pecan pie.  In the 1970s, I found this recipe in Dear Abby’s column in the newspaper and I thought it came closest to what I was looking for.  It’s been a family favorite ever since – often included with our Thanksgiving pies.  This is an easy pie to make.

ABBY’S PECAN PIE

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 whole eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (cooled)
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (my favorite is here
  • 1 cup pecan halves and pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, mix together the light corn syrup and dark brown sugar.
pecan-syrup

Whisk in the eggs, salt, vanilla and cooled melted butter.

pecan-ingred

Pour into the unbaked pie shell and sprinkle pecans evenly over the top of the filling.
pecan-pecans

Place on a flat sheet to catch spills and bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

pecan-baked

This is a specialty of the house recipe from the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.  I begged this from the pastry chef to share with you.  Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)”

Servings:  6 to 8.  This is a very rich pie and a smaller piece might be just right for most people, but it’s my youngest daughter’s favorite and she likes a nice big slice.

pecan-svg-bot

Procter & Gamble's current headquarters
Procter & Gamble’s current headquarters

Published by

quilt32

Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

16 thoughts on “Abby’s Pecan Pie”

  1. If one can tell by looking, that’s the good kind I like! Thanks for the recipe. I will try it out as soon as I get some pecans. I have everything else on the list!

  2. Yes, Dear Abby’s pecan pie recipe,has been in my recipe box for many years.. As I remember it was from her newspaper column. I always add more pecans than stated.

  3. Lillian, this is too much! I worked at P & G Distributing. We where in the Hartford BLDG almost next store to the Gwynne BLDG. And I think the restaurant was Caproni’s. I started there a few years after you in 1966. Small world!

    I want to test your memory and older recipes. My mother used to make a dessert in summer that we loved. She made it in the metal ice cube trays (remember those?) The ingredients I remember are a graham cracker crust, canned peaches and condensed milk. I remember the graham crackers where on the bottom, peaches layered next and then something with the condensed milk. We would freeze it and think slice it up a cool summer desert.Have you heard of a anything like that?

    1. I couldn’t remember the restaurant’s name, but you’re right – it was Caproni’s.

      I didn’t recall making the recipe you describe and didn’t have it in any of my notes. I looked through some vintage Eagle Brand cookbooks and even Googled it, but was unable to find anything. It sounds good – I’d like to try it. Lillian

  4. Even though I had just eaten dinner, your photo of the pie made me hungry! I have a very similar recipe and love it. So simple and so good! I ordered pecan pie at a local restaurant and it was made with molasses. Totally different taste. good, but I was disappointed.

  5. Lillian – I just got a comment on your pecan pie that I pinned to Pinterest – a lady said she too had gotten the recipe out of Dear Abby and she had been making it for 25 years! Isn’t that amazing?

    1. I’m not a bit surprised. Dear Abby was a very popular column back when everybody read at least one newspaper a day. I’ll bet a lot of your blog readers will still be making your great recipes 25 years from now. Lillian

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