Abby’s Pecan Pie


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.


  • 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.

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


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

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.


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.


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

Published by


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s