Pecan Pie to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King 1964 wikipediaIn his too-short lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. traveled more than 6 million miles and gave over 2500 speeches, according to a story in the Huffington Post.  To keep going, he often reached for fried chicken or pecan pie, two of his favorite foods. My search for a pecan pie recipe from Atlanta, Georgia, where King was born and raised, brought me to the Magnolia Tea Room at Rich’s department store. King personally helped to desegregate the restaurant at a sit-in in 1960.

Legendary food writer Clementine Paddleford convinced Callie Williams, the pecan pie baker for Rich’s since the 1920s, to divulge the recipe for an article published in the New York Herald Tribune on July 17, 1949. “The recipe reads like a poem; it eats like a dream.  A rich conglomeration of eggs, of corn syrup, of nut halves encased in tender crust and baked to pigskin brown,” Paddleford wrote. Williams baked 28,960 pies in 1948, so she knew what she was doing. After you participate in community service and prayers today, buy or bake a pie to honor Dr. King at the dinner table.
Pecan pie photo cropped

Makes 1 (8-inch) pie

3 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 /2 cups dark corn syrup
1 1/2 cups broken pecan halves
1 unbaked 8-inch pie shell

Beat eggs; blend in melted butter, flour, vanilla, salt, sugar and syrup. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of unbaked pastry shell. Now gently pour over syrup [the syrup mixture] and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to slow (325 degrees) and bake about 40 minutes. Eat to the strum of banjos!


About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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