Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Pecan Pie


Only those who will live longer than they expected to can truly love pecan pie, which doesn’t explain its status as death row’s most requested last dessert, or why chopped pecans, corn syrup, directions from the Karo bottle’s cherry-red side are what mercy tastes like to some. But there you have it. Carrie’s cinematic pigs’ blood was made of the same stuff (sans crust and nuts), plus a tub of pigment to sweeten her psychic gore. An outsider’s inside story. Other pecan pie-lovers manage their fear of the future by playing as hard as they work. They distract themselves from the deadlines of birthdays with the sweetest of sweet pies, honey upon brown sugar, molasses upon fat. A pecan pie-lover prepares for the worst with dessert, and does not like to share.



Pecan Pie

Pastry for a 9-inch single-crust pie, par-baked until blonde and blistered

2 cups shelled pecan halves

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Set the parbaked pie-shell aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Toast the pecans on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, until they smell toasty. About halfway through baking time, shake the sheet a bit so the pecans shift positions and brown more evenly. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven up to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, syrup, honey, vinegar, and salt. Add the pecans. Stir to combine. Fill the pie shell.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes, or until the filling sets in the center and doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pie pan a bit.

Cool the pie completely on a cooling rack before cutting a piece. Serve at room temperature and store lightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.


Kate Lebo’s poems appear in Best New Poets 2011, Poetry Northwest, Bateau, and The Pacific Poetry Project, among other anthologies and journals. She’s an editor for Filter, a literary journal made entirely by hand, and the recipient of a Nelson Bentley Fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a Soapstone residency. Currently an MFA candidate at the University of Washington, Kate hosts a semi-regular semi-secret pie social called Pie Stand whenever schoolwork allows. For more about Kate’s zine, A Commonplace Book of Pie, and other tasty treats, visit