Friday, February 12, 2010


"When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim that 'a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing him of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause is really a good one." - abraham lincoln
Happy birthday Abe Lincoln! Is there a better way to celebrate than with his favorite pie? If you're interested in "a repository of facts, anecdotes, and even trivia about the 16th president of the United States", check out Geoff Elliott's blog abrahamlincolnblog, it's chock full of information about Lincoln.

There's been much speculation about Lincoln's favorite dessert, ranging from Mary Todd Lincoln's Vanilla-Almond Cake to apple, pumpkin, lemon custard, or pecan pie. According to The President's Cookbook by Poppy Cannon and Patricia Brooks (1968), Lincoln's favorite dessert was pecan pie made with molasses which he ordered wholesale from a bakery in Washington D.C., later identified as The Excelsior Pie and Cake Bakery by an article in the Washington Star-News in 1971 by Marian Burros. The following is an old-fashioned molasses pie, which with the addition of pecans becomes a molasses pecan pie.

19th Century Molasses Pie
2 teacupfuls molasses (about 1 1/2 modern measuring cups)
1 teacupful sugar (about 3/4 measuring cup)
3 eggs
butter the size of an egg (about 3 tbsp)

1 9-inch single crust pie dough (*recipe)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix the filling ingredients, pour them into an unbaked 9-inch pie crust.
  2. Bake for 45 minutes.
To turn this recipe into a Molasses Pecan Pie just spread 1 cup of pecans at the bottom of the crust before you add the pie filing, or after you pour in the filling, or both.

You can find more information about the evolution of pecan pie here. In some parts of the south pecan pie is called 'Karo Pie', named after the company that produced corn syrup, a key ingredient of pecan pies in the early 20th century.

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