Original Pecan Pie Cake

Pecans are native to the southern United States. Archaeological evidence found in Texas indicates that Native Americans used pecans more than 8,000 years ago. The word pecan is a derivative of an Algonquin word, pakani, referring to several nuts.

Sugar pies such as treacle tart were attested in Medieval Europe, and adapted in North America to the ingredients available, resulting in such dishes as shoofly pie, sugar pie, butter tart and chess pie. Pecan pie may be a variant of chess pie, which is made with a similar butter-sugar-egg custard.

Some have stated that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, after being introduced to the pecan nut by the Native American Quinipissa and Tangipahoa tribes. Claims have also been made of pecan pie existing in the early 1800s in Alabama, but this does not appear to be backed up by recipes or literature. Attempts to trace the dish’s origin have not found any recipes dated earlier than a pecan custard pie recipe published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1886. Well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert before 1940.

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The makers of Karo syrup significantly contributed to popularizing the dish and many of the recipes for variants (caramel, cinnamon, Irish creme, peanut butter, etc.) of the classic pie. The company has claimed that the dish was a 1930s “discovery” of a “new use for corn syrup” by a corporate sales executive’s wife. Pecan pie was made before the invention of corn syrup and older recipes used darker sugar based syrup or molasses. The 1929 congressional club cookbook has a recipe for the pie which used only eggs, milk, sugar and pecan, no syrup. The Pecan pie came to be closely associated with the culture of the Southern United States in the 1940s and 1950s.

Ingredients

FOR CAKE
1 box butter flavored cake mix (reserve 3/4 c. for filling)
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
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