This Thanksgiving, you gotta save room for dessert. Here in the great state of Texas, it's pecan pie!

Pecan, or puh cahn, pie is a family tradition in my household. We enjoy it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. A recent poll showed what the most popular pies in each state were for Thanksgiving, and pumpkin pie won 42 out of the 50 states.

I kinda figured pumpkin would be the favorite, but of the eight states that didn't vote pumpkin, pecan pie finished with five states, apple with three. The five that voted pecan are all here in the south, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.

So pumpkin gets all the glory for Thanksgiving, but let's look at a brief history of the pecan pie.

According to Eater, pecans were cultivated by Native Americans and grown along the waters of the Mississippi River. Pecan pie's date back to the late 19th century. Following the Civil War, developers brought pecans to Georgia. (which is now the main commercial grower of pecans in the U.S.). Once pecans were introduced to folks, they began using them in recipes.

According to Edgar Rose, a self-proclaimed pecan pie expert, the first printed recipe for the classic confection showed up in Texas in the 1870s or 1880s.

Pecan pie really took off in the mid 1920's, when Kyro Syrup came out with pecan pie recipes on its can.

So why is it so popular at Thanksgiving and Christmas? Pecans are harvested from September into November, so it's really just a perfect timing thing.

Pecan pie is great by itself, but even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Need a recipe? Here's the self-made pecan pie expert's own.

Edgar Rose is a retired engineer, and he's brought his professional precision and perfectionism to his personal favorite pecan pie recipe. He's been refining it since the 1970s, so his is probably the best pecan pie recipe you're likely to find out there if you don't already have a family favorite passed down through the generations. Check out the full recipe here, and be sure to take his advice and use fresh, chopped pecans.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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