The following comments and suggestions for making this delicious pie are from C.L. "Charlie" Boyd.
I was looking for this recipe online, as I lost the tattered, spattered copy of it cut out of a newspaper article years ago. Actually this recipe is identical to the one published many years ago by Paul Prudhomme, the Cajun chef from Louisiana. I have made this for the holidays for years, and everyone just loves it. Because pecan butter made from darkly dry-roasted pecans cuts the sweet of the syrup, I offer whipped, unsweetened heavy cream as a side accompaniment; this also cuts the sweet!
I would like to share a variation in method that works well for me and requires less clean-up. You have to have a relatively large food processor bowl, however (my Cuisinart Prep 11 and my old Cuisinart DLC-8 processor are both large enough).
Process the pecans in the food processor and scrape the sides of the bowl down between pulses, then when the nuts are very finely chopped, add 2 tablespoons butter cut in cubes to the processor bowl, then process continuously until the butter forms. The addition of butter makes for a smoother pecan butter. I use a generous cup of pecans that I have dry-roasted in a 400 degree F oven until they are very dark and fragrant but not burned.
Add the sugar called for in the recipe to the pecan butter in the processor, then process continuously until combined. Then add the eggs and process continuously until combined. Last add the syrup, vanilla extract and salt and process continuously until combined.
Put the generous cup of pecan halves directly into the unbaked pie shell. Pour the mixture from the processor directly over the nuts, then stir gently with a spoon or spatula just to combine the liquid and the nuts so they are all well coated. Bake as directed.
Also, I found that using cane syrup or a mixture of cane syrup and corn syrup (Golden Eagle brand from Alabama) makes a better-tasting pie. Also good is Lyle’s Golden Syrup, a cane sugar syrup from England. You can also use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar instead of white sugar if you like a more molasses flavor to your pecan pie.