News from the Tennessee Valley Food

Daily taste testers attempt to crack open his formula

By Patrice Stewart 340-2446

He folded secret ingredients and techniques into his 21st Century Pecan Pie, but Carver Gordon's not telling what.

The consensus of Decatur Daily staffers is that it's one of the best pecan pies they have tasted, or "like Grandma used to make."

But they won't be able to prepare it like Gordon does until he's ready to share his recipe.

He doesn't want to give it away yet, however — he would like to sell his recipe to a restaurant chain.

"It's the only pecan pie I've ever had that you can pick up and eat like a sandwich," he said.

And you can, especially when it's straight from the freezer or refrigerator. And even when it's been sitting out for a couple of hours, it's not as gooey or runny as other pecan pies.

Several Daily staff members tasted Gordon's pie and tried to guess his ingredients.

"There's something different in the filling," one said. They guessed that it might have dark Karo syrup instead of light Karo, or old-fashioned Golden Eagle syrup, molasses, maple syrup or perhaps some sugar cane syrup — or a blend of several types.

"But it doesn't have that molasses whang," one said. Another noted the filling is not as sweet as in some pecan pies.

One taster thought it might have some butter flavoring, or another flavoring besides vanilla. She was pretty sure dark brown sugar was in it.

Others wondered if it had a type of bourbon or alcohol, or perhaps coffee.

Flour, cornstarch, oatmeal or Ritz cracker crumbs were other possibilities mentioned that might give it that firm consistency and texture.

"I wonder if it's roasting the pecans in butter before baking that makes it good," said a taster. "It's got a real intense butter flavor."

Some of those guesses may be close, said Gordon.

Keep watching this food page so you won't miss it when he is ready to share his 21st Century Pecan Pie recipe.

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