Falling somewhere between a pie and a cookie, this pastry tops a crisp crust with a thick layer of pecans. The sweet pecan filling offers a delicious variation on the pecan pie-perfect for dessert, lunch, or an afternoon snack.
As common as it is today, pecan pie is a relatively recent addition to the American table. No one knows exactly when it was invented, but since the 1940s -- when it was first popularized in "Joy of Cooking" and "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook" -- myriad pecan-pie recipes have emerged, including this sweet, rich version, brought to us by Martha's mother, Mrs. Kostyra.
This tartlike version of pecan pie, a specialty of the South, is baked in a cake ring, available at baking-supply stores. A nine-inch springform pan will work just as well; just trim the edge of the dough to 1 1/2 inches all around.