This is Craig’s mother's recipe, shared in an early New York Times cookbook. It’s sweet but not too sweet, and has a less jiggly filling than most. In short, it’s perfect. Recipe adapted from the New York Times Cookbook recipe. —Food52
8 to 10
For the crust
unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
shortening, well chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Using a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, and salt together to sift.
Add the well-chilled butter and shortening. Use short rapid pulses until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal and no pieces of butter larger than a pea remain.
Add half of the water (approximately 3 tablespoons) and pulse 5 or 6 times. The dough will be crumbly, but should begin to hold together when a small amount is picked up and pressed together. Sprinkle on more water, a teaspoon (or 2, if doubling to make the two crusts) at a time, with 2 to 3 quick pulses after each addition, adding just enough water for the dough to hold together easily when pressed into a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press together into a ball, then flatten into a disk about 6 inches in diameter (make two disks if doubling). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For the filling
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Roll pastry into a 10-inch pie plate, cover with waxed paper and pie weights.
Reduce heat to 375° F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and bake 2 to 3 more minutes until crust is golden brown.
Remove pie crust and reduce heat to 350° F.
Brush pie shell with egg white.
In a small saucepan, mix corn syrup and brown sugar. Boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
Beat eggs and add syrup. Then add melted butter, chopped pecans, and vanilla. Pour into shell, and arrange pecan halves on top.
Bake at 350° F for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center is set. (Cover with foil if pie starts to brown before the center is set.)