Upstate New York Pecan Pie recipe from the Kopper Kettle Restaurant, a beloved family restaurant that was known for having the best pies in Rochester.
The Kopper Kettle Restaurant on Chili Ave in Rochester
There are few restaurants that hold such a special place in the heart of so many Rochesterians as the Kopper Kettle. The Kopper Kettle was a beloved family restaurant located in Rochester’s 19th Ward on Chili Avenue. Owned and operated by Edgar and Marion (who went by Sandy) Anderson from 1954 through 1995. The Kopper Kettle grew over it’s 41 years of business from a small establishment, to a destination dining spot with a massive dining room that accommodated 200 diners at a time, and served anywhere from 500 to 900 hungry Rochesterians a day!
While the restaurant has been gone for quite a while, the impact the Kopper Kettle and the Anderson family left on the community is profound. When I asked for photos of the Kopper Kettle restaurant in a Rochester Facebook Group, the request spurred a flood of fond memories, cherished family traditions, and nostalgic stories. Clearly the family restaurant left a lasting imprint on Rochester.
There aren’t many pictures available online of the Kopper Kettle during its heyday, I was able to find the advertisement above with help from the Things I Remember About Rochester Facebook Group, and this Food Network segment on Youtube below. The Youtube video is worth the 5 minute watch, and has interviews with Ed Anderson, the wait staff as well as scenes shot in the restaurant during dinner service.
Pecan Pie Recipe From the Kopper Kettle
If you’re already familiar with my collection of Upstate New York recipes, you may know that my favorite way to find recipes is in the book department of my local thrift store. From cookbooks put together as fundraising efforts for nursery schools, to church cookbooks painstakingly typed on a manual typewriter, to glossy Junior League community cookbooks, these thrift store finds are pure gold. Occasionally I stumble across a treasure like this recipe for pecan pie, other times I simply enjoy the recipes that give me a taste, both literally and figuratively, of the many dishes and cooks of Upstate New York.
Cuisine 19 was one of my last thrift shop scores before the current health crisis. I bought this local cookbook from the 19th ward published in 1990 at Goodwill after a perfunctory flip through in the store. Later that day, when I settled in for a more thorough look, I could not believe how lucky I was, the unassuming cookbook contained a pecan pie recipe from the Kopper Kettle, a restaurant that spent 40 years setting the standard for pie in Rochester.
In the book Rochester Eats/75 Years of Classic Faves & Craves Karen Doyle wrote that the Kopper Kettle’s pies were extremely popular. Customers not only indulged in slices after their dinner, they would purchase whole pies for their holiday meals, she said: “During some years on Thanksgiving, the number of pies sold approached a thousand”!
My adaptation of the Kopper Kettle Pecan Pie
I like to share recipes from local restaurants as closely as written as possible. The recipe below is almost identical to the cookbook, with the exception of the addition of vanilla. Other than that one little tweak I stuck very closely to the cookbook’s recipe. If you are looking for a good pie crust recipe this one is my favorite from the Ina Garten. The recipe is for a double crust pie, you can use the other half of the dough for your Lake Shore pumpkin pie, or freeze it for later.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups pecans, whole or broken
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*
- 1 (10 inch) pie shell, unbaked
- 1 pint fresh heavy cream
- Sugar to taste
For the Pecan Filling
- In a large bowl, mix thouroughly (all at once) eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla and pecans, but do not beat too long.
- Add the corn syrup and butter to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
- After mixing all the of the filling ingredients, pour into pie shell.
- Bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour. The pie is done when it is firm in the middle.
For the Whipped Cream
Beat the cream and sugar together until desired thickness is reached. Top each piece of pie with a generous scoop of whipped cream.
* The addition of vanilla is a deviation from the original recipe which did not include vanilla extract
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 31gProtein: 6g
Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
Find out more about the Kopper Kettle: Whatever Happened To … Kopper Kettle? Alan Moore Democrate and Chronical Decemeber 2015
Hungry for More From Upstate New York?
I love to recreate iconic Upstate New York Regional Dishes and “lost” recipes from businesses no longer with us. Here are a few that you of my favorite Upstate New York desserts.
Nothing says fall in Upstate New York like a grape pie. This grapey Naples, NY confection is fairly new to the world of desserts, but it sure has made an impact. This annual treat is anticipated by many, and for some home cooks like myself worth the time-consuming effort it takes to put one together.
The traditional holiday pumpkin pie recipe that is found on the back of the Lake Shore Solid Pack Pumpkin can labels . A delicious Upstate New York homemade Thanksgiving tradition.
This Apple Spice Cake is a piece of Rochester history! McCurdy’s Department Store Apple Spice Cake as found in the Junior League of Rochester’s cookbook Applehood and Motherpie.