Mystery Pecan Pie – A Mid-Century Thanksgiving Recipe Test From The Archives

Posted on Nov 20 2013 - 8:33am by RetroRuth

The biggest cooking day of the year is coming up! Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I am already starting to plan for T-Day, so I thought I would pull this recipe from the archives since I am planning on making this again this year. This pie is fun to make and tastes amazing, so if you are looking for a mid-century recipe to add to your table, make this one!

Well, it’s the day before Thanksgiving and let me tell you that I am cooking up a storm! But I just had to get this post up, because I think this may be the most delicious pie I’ve made on the Mid-Century Menu. If you are struggling to find an easy, interesting dessert that you can whip up before the big day tomorrow, this is it! You probably even have all of the ingredients on hand right now.

Behold, Mystery Pecan Pie!


Yep, that’s right. This is pecan pie with CHEESECAKE in the middle of it.

Cue heavenly chorus right….now.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mystery Pecan Pie
  • 1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
  • ⅓ c. plus ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1¼ c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 deep dish 9 or 10 inch pie shell
  1. Combine cream cheese, ⅓ cup sugar, salt, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 egg. Spread into pie shell.
  2. Sprinkle pecans over cheese layer.
  3. Combine remaining eggs, sugar, vanilla and syrup; pour over pecans.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 mins, until center is set.


This recipe comes from a cookbook I received from my Great Aunt Lorraine, who is 99, by the way. She is one great lady, and when Tom and I visited her this last spring she gave me pretty much every cookbook she owned because she knew I loved them. My cookbook haul included a vintage book from the community of Brigham City, Utah, which had this recipe for the Mystery Pecan Pie. (*UPDATE: I just ran across the original recipe for this pie from the 1964 Pillsbury Bake-Off!)

Oh, and you are wondering what the mystery is?  Well, I’ll tell you.


This is one of those great vintage recipes where the ingredients are put into the pan (or in this case, shell) in a certain order, but then they switch themselves around while they bake. I LOVE recipes like this and if you have kids, I can guarantee they are going to love it as well.

In this recipe, you put the cheesecake layer at the bottom…


…then cover it with pecans…


…then pour on the syrup…


…but when it comes out of the oven, the syrup is on the BOTTOM and the cheesecake is in the middle.

Love it!!


And Tom loved it, too.

“This is amazing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes. Normally I am not a big fan of pecan pie, but this is fantastic.”

The Verdict: Fantastic

From the Tasting Notes:

This vintage recipe has it all. It’s easy, there is a little bit of magic and the final product tastes amazing. The cheesecake layer stays nice and moist in the center, the bottom layer is delicious and gooey and the pecans at the top are nice and caramelized. Would be perfect served with a traditional pumpkin pie, with a small slice of each on the plate!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Carol November 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    that looks incredible!!!!

  2. Mimi November 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    This looks delicious! I love the flavor of pecan pie but it can be a bit dry/dense, this looks like a great solution.
    I’ve never commented before, but I’m a big fan of your blog. When I first found it I went through and over the next week or so, read every recipe! They crack me up! I am totally serving heart this valentines day, thanks to you. My mom has tons of vintage cookbooks and I can’t wait to visit at Christmas and try some recipes out.

  3. jennifer barnaby November 21, 2013 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Well it really does look delicious. Using a pre-made pie shell is a nice touch.

  4. Godzilaw November 21, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

    I just printed this off – will be making this next week!

  5. Matti Garrow November 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I will be making this pie for Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  6. celia November 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I am actually making this AFTER Thanksgiving, because I don’t want to share. Sorrynotsorry.

  7. CAT November 25, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

    This has become a husband favorite! I have made it quite a few times since last Xmas. LOVE it. It’s not as “blah” as plain pecan pie – the cheesecake layer is fabulous!!

  8. Brie Imlay November 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Brigham City, UTAH! We have great “cookers” in Utah. 🙂 I was planning on making just banana cream but I think I need to also make this now….

  9. sara November 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    I made this last year and it is was an epic FAIL!

  10. Allison November 30, 2013 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! My husband has already requested another for Christmas.

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