Nell would be my great-great-grandma. This is the only pecan pie recipe I've seen that doesn't include butter. And yet it is the richest, most buttery tasting recipe I've had. It is the only pecan pie my Dad will eat. The recipe does not specify what kind of "syrup" to use, and I've always used light karo, but I suppose you could try it with maple syrup or simple syrup if you wanted. Karo's pretty easy though, and I can testify that it works. Also, the recipe specifies "3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 white, 1/2 brown".