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".
1The original receipe specifies "3/4 c sugar, 1/2 w, 1/2 B". The directions say "Beat 2 minutes then pour in unbaked shall and cook for 30 or 40 minutes."
2You can either use an unbaked shell (I do) or pre cook it, but only for 15 minutes at 425, weighted, as this pie will be in the oven for a while. Put the pecan halves on the bottom of the crust rather than mixing them in and cover with the batter and they will rise during baking. I cook mine in a moderate oven, 325 or 350, depending on what else is in there (this pie always shows up at holidays so has to fight for elbow room).