1Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Crust: In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water and mix until mixture is moistened. Roll dough on wax paper which has been sprinkled with enough flour to keep dough from sticking. Roll dough into a 12" circle. Center a 9" pie pan upside down on dough and flip dough into pan. Remove wax paper. Fold edges under; flute.
Note: Make sure there aren't any cracks or the filling will seep under the crust.
2Filling: Sprinkle pecans evenly over bottom of crust. In large bowl, combine sugar, syrup, eggs, butter and vanilla. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat filling until well blended. Slowly pour filling over pecans in crust. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Garnish with Cool Whip or Sweetened Whip Cream before serving, if desired.
Date/Nut: Substitute 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup whole pitted, chopped dates for the pecans.
Chocolate Chip: Combine 1 cup milk chocolate chips with the pecans.