The name Newman was once a staple only in Hollywood; today, it's a staple in kitchens all across the country. That is largely the result of the efforts of two people: Paul Newman, who founded the Newman's Own line of food products in 1982, and his daughter Nell, who expanded the brand with Newman's Own Organics 11 years later. All profits of both companies go to charities.
And what dessert gives this giving family the greatest comfort? "Pecan pie," says Nell, whose mother—actress Joanne Woodward—grew up in the South. "I've always loved pecan pie and the smell of toasting pecans and burnt sugar that goes with it. My aunts Betty Lane and Nina still send their pecan pies up from Georgia at the holidays."
This update on the sweet southern classic has the true taste of maple and some whole wheat flour in the crust.
Stir syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Increase heat and boil 1 minute. Cool to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Roll out crust dough on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Fold edge under, forming high-standing rim; crimp decoratively. Freeze crust until firm, about 20 minutes.
Whisk eggs, vanilla and salt in 4-cup measuring cup to blend. Gradually whisk maple syrup mixture into egg mixture. Stir in pecan halves.
Pour filling into crust. Bake pie until filling is slightly puffed around edges and center is set, about 55 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Cut pie into wedges and serve.