Blend flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Stir in enough water with fork just until dough holds together.
Shape dough into one large 1/2-inch thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Roll out disc 2 inches larger than 9-inch pie plate on lightly floured surface. Line pie plate with crust. Cut any excess crust overhanging pie plate with scissors. Flute crust. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350º
In a small bowl, combine pecans with 1 tablespoon melted butter and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, brandy, vanilla extract and remaining butter. Stir in eggs. Add toasted pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
Place on bottom rack in oven until the center of the pie feels gelatin-like when pressed with the back of a spoon. Bake about 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pie to wire rack to cool.
Serve with whipped cream if desired.