1. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake pie shell 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven. Lower temperature to 350°.
2. Combine sweet potato and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and next 3 ingredients; stir until smooth and completely combined. Spread in an even layer in bottom of shell. Add chopped pecans evenly over sweet potato mixture. Lay pecan halves flat in a circle around perimeter.
3. Combine granulated sugar and 2 large eggs in a separate bowl; whisk until well blended. Whisk in corn syrup, melted butter, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour mixture slowly over pecan layer. Do not overfill. (You may have excess.)
4. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is puffed, set, and golden brown. Remove and let cool. Serve with Cinnamon Ice Cream.