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Pecan Pie

Old-fashioned pecan pie made without corn syrup and is nestled in a flaky homemade pie crust. This is one underrated pie that will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table.

slice of pecan pie on white plate

Pecan Pie

I know the most loved holiday pie is usually a spiced pumpkin pie with an ultra-creamy filling.

But sometimes you just want to switch it up. And all too often this southern classic is overlooked. Maybe it's because there's this weird taboo with corn syrup. No one wants to use it because it gets confused with high-fructose corn syrup which is a completely different product.

When deciding to share my favorite pecan pie recipe with you I already knew I'd get a ton of comments asking what to use in place of the corn syrup. So I've nixed it completely and replaced it with pure maple syrup.

It's truly an incredible pie and the maple heightens the flavor. I love this pie so much, I made pecan pie brownies also!


Pecan pie without corn syrup

Traditional pecan pie doesn't really need corn syrup to begin with. It's made with eggs, butter, and sugar to create that gooey filling we're all familiar with. It's much like a custard pie.

Variations can include white or brown sugar, sugar syrups, honey, and maple syrup. I like the additional flavor the maple syrup adds along with the deep, rich taste of brown sugar. The two combined are my choice of sweetener.

slice of pecan pie with fork taking a bite out

Pecan pie components

There are two components to this pecan pie. The filling is adapted from the topping used in my pecan pie cheesecake and the pecan pie bars.

The crust - My perfected pie crust recipe is made with both butter and shortening so the crust won't shrink and it remains crisp and flaky.

The filling - The gooey filling is sweet and flavorful with a satisfying amount of pecans to add a pleasantly crunchy texture.


How to make pecan pie

First, prepare the dough for the crust and refrigerate it. Chilling the dough will make it easier to roll out.

While the dough is chilling, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven.

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out and fit it into a standard 9-inch pie pan.

I like to use glass pie pans. They're slow to heat up but once hot they will retain heat better than metal pans. This will allow the crust to brown nicely.

egg wash brushed over pie shell with pastry brush

I also like to brush the crust with an egg wash to help promote browning.

Layer chopped pecans in the bottom of the crust. Mix all the ingredients together for the filling, pour it over the pecans, and bake.

pecan pie filling being poured into unbaked pie shell

There's no reason to mix the pecans into the filling because they are going to float to the surface as the pie bakes. Just layer them evenly in the pie shell and pour the liquid filling over them.

How to tell when pecan pie is done baking?

It takes about an hour for this pie to bake at 350°F. The crust will be golden brown and the center should no longer jiggle.

overhead of baked pecan pie

Tips for success

  • Use the lower-third rack position. For perfectly baked crust and lightly golden top, move the oven rack to the lower-third position. This is the notch just below the center of the oven.
  • Use a glass pie pan! Glass pans are best for pies since they retain heat better than metal pans. This helps in getting a crisp, golden crust.
  • Tent with foil. If the top of the pie is turning dark before the center has had time to fully cook through, tent a piece of foil over the pie. This will prevent the crust and pecans from burning.
  • The filling can be used in a premade crust. Homemade is always better but if you're in a pinch, you can use packaged pie dough or frozen crust.

Freezing & Storing

How to store: Pecan pie should be kept refrigerated. Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature then tent lightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

How to freeze: Once the pie has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a double layer of foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Serve the pie cold or bring to room temperature just before serving.

close up of pecan pie slice on white plate

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slice of pecan pie with fork taking a bite out

Pecan Pie

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A classic pecan pie made without corn syrup on a flaky homemade crust.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 ½ cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold & cut into pieces - Note 1
  • 5 tablespoons ice water - Note 2

For the filling

  • 1 ½ cups (315 g) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (56 g) butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups (264 g) pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions

Make the crust

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk until well mixed.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or two knives cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture just until lentil sized crumbs form. A few larger bits are perfectly okay.
  3. Drizzle just enough ice water over the flour to moisten it. Toss the mixture together with a fork to combine. You will know you have enough liquid when you can squeeze the mixture and it holds together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until the dough comes together. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, position the oven rack to the lower-third position and preheat to 350°F.

Make the filling

  1. Whisk the brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt, and maple syrup together in a large bowl. Add the eggs and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Roll the pie dough into a circle that's about 4-inches larger than the diameter of your pie pan. Gently place it in the pie pan without stretching it.
  3. Trim the edge so there's a 1-inch overhang over the sides of the pie pan. Fold the excess dough under so it sits up on the rim of the pan and flute as desired. Brush the shell with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream) if desired. This will give the crust a rich golden color.
  4. Evenly layer the pecan pieces in the bottom of the crust. Pour the syrup mixture evenly over the pecans.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly. Tent with foil if the top of the pie is browning too much before the center has finished cooking.
  6. Set the pie on a wire rack to cool completely then refrigerate overnight. Serve pie cold or bring to room temperature just before serving.

Notes

  1. If you prefer not to use shortening, you can use cream cheese in its place. Avoid using all butter as this will make the crust delicate and it may be difficult to roll out.
  2. Try using vodka or heavy cream instead of water. Vodka inhibits gluten development so the crust stays tender, light, and flaky. Heavy cream will yield a softer, richer crust.
  3. 1-2 tablespoons of dark rum or bourbon are great additions to the filling.
  4. Try adding ½-¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips to the filling for a chocolate pecan pie.
  5. Use the lower-third rack position. For perfectly baked crust and lightly golden top, move the oven rack to the lower-third position. This is the notch just below the center of the oven.
  6. Use a glass pie pan! Glass pans are best for pies since they retain heat better than metal pans. This helps in getting a crisp, golden crust.
  7. Tent with foil. If the top of the pie is turning dark before the center has had time to fully cook through, tent a piece of foil over the pie. This will prevent the crust and pecans from burning.
  8. The filling can be used in a premade crust. Homemade is always better but if you're in a pinch, you can use packaged pie dough or frozen crust.

Make ahead tip

  1. Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature then tent lightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  2. Once the pie has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a double layer of foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 40gProtein: 5g

* Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy by an online nutrition calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Always seek advice from a nutritionist or medical professional.

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Aliced55

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Looks good, but only 2gm of sugar?

Jen Sobjack

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

I'm not sure where you see 2gm of sugar. 2 tablespoons is listed in the crust ingredients, 1.5 cups (315 g) is listed in the filling ingredients, and 40g per serving is noted in the nutrition label.

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