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.
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.
Pecan pie components
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.
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.
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.
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.