Pecan Pie Recipe
Classic Pecan Pie: tender nuts, flaky crust, and a gooey brown sugar filling. The best way to end your holiday meal! Made with no corn syrup.
*Originally published on October 30, 2018.*
I can’t believe it’s almost November already! How did this year fly by so fast??
Well, now that we are here, it’s officially time to start holiday baking. And we’re kicking it all off with this fabulous pecan pie recipe.
I plan on posting a lot of pie recipes this month! I’ve got a few good ideas in the works, but in the meantime, be sure to check out my favorite pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, and lemon meringue pie.
Any of those options would be fantastic for your holiday feast, but in our house, there’s really only one way to go. Pecan pie!
Table of Contents
- What is pecan pie?
- What makes this the best pecan pie recipe?
- What does pecan pie taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make pecan pie
- How to know when pecan pie is done baking
- How to serve pecan pie
- A few more of my favorite pie recipes
What is pecan pie?
Pecan pie is a traditional southern dessert. It’s so delicious it’s become loved all over the country, and even the world!
It consists of a flaky, buttery pie crust, a gooey, sweet filling, and tons of crunchy nuts. It’s great at any time of year, but we especially love it around the fall and winter holidays.
What makes this the best pecan pie recipe?
- Tastes amazing: It’s sweetened with brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup so it has a really full, rich flavor.
- Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of basic ingredients to make it.
- Easy to make: The pecan pie filling comes together in a matter of minutes!
- Wholesome: There’s no corn syrup in this recipe. Every ingredient has dimension, and adds flavor and complexity.
What does pecan pie taste like?
The first time I tasted pecan pie, it reminded me of a candy bar. The filling is sweet and gooey, with an almost caramel-like flavor. The nuts are a great contrast to all the sweet, and so is the buttery pie crust.
Because this recipe contains no corn syrup, there is a much deeper and more complex flavor.
The brown sugar brings a warm sweetness, while the honey adds a floral note and the maple has a faint woodsiness that really compliments the nuts beautifully.
Eggs: Use large eggs. It’s best if they’re at room temperature, but I don’t find this to be critical. For a vegan pecan pie recipe, swap in your favorite plant-based egg substitute. As long as it can sub 1:1 for chicken eggs, it should work just fine.
Brown sugar: I prefer dark brown sugar, but light brown will work in a pinch.
Honey: Any variety of honey will do. Or just use the same amount of maple syrup if you’re making a vegan version.
Maple syrup: Nothing else has quite the same flavor as pure maple syrup. Feel free to use a lower grade, if the grade A stuff is too pricey. A lot of times it has more flavor anyway.
Butter: I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result. For a vegan or dairy-free pecan pie recipe, use a plant-based butter that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.
Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a subtly sweet flavor without being at all sugary. For a more pronounced flavor, try using vanilla bean paste. You could also split a vanilla bean down the center lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add those.
Salt: Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful! I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine which can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Pie crust: My homemade pie crust is the flakiest ever, thanks to a very special technique! Grab the recipe here: Homemade Pie Crust Recipe. Or, use store-bought to make things really easy!
…and sometimes I like to add a little splash of bourbon too!
- Measuring cups and spoons: For measuring ingredients accurately. Follow this guide: How to Measure Ingredients for Baking.
- Mixing bowl: In which to mix up the filling.
- Whisk: Helps to blend the eggs with the other ingredients.
- Silicone spatula: So you can get every last drop out of the bowl!
- Rolling pin: If you’re using homemade pie pastry, you’ll need this to roll it out.
- Pie dish: A standard-sized pie pan (not deep dish).
How to make pecan pie
I love making pecan pie because it’s so easy. You just stir a handful of ingredients together, pop it into a pie shell, and bake!
Step 1: Prep the crust
Pecan pie is usually made open faced. That just means there’s no top crust. So you’ll only need half a batch of dough for this recipe.
Roll out your dough to an inch or so larger than your pie dish, and gently ease it in, allowing any excess to drape over the sides.
Then, trim, crimp, and chill in the fridge, while you get going on the filling.
Step 2: Make the pecan pie filling
Start by whisking eggs, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, melted butter, vanilla, and salt together.
Then, stir in the pecan pieces.
Pecan pieces work really well for this recipe because they cost a lot less than whole pecan halves. Save those more expensive pecan halves for the garnish, where they’ll really make an impact!
Pour the filling into a chilled pie crust and add your pretty garnish.
How to know when pecan pie is done baking
It can be really disappointing to cut into a homemade pie only to find the filling is a runny mess! So you really want to make sure it’s been baked fully and cooled enough.
No two ovens bake exactly the same way, but you’ll know your pecan pie is done baking when the edges of the crust are golden brown, and the filling is set. If it seems wet in the center, it could probably use a little more time in the oven.
Pecan pie will become even more firm as it cools, so I would recommend waiting at least an hour to slice into it!
How to serve pecan pie
But honestly it doesn’t need anything extra. It’s perfectly delicious just as is!
If you don’t bake your pecan pie quite long enough, the filling could be a little runny.
You’ll know your pie is done baking when the filling is set around the edges but still just a little bit wobbly towards the center.
It’s the eggs that make the filling set up, and if they don’t get to around 145 degrees F, the pie filling won’t set up.
The pie crust can be made several weeks ahead, wrapped, and stored in the freezer. Or for a few days in the fridge.
The filling will also last in the fridge for a few days.
Or, prep your pie in a foil pan (so your nice pie dish isn’t tied up in the freezer), fill it, and freeze it that way. You can totally bake it from frozen, it just might need a little more time in the oven.
This pie can sit out at room temperature for a few hours, but any longer than that and it should probably go into the fridge or freezer.
Leftover pecan pie should last about 5 to 7 days in the fridge; a month or two in the freezer.
Reheat it in the microwave or a 170-degree F oven until warmed through.
If you cut this pie into 10 equal slices, each slice would be one serving.
The nutritional info in the recipe card below is for 1/10th of the whole pie.
Bake up this fabulous pecan pie recipe for your next get-together! At the end of the meal, with a hot cup of coffee, there’s nothing better!
A few more of my favorite pie recipes
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Pecan Pie Recipe
- 3 (132 g) eggs, (large)
- 1/2 cup (110 g) dark brown sugar,, loosely packed
- 1/3 cup (113 g) honey
- 1/3 cup (107.33 g) pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter,, melted
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) bourbon whiskey, (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups (163.5 g) pecan pieces
- 1/2 batch (85 g) Perfect Pie Crust from Scratch,, prepared and chilled
- 1/3 cup (43 g) pecan halves, (approximately)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the eggs, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, melted butter, bourbon (if using), vanilla, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the pecan pieces, and pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.
- Garnish with pecan halves, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set.
- Cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.