Pecan pie is a pie of pecan nuts mixed with a filling of eggs, butter, and sugar. Variations may include white or brown sugar, cane syrup, sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or honey. It is popularly served at holiday meals in the United States and is considered a specialty of Southern U.S. origin.
How to Make Pecan Pie
As far as Thanksgiving pies go, this is one of the easiest. There’s no pre-baking the crust or pre-cooking the filling. Grandma, though no longer with us, always knows what’s best! Here’s an overview of the process.
- Make the pie crust. As always, use my favorite homemade pie crust.
- Roll out the pie crust. You’re aiming for a pie dough circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish.
- Spread the pecans inside pie crust.
- Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over pecans.
- Bake. I like to place a pie crust shield on top of the pie edges to prevent them from browning too quickly. If you find the whole pie is browning too quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie. Bake at 350 – 400 F for 45 min.
- Slice and serve. The pie is delicious warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar.
Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients
Since it’s made with few ingredients, it’s imperative to use high quality nuts and spices. I genuinely love Diamond of California pecans and McCormick pure vanilla extract (though homemade vanilla extract is excellent too). For the BEST pecan pie filling, use these ingredients:
- Pecans: Can’t prepare this filling without pecans!
- Eggs: Eggs hold the filling together.
- Corn Syrup: Sweetens and helps prevent crystallization while the pie bakes. I prefer dark corn syrup for intensified flavor. See below if you’re interested in pie without corn syrup.
- Brown Sugar: There’s 1 and 1/2 cups total sugar in this pie, which includes the brown sugar and corn syrup (1/2 cup and 1 cup). Typically this pie has around 2 full cups, but I find that much too sweet.
- Salt + Butter + Vanilla Extract: Each give pecan pie its traditional flavor.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds an extra layer of flavor! I don’t see many pecan pies with cinnamon– so thank you, grandma, for giving me the opportunity to present a slightly unique pecan pie on our Thanksgiving tables.
Maple Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup)
Corn syrup is the glue that holds pecan pie filling together. Thicker than other liquid sweeteners, corn syrup works with the eggs to help ensure your pecan pie filling will set. The problem is that more and more modern bakers are looking for an unrefined substitution for the corn syrup.
Maple Syrup + Flour Replaces Corn Syrup!
Mixed with melted butter, 1 Tablespoon of flour thickens the pecan pie filling just as corn syrup would. The flour allows us to use a thinner liquid sweetener. Isn’t that incredible? So all you’ll need to prepare this maple pecan pie are eggs, pure maple syrup, flour, butter, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and pecans. Simple, delicious, pure flavors gives us a maple infused + buttery sweet + deliciously thick slice of pecan pie.
- Buttery Flaky Pie Crust or All Butter Pie Crust (my recipes both make 2 crusts; freeze the 2nd half for later use)
- 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) shelled pecans (pecan halves)
- 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) pure maple syrup
- Use only 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup.
- Cut pecans into smaller pieces and mix before adding to pie crust.
- Make bottom crust more thicker.
- Cover top with foil.