Maple Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup)

Maple syrup can replace corn syrup in this deliciously simple maple pecan pie recipe! Top with a little sea salt to balance out the flavors.

Deliciously salted maple pecan pie with a butter pie crust and made with maple syrup. No corn syrup pecan pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to day 2 of Pie Week! It kicked off yesterday with Banoffee Pie and today we’re taking a trip down nostalgia lane with a classic Thanksgiving dessert recipe: pecan pie. Want to stay updated about Pie Week? Subscribe to my email (it’s free!) and never miss a recipe.

The most common question about pecan pie is: can I make pecan pie without corn syrup? My answer was always: yes, but the filling won’t really set or it won’t taste like pecan pie. So… no, you can’t. But that’s changing today. Introducing Maple Pecan Pie.

Deliciously salted maple pecan pie with a butter pie crust and made with maple syrup. No corn syrup pecan pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make 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. My goal was to find a solution to not only find a corn syrup substitute, but to guarantee the pecan pie filling will SET and TASTE DELICIOUS.

Taking a note from my brown butter pecan pie bars, I reached for pure maple syrup. This is a thinner liquid than corn syrup, but has the most remarkable flavor, as you know. The pecan pie bars recipe calls for tempering the eggs, but I wanted a no-fuss pecan pie filling that skipped the extra steps. Entire the magical ingredient:

  • 1 tiny Tablespoon of flour

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.

Pecan pie filling

Don’t Make My Mistake.

I ran into 1 problem during my recipe testing. The pecan pie filling seeped through the bottom pie crust, lifting the entire bottom pie crust up into the center of the pie. It was the WEIRDEST thing. Frustrated, I almost gave up completely. Since the maple pecan pie filling is a little thinner than my regular pecan pie filling, I decided that pre-baking the pie crust was necessary. I shared an entire in-depth blind baking pie crust tutorial earlier this year, complete with a video and all my tricks. Use that to help you. You only need to blind bake the pie crust for about 15 minutes in this recipe. Easy.

Uncooked maple pecan pie

Deliciously salted maple pecan pie with a butter pie crust and made with maple syrup. No corn syrup pecan pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You can use my new all butter pie crust recipe or old faithful, my buttery flaky pie crust which uses a combination of shortening and butter. For the pictured pie, I used my buttery flaky pie crust. Brush the edges with egg wash before baking.

Tell me about the sea salt! To balance out the flavor of this notoriously sweet pie, sprinkle a little sea salt on top prior to serving. I always recommend this! You’ll love the sweet and salty flavors, plus added crunch sea salt flecks are a nice bonus.

I actually made this maple pecan pie for the 3rd time and took it over my in laws for a big family meal on Sunday to celebrate my SIL and BIL’s birthdays. It was more popular than the birthday cake!! Next time I’m bringing pecan praline pumpkin pie to see if they love it just as much. 🙂

Deliciously salted maple pecan pie with a butter pie crust and made with maple syrup. No corn syrup pecan pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Freeze Pecan Pie

Before I leave you with the recipe, let me share my tips for freezing pecan pie. This is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time to freeze for Thanksgiving. The baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze the pie after you pour the filling into the cooled blind-baked pie crust. Freeze for a couple hours to set the filling, then tightly wrap the entire pie in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, unwrap, and bake for about 20 minutes longer.

Stay tuned for more pie recipes all week long for Pie Week!

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slice of maple pecan pie on a white plate

Maple Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Maple syrup can replace corn syrup in this deliciously simple maple pecan pie recipe! Top with a little sea salt to balance out the flavors.


Ingredients

  • 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*
  • sea salt for sprinkling
  • optional: Homemade Whipped Cream for topping

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe or butter pie crust through step 5.
  2. After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie dough and blind bake: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (you can freeze the 2nd for later use, see note). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.* Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Flute or crimp the edges of the crust. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer. (Crust will shrink otherwise!) Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with 2 sets of pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper/aluminum foil (with the weights) out of the pie.
  4. The filling: Carefully spread pecans evenly inside warm pie crust. Set aside. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and flour together in a large bowl until combined and thick. Whisk in the vanilla extract, salt, eggs, and pure maple syrup until combined. Pour evenly over pecans.
  5. Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. You can also tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie if the top is browning too quickly. Remove finished pie from the oven and sprinkle sea salt on top. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will set as it cools.
  6. Slice and serve pie at room temperature. Top with whipped cream, if desired. (I used Wilton 8B Piping Tip.) Cover and store leftover pie at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions – 1-5 Days Ahead: You can get started by combining all the filling ingredients (except the pecans) one day ahead of time. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance since it needs to chill. If you want to bake the pie 1 full day in advance, bake it as directed, allow it to completely cool, then cover tightly and keep at room temperature until ready to serve the next day.
  2. Make Ahead Instructions – Freezing: The baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze the pie after you pour the filling into the cooled blind-baked pie crust. Freeze for a couple hours to set the filling, then tightly wrap the entire pie in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, unwrap, and bake for about 20 minutes longer.
  3. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | 4-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Pastry Cutter | Marble Rolling Pin | Glass Pie Dish | Pie Weights | Pastry Brush | Pie Crust ShieldPiping Bags | Wilton 8B Piping Tip
  4. Freezing Pie Dough: You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  5. Cornstarch: 2 teaspoons of cornstarch work as a substitute for 1 Tablespoon of flour. Make sure the cornstarch is completely mixed in with the melted butter and brown sugar.
  6. Pure Maple Syrup: Use pure maple syrup, not breakfast syrup. Any variety of pure maple syrup is great, from golden to dark amber. Use what you love best.
  7. Pie Dish: I strongly recommend a glass pie dish so you can see when the crust on the sides is browning, which signals that the pie is finished.
  8. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure you use room temperature eggs. Cold eggs will solidify the butter and you’ll be left with random chunks of butter in your filling.
  9. Try Adding Bourbon: Pie is delicious with a little bourbon. I recommend adding 2 Tablespoons and reducing the maple syrup by 2 Tablespoons. (So use 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp maple syrup.) Whisk it in with the maple syrup.

Deliciously salted maple pecan pie with a butter pie crust and made with maple syrup. No corn syrup pecan pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

143 Comments

  1. Jennifer Patzer says:

    Hi Sally,
    I really want to try this maple pecan pie recipe but I want to use a pie crust that is incredible delicious but horrible to blind bake. Is there anyway I can make this pie without that step? I noticed that your regular pecan pie doesn’t require blind baking. Why is it different, because the corn syrup isn’t as runny as maple syrup?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jennifer! This filling is a little more liquid-y. In my recipe testing, it would seep under the crust. I strongly recommend pre-baking it.

  2. hi sally! how much bourbon would you add to your recipe, would love that added flavor. thank you 😉

    1. Hi Sonny! You can definitely add bourbon to this pecan pie filling. I recommend adding 2 Tablespoons and reducing the maple syrup by 2 Tablespoons. (So use 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp maple syrup.) Whisk it in with the maple syrup.

  3. Hi Sally,
    First off, let me just say my family loves your website. You have turned me into quite a decent baker in this pandemic.

    On this recipe: I’ve read both your maple pecan and “normal” pecan recipes, and compared them to other bakers’ as well. I’m quite interested in the science behind it, if you don’t mind explaining a bit. In the normal recipe, the filling appears to all be mixed together, without much of an order. But your maple recipe asks for melted butter, sugar and flour to be combined first? Why is that?
    (2) why does one recipe call for chopped pecans and another for shelled?
    (3) I used a springform pan to make my pie, and I lined the base with baking parchment. After cooling the pie slightly, I removed the springform sides of the pan but could not remove the base from the pie. This was because the pie started to crack. I had no choice but to quickly pop it in the fridge. Was i supposed to chill the whole thing? Pan and all?

    1. Hi Sherry, I’m glad to help clarify. 1) You can whisk all of these ingredients together before pouring over the pecans just like we do with my original pecan pie recipe. However flour breaks down a little easier when it’s mixed with a small amount of liquid at first (the melted butter) before adding the other liquid ingredients. If that makes sense. 2) Both recipes call for shelled pecans. I recommend very roughly chopping the pecans for the original pecan pie to help bind the filling together as it bakes. Not really necessary here. The flour helps with that. 3) I wonder if you had let the pie cool completely, so it’s more set, if it would have detached a bit easier. Maybe it was still a bit too sticky? I strongly recommend a pie dish for this pie.

  4. The store near me didn’t have Corn Syrup so I had to quickly find a recipe that didn’t call for Corn Syrup for a pecan pie and I’m so glad I found this one!! I usually find pecan pies overly sweet but this was so balanced, it was perfect. I used Sally’s “old faithful” pie recipe and loved that too. Definitely ended up using 1 1/2 pie dough so I can build a higher crust. I didn’t even need the pie shield because the crusts didn’t brown too much and was perfect after 40 mins. Excellent maple pecan pie! thank you for sharing the recipe!

  5. I made this recipe as individual small pies in 3” crusts for my granddaughter’s wedding. I made 30! I can’t remember how many batches I made, I’m sorry to say. Of all the pies I made (lemon curd tarts and pumpkin pie) this was the favorite. Guests exclaimed about its balanced flavor of real pecans, instead of just cavity-inducing sweetness. It’s certainly better for us diabetics!

  6. Hi Sally! I’m excited to try this for Thanksgiving this year. I love making pecan pie with a graham cracker crust – do you think it would work here? Should I prebake in some way? Thanks!

    1. Hi Renu, you can use a graham cracker crust but the pie slices won’t be very neat– I just don’t think the crust will be sturdy enough to yield nice uniform slices. If you try it, make sure you let the pie cool completely before slicing. No need to pre-bake the graham cracker crust.

  7. Hi Sally. I am eager to try this recipe for Thanksgiving. We live in Reno, NV (approx. 5,000-foot altitude). What changes in this recipe do you recommend for high-altitude baking? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lesley, I wish I could help, but I have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  8. About the maple syrup – I find that by cooking and condensing the maple syrup before measuring, it not only thickens but improves the taste. I do that often with apple pies and now I’ll try it with your pecan pie recipe for our Thanksgiving recipe.

    1. Hi Sandy, did you end condensing the maple syrup with this recipe yet? Please let me know how it turns out when you try it!

  9. Would this recipe work with your graham cracker crust?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alexa, You can use a graham cracker crust but the pie slices won’t be very neat– I just don’t think the crust will be sturdy enough to yield nice uniform slices. If you try it, make sure you let the pie cool completely before slicing. No need to pre-bake the graham cracker crust.
      If you want to avoid pie crust you may wish to try these Pecan Pie Bars which have an easier shortbread crust!

  10. Hi Sally,
    If I am using a store bought frozen pie crust, do I thaw overnight and then blind bake before pouring in the ingredients to the actual pecan pie? Thanks!

    1. Hi Tamar, yes. Thaw the pie dough and blind-bake it as instructed.

  11. Hi Sally-

    I want to make this ahead and freeze it. I’ve read that it’s best to freeze pies in metal pans as there’s less chance of ice crystals forming. What are your thoughts on that?

    And should I bake the pie all the way and then freeze? Or should I blind bake the crust, add the filling, freeze, thaw overnight night and bake the day of?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Liza, This pie can be frozen either after it’s fully baked, or right after pouring the filling into the blind baked crust. See the recipe notes for “Make Ahead Instructions – Freezing” for details. We’ve never had problems with ice crystals in either a glass or aluminum pan – just be sure to wrap it as detailed in the freezing instructions.

  12. Laura Phillips says:

    I’m excited to try this recipe! I’d love to add dark chocolate chips. Will that alter the liquid balance too much do you think?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura, You can use this recipe for Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie. Enjoy!

    2. Laura Phillips says:

      Thanks! But what if I want to add chocolate AND avoid corn syrup?

  13. This is similar to my maple pecan pie recipe! I would like to add some bourbon to mine as well…. Any suggestions on how I should incorporate?

    1. Absolutely! See recipe note about bourbon.

  14. Is it possible to use this recipe for mini tarlets?

    1. I can’t see why not! Crust and filling should be great for mini tartlets. Chopping the pecans would be helpful since tartlets are pretty small.

  15. Is it possible to use gluten free flour with this recipe? Thanks – I’m excited to try this pie!

    1. Hi Victoria, gluten free flour is just fine in the filling. Feel free to use your favorite gluten free pie dough. I don’t have a GF pie crust recipe published.

      1. Thank you for you reply Sally! I was able to find gluten free pre-made crust at Whole Foods that should work well. Thanks again!

  16. Hi,
    I have to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving and can only get my hands on imitation maple syrup. Is there any way the recipe will still work?

    1. Hi Lara, I recommend making my regular pecan pie recipe instead. You need a whole cup of maple syrup and it makes up for most of the liquid in this pie. Maple extract isn’t a great substitute for that volume. Feel free to add a bit of maple extract to the regular pecan pie recipe. (1/2 – 1 teaspoon would be great!)

  17. I made this whole and it was great!
    Could this be made using cupcake tins?
    How long do you think they would need to bake?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Smita, Yes, you can make mini pies in a standard cupcake pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time but watch them carefully and pull them out of the oven just before the filling is set (they will finish setting as they cool). You can also use mini cupcake pans like these Salted Pecan Pie Tarts.

  18. Hello! My family adores the recipes on your site. Thank you for posting them!
    My question applies to this and your regular pecan pie recipe. If using raw pecans, shall I toast them beforehand to bring out flavor, or not necessary? Many thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robyn, We use raw pecans. The pecans on top get all toasty while the nuts underneath will have more of a chewy texture but yes, you can certainly toast them all first to keep them all crunchy.

  19. Hi, Sally and Sally’s assistants!

    I really want to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, but the rest of my family aren’t huge fans, so I was thinking of making a smaller pie. Would it be okay to just halve all of the ingredients? Or would that completely ruin the pie?

    Thank you so much for taking time to read this comments!
    Have a great day and happy holidays!!

    (I hope you are all well and healthy in these troubling times! Stay safe!)

    🙂

    1. Hi! You can try halving this recipe for a smaller pie dish– perhaps 7 or 8 inch. I fear a 6 inch wouldn’t be large enough. I’m unsure of the best bake time though. You might be better off making the pie as written and freezing any leftovers.

  20. What would happen if I did half corn syrup half maple syrup? Would you recommend still probably adding a little bit of flour? I’m a little leery of it tasting too much like maple, but like the thought of a bit of that flavor (as well as not so much corn syrup). I would also do the bourbon addition. Thanks!

    1. Hi Steph, you can absolutely do half maple syrup and half corn syrup. I would still add the flour.

  21. Hey Sally,

    I have to say this is the first time one of your recipes did not go well for me. Even with a tent the crust burnt along the edge….wondering if the blind bake thinned the pastry too much? Also, the pie seems to have sunk slightly in one spot. Is this a sign that it is under baked or just bad luck? I’ve trimmed the worst spots of the crust but if the pie is under baked, I am thinking of trying to bake another in time for Thanksgiving. Thanks for any advice you might have!

    1. Hi Jillian, I wonder if the pie was set too high in the oven and that’s why the edge crust was close to burning? I don’t think the pie is necessarily under-baked if it slightly sunk. It should be fine after cooling completely.

  22. Ok, first of all I will definitely make this pie again using exactly this recipe. It was delicious and saved my pie today. I had forgotten to get corn syrup but there’s always maple syrup in my house so when I saw this recipe, I was very excited to try it. Now I have never actually made pecan pie before so I don’t have a ton to compare it to but I was definitely happy with the results. I did leave my pie crust a little too thick since this was also my first time making pie crust. I would to try this with a little Bourbon added, as well.

  23. Absolutely disgusting. Tastes like EGGS. Zero consistency like traditional pecan pie. Skip this and do not be fooled. Use corn syrup!

  24. This fabulous pie was a Thanksgiving hit and so easy! This recipe is a keeper! I will never make pecan pie with corn syrup again. Thank you!!!

  25. I just made these pecan pies for Thanksgiving, and they were hands-down the BEST pies I’ve ever made! Thank goodness I made two, because people couldn’t stop eating it! I was looking for a pecan pie recipe that did not involve corn syrup & white sugar. I love that the filling is made from pure and simple ingredients. I followed the filling recipe exactly. Because I have a crazy toddler that bakes with me, we cheated on the crust and used store-bought. I did not blind bake the crust, but did punch a ton of holes in the crust with a fork before filling the pie shells. I had no issues with the crust lifting. I have a feeling that I’ll be in charge of the pecan pie every Thanksgiving after how great these turned out. Thanks, Sally, for the recipe!

  26. I was looking for a corn-syrup-free pecan pie that still held up and tasted as good if not better for Thanksgiving, and THIS IS IT! I was so pleased with how the pie turned out. I used a pre-made frozen pie crust and still blind baked it for 15 minutes per the instructions. I let it cool fully, put it in the fridge overnight and took out the next morning to come to room temperature for the Thanksgiving meal, and it held up perfectly. This is my new go-to pecan pie recipe!

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