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.

overhead image of maple pecan pie

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.

slice of maple pecan pie with whipped cream on a white plate


Video Tutorial


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.

2 images of pecan pie filling in a glass bowl and pouring pecan pie filling onto pecans in the glass pie dish

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 strangest 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

zoomed in image of maple pecan pie filling after baking

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. 🙂

slice of maple pecan pie on a white plate

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

Crust

Filling

  • 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 (8g) 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. Brush edges with egg wash. 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 Shield | Reusable Piping Bags or Disposable Piping Bags | Wilton 8B Piping Tip
  4. Freezing Extra Pie Dough: You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  5. Optional Egg Wash: For a golden brown sheen on the pie crust edges, feel free to brush with egg wash as noted in step 3.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Try Adding Bourbon: Pie is delicious with a little bourbon. I recommend adding 2 Tablespoons, but make sure you reduce 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup from the recipe. (Use 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of maple syrup.) Whisk 2 Tbsp of bourbon in with the maple syrup.

maple pecan pie in a glass pie dish

143 Comments

  1. Acelynn Barefoot says:

    Can I use this substitution for your dark chocolate pecan pie?

    1. I would follow this maple pecan pie recipe and add dark chocolate chips instead of following the other recipe. I hope this helps!!

  2. This is perfect timing, as I’m making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and was planning on making pecan pie for dessert!

    Just one question though- your directions say to put the pecans in the bottom, then pour the mixture of other ingredients over them. Will the pecans float/rise to the top?

  3. Can I use cornstarch in place of the flour to make it gluten free?

    1. Hi Kim! You sure can. Use 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Make sure it’s fully mixed in with the melted butter and brown sugar.

  4. This recipe looks great! I’m looking forward to trying it. I clicked through to the Brown Butter Pecan Bars recipe, and now I have a question: Could this same technique of adding flour to the maple syrup be used in that recipe as well? That would eliminate the fussy tempering.

    1. Hi Barbara! You know, I haven’t tested it so I cannot say for sure HOWEVER, I can’t see why not. Please let me know if you try it!

  5. I made this pie a couple days ago. I’ve tried all of Sally’s pecan pie recipes–traditional, chocolate pecan, and now this one. I think they’re all really yummy. The great thing about all pecan pie recipes is that they’re so easy. With this one, I wish there had been a little more gooey-ness. But, I really enjoyed the hint of maple and the salt. I also love and appreciate the tips on freezing the pie, and I really love your buttery flaky pie crust. I actually made 6 pie crusts today, since I’m planning on making a bunch of pies soon, and I love that you can make the dough ahead, and stick it in the freezer. So helpful!

  6. Oh man this pie looks so good! I’ll have to try it this year for thanksgiving ❤ By the way, have you ever thought of making a sweet potato pie with a sugar cookie crust? I don’t know why that thought came to me, but it seemed like you would want to hear it. ☺

    1. A sugar cookie crust sounds intriguing! I’ve only done a sugar cookie crust for bars and such, as well as a fruit pizza.

      But here is my sweet potato pie recipe if you’re interested. I make it with a traditional pie crust.

  7. Ashley A Hicks says:

    I’m looking for a recipe for Walnut Maple Pie, do you think that switching out the pecans for walnuts would work just fine?

    1. Hi Ashley! That shouldn’t be an issue. Let me know how your maple walnut pie turns out!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I actually am planning on using a pre-made pie crust this year…Would I still need to pre bake it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kristina! Yes, if using store-bought pie crust, you still have to pre-bake it. Hope you enjoy the pecan pie!

  9. Clare Coupe Scott says:

    Made this for Thanksgiving for my husband. Easy to follow recipe. He said it was good, but prefers your corn syrup version. 🙂 Still he is eating it daily for breakfast and dessert. 😉 (He is the only Pecan Pie eater in the family.)

    And your flaky crust – as always – delish!

  10. Wow! I’ve made maple syrup pecan pies before but none of them came out as amazing as this recipe. Thanks!!

  11. This recipe is amazing! My 11 year old son entered this pie with your flaky buttery crust recipe into a local baking contest and won 1st place! He was beyond thrilled… Over the moon. Thank you so much! The maple set it apart from traditional pecan pies and the judges were thoroughly impressed. Definitely a new family favorite!

    1. This is wonderful! He must be so proud!! Thank you for sharing this with me – I’m thrilled it was such a success!

  12. Made this pie last week and it was amazing!!!
    Thanks Sally for another wonderful recipe.

  13. Hi Sally! My brother and I try a different one of your pecan pies for thanksgiving every year! We can’t decide if we like this one or dark chocolate one more… so my brother decided he wanted to combine the recipes. Do you think it would work to add dark chocolate chips to this recipe? If so, how much do you think? And when should they be added? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Samantha! Yes, you can add chocolate chips to this pie. Sprinkle 1 cup of chocolate chips evenly on top of the pecans before pouring over the filling. Same bake time.

  14. I made this today in order to have for Thanksgiving, but my husband & I decided to sample it a day early. OMG it’s so good!! I was afraid it would taste too maple-y, but it doesn’t, just has a nice sweetness to it. I used a store-bought crust to save some time, but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. It’s amazingly good. Thank you!

  15. Hi. Both times I have made this, following the recipe exactly, I have gotten leakage bubbling over the side and worse yet a soggy bottom. What am I doing wrong? 🙁

    1. Hi Laura! This can happen with particularly wet fillings if the pie dough is too thin. Roll it out a little thicker next time, so it’s sturdier and won’t rip/break under the filling.

  16. Hello Sally! I love the recipes from your site, they seldom fail me and are so easy to work with! One question – do you know what sort of modifications I would need to make in order to make this pie in a 9.5inch pan rather than 9inch? Would it affect the recipe drastically?

    1. Hi Connie! No adjustments necessary 🙂 Happy baking!

  17. Made this and the taste was amazing , prefer it without corn syrup but is it supposed ti be a bit more crumbly then regular corn syrup pecan pie ?
    Honestly just an observation I definitely loved It

  18. Made this for Thanksgiving and was sooo delicious. Everyone agreed it was much better than Karo version. Definitely a new favorite!!!

  19. Michel JC Hétu-Robert says:

    Hi Sally,
    I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it looked beautiful. Since I only had a deep dish pie plate I made the filling x 1.5 and added a cup of chocolate chips which filled it nicely. However, when I went to slice it I found that the filling was very runny. Not sure what went wrong. I served it in bowls and everyone loved it! No leftovers compared to the sweet potato pie I made as well. Will definitely try it again.

    Michel

  20. I made my first Pecan Pie using this recipe and it was easier than I thought it would be. My family loved it and asked for more the next day (it was gone!) I used the maple syrup & the buttery flaky recipes. It was well worth the time and ingredients. I will make it again for Christmas! Thank You for a splendid recipe!

  21. Can I substitute arrowroot powder for the flour in this recipe?

    1. I haven’t tested arrowroot powder but I have tested cornstarch and they usually work the same as a thickener in pies! Try 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder as a substitute for 1 Tablespoon of flour. Make sure the arrowroot powder is completely mixed in with the melted butter and brown sugar.

  22. Thank you! I am NOT a pie maker but for Pecan Pie I will do anything! LOL Even organic corn has been cross-contaminated and I have been using arrowroot powder as a thickener for over 35 years, so I was hoping I could use it in this recipe as well. 😉

  23. I made this yesterday and it came out PERFECT!!! It was absolutely delicious!!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve always loved pecan pie but wasn’t crazy about the thick layer of corn syrup in most pies. I added a small number of chocolate chips, too.
    This recipe is so amazing!!!!

  24. Made this pie today and it made it to the freezer thanks to GREAT restraint.
    Will be devoured at Christmas.
    I know this because I have used several of your recipes and they are nothing
    but fantastic! Thank you for sharing so many useful tips and delicious recipes

  25. I made this for Christmas last year and it has been requested again for this year. It is now in my cookbook with holiday recipes. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Patrick Conneen says:

    Made it and it was good. I would toast the pecans, Pecans were chewy and I prefer them crispy. This pie lacked the sweetness of a corn syrup pie, which I am used to and still prefer the taste of corn syrup. Just personal preferences. The pie came out fine.

    1. Hi Patrick, 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. You might want to try my Favorite Pecan Pie recipe that is made with corn syrup.

  27. This pie was delicious! We loved the mix of the nutty pecan taste and the sweet taste of maple sirup.
    I prepared the pie in advance and let it cool down and harden over night. Was still tasty after two days in the fridge.

    I’m not American so I don’t know how other pecan pies taste but we loved this one and will definitely make it again soon.

  28. How long do you recommend storing this pie outside at room temperature? I have read online that, due to safety and for the freshness of the pie, all egg-based pies should be put in the fridge within two hours of baking, as a rule of thumb. Do you agree with this, or is it OK to have the pie outside several hours prior to eating it?

    1. Hi Katad, since the pie is fully baked (and the eggs are cooked), I’ve never found it to be an issue to leave this pie at room temperature to cool and serve. Feel free to use your best judgement and refrigerate if you’d like.

  29. Hey Sally,
    My pecan pie was absolutely delicious thanks to your amazing recipe! I had a great time making this pie and both my family and I loved it. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe with us 🙂

  30. Hi Sally! This looks amazing…I have some store bought premade pie crusts…but I love that your filling doesn’t have corn syrup…how would I bake this with the store made crust? (Sorry I’m just learning when it comes to baking…)

    1. Yes, your crust should be fine!

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