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

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 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

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!

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
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.

maple pecan pie in a glass pie dish

151 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe Sally. I’ve wanted to make pecan pie for years, but haven’t been able to as corn syrup isn’t available in Australia (when you do find it, it’s extremely expensive) and it’s near impossible to find a recipe without it. I can’t wait to make this!!!! Thank you again 🙂

    1. I hope you love this recipe, Sarah!! Keep me posted once you try it 🙂

    2. I literally came to write the exact same thing! Thank you Sally! I’m also in Australia and have always wanted to make a pecan pie, but knew that most recipes called for corn syrup. I always thought that glucose syrup was the same thing here, but that stuff is only available in small amounts and is really expensive! I’m glad there’s another option now. I also wonder if golden syrup would work (probably without the flour, because it’s a lot thicker than maple syrup).

  2. My husband has been asking me to make him a pecan pie for ages. He’s never had it! I’ve been meaning to try your recipe but neither of us like using corn syrup so it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my “to bake” list. Can’t wait to try this!

    1. Yes! I hope you both enjoy this pie!

  3. Oh my gosh this looks soooo good Sally! My family adores pecan pie…you’ll be loved for this ;D

    1. So sweet, thank you Gemma!

  4. Dear Sally, thank you so much for finally finding an alternative for corn syrup! This is ingenious! Also, I think the flavour combination of pecans and maple syrup will be wonderful.

    1. The flavor combination is truly amazing! I hope you like this pie as much as I do 🙂

  5. Thank you!! Corn syrup is not available but I can get real maple syrup. This will be on my Christmas table.

    1. I’m so happy you’ll be baking this pie! Hope you love it!

  6. Sally this pie looks amazing!! I’m definitely going to taste test this recipe before Thanksgiving! I think my family would welcome the change.

    1. How exciting! Hope everyone enjoys it this year 🙂

  7. 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!!

  8. 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?

  9. Great idea Sally! Can’t wait to try this more healthy substitute for thickening desserts.

    1. Thank you Debbie!

  10. 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.

    2. Kim, did you try it with cornstarch? I, too, am wondering the same thing.

  11. It’s like you read minds with your posts! Finally have a tested alternative to traditional pecan pie to try! Thank you for not only posting beautiful, delicious recipes but for being innovative too 🙂

  12. Oh ehm gee!!! I’m so excited for this!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some pecan pie, but feel guilty using corn syrup… plus my SIL is actually allergic I can’t wait to make this and share it with her!! Thanks Sally!!

  13. I love pecan and maple together! This pie looks perfect for Thanksgiving!

  14. Yesss! Pecan pie without corn syrup!! This is the definitely on top of my to bake list.
    By the way I’ve made your strawberry cake twice and it’s been such a hit with my family. Excellent recipe with pure flavour-love it. Thank you!!!

  15. Since I’ve made your maple pecan pie bars and they were fabulous, I know this pie will be delicious as well! Thank you for the trick of switching flour for cornstarch as I am trying to limit my gluten. But I haven’t figured out a good gluten free pie crust yet, so, I’ll just try not to eat too big a piece (haha!)

  16. 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!

    2. Corn syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) are two. different. things.

      Corn Syrup consists primarily of glucose and water.

      HFCS is created using enzymes to convert the glucose in corn syrup into *fructose*. Fructose is much sweeter than glucose, so manufacturers use HFCS because they need less of it to sweeten, thus HFCS saves them money.

      All of the health scares involving HFCS are due to the *fructose* – and like everything else, moderation is the key. Problem is, manufacturers are putting HFCS into so many foods if you eat a lot of prepared/convenience foods you’re probably eating far too much of it.

      But using corn syrup – glucose – in baked goods and candy poses no health risks unless, of course, you’re 1) surviving on a diet consisting solely of candy and baked goods or 2) you’re diabetic, or 3) you’re obese. Note: none of these issues are caused or mitigated by eating foods made with *corn syrup* – any form of sugar would be ill-advised in these situations!

      So, there’s NO reason to avoid including corn syrup as an ingredient in baked goods or candy.

      As to Sally’s Maple Pecan pie? I will be making it – not as a way to avoid corn syrup (I have bottles of both Karo light and dark in my pantry!), but because I’ve been looking for a good Maple Walnut pie recipe (and yes, that means I’ll be substituting walnuts for the pecans).

  17. Beautiful! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for ages. Just wondering though how the sweetness level compares to that of a traditional pecan pie with corn syrup. I do like the maple syrup flavor, but I’m just worried about it being overly sweet.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. Stephanie Lynn Smith says:

    Making this for Thanksgiving!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. Bridget Harris says:

    This sounds amazing! I don’t like corn syrup so I use 16 caramels instead with a little butter, instead of corn syrup in my pecan pie recipe. Can’t wait to try your version

    1. You know caramel is made with corn syrup right??! Lol

  24. could I add a little Bourbon to this recipe? or will it totally mess up the pie filling consistency or cooking time???
    thank you

  25. So I did some thing I think enhances the taste I do not like to just add flour,
    so I melted the butter let it cook for a few minutes to bring out the that nutty taste added the four cooked for a minute more. than added bronw sugar. Turn it off and added maple, that cooled it a bit, last I added beatten eggs. Forgot the vanilla
    Did not miss it
    It came out amazing

  26. 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!

  27. Okay. I bit the bullet and made this pie. It was labor of love for sure. Last year I made one but it didn’t have the Tbl of flour so it was a bit runny :(. This one looks and smells absolutely delicious. I can’t wait until tomorrow when it will be served with with the Christmas dinner. Thanks so much, Sally. You’re a great teacher.

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

  29. Hi Sally! Question about your pie dish. Your link to the pie plate is for a 1/2inch deep plate but when I compare this recipe with your favorite pecan pie recipe (I love this one too), the filling quantities are very similar but that recipe specifies a 2inch deep plate. Can you confirm the pie plate size for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Eliane! I triple checked the link and the pie dish is 1.75 inches deep, which is considered deep dish. That’s what I used for the pictured pie and when I was testing the recipe/preparing it for our holiday meal 🙂

  30. 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!

1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×