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. Made this for Thanksgiving last year and loved it! We did change it up a little though, being Southerners through and through we added sorghum instead of maple syrup. I recommend using a good quality sorghum as the flavor really sticks out with this recipe.
    Ditching the corn syrup for good!

  2. Hi, how can I be sure that the filling is baked enough to firm up after I remove it from the oven? I have baked it an hour and still quite jiggly.

  3. I plan on making this for Christmas, and since I live in Vermont, Maple is just part of our culture in general, so actually looked up a recipe using maple syrup. I was excited to see that you have one and no corn syrup, even better! I know in the past, to make sure I don’t have a soggy crust, or for fruit to absorb into the crust, I apply a layer of egg whites to the bottom of the crust before adding filling. Is this a step that you have done, and if so, would you recommend for this recipe? Would this help if a blind bake was not a possibility? I plan on par baking myself, but was curious. BTW, you do a fabulous job, and your Blueberry and Chocolate muffins are my go to recipes, so thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hilary, We do often brush the edges of the pie crust with an egg wash (a beaten egg mixed with a little water or milk) to help it become beautifully brown and shiny. But the entire bottom of the crust does not need to be brushed. We don’t recommend skipping the blind-baking step for this pie. Here is more on how to blind bake a pie crust if you are interested. We hope you love the pie!

      1. Why does this recipe require the par baked crust and the corn syrup one does not?

      2. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        During recipe testing we found that because this maple pecan pie filling is a little thinner than our regular pecan pie filling, pre-baking the pie crust here is necessary so that it doesn’t seem through.

  4. Connie Garrett says:

    I’ve long loved pecan pie made with maple syrup. This recipe is a keeper. I used a deep dish pie pan. Once I rolled the crust down and finger printed it, it was very low in the pan. I did pre-bake it. When I poured the filling in, it came above the crust line. I’ll never make it any other way. It is a beautiful pie and absolutely delicious.

  5. I love your recipes and come to you for just about all my baking needs. BUT, this is the first recipe that was very bland/off textured. I thought maybe I did something wrong, but i keep going over the recipe and all the steps and I’m pretty sure I did it correctly. Maybe it’s just not a pie for me. Still love ya!

    1. I made this pie and it was literally the best pecan pie I have ever tasted. I made the filling gluten-free and poured it into a pre-baked gluten-free crust. DELICIOUS! My husband could not get enough! This is a keeper recipe!

      1. Sandy, did you use cornstarch or GF flour to make it gluten free?

  6. I made this as a regular pie and enjoyed it – do you think it would work as mini pies? I know you have the recipe for the mini pecan pies and was hoping I could do this filling w the same process. Thanks for sharing your talents, I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried so far!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure can! We’d love to know how it turns out for you, Lisa.

  7. Fantastic. Wonderful flavor hits you with every bite. I recommend using a maple syrup aged in ex bourbon barrels for added complexity in taste.

  8. Larry Teeter says:

    So, from a chef, with pastry experience, entirely too too many pecans in this recipe. I should have known when mixed, but yes too much, dry pecans popping out from the base of the pie, not happy!

  9. If you have any sugar shacks near you I’d recommend giving one a visit and asking them if they make “very dark” maple syrup. Found one near me thats makes this grade and it’s well suited for baking. They only sell it at their sugar shack though and not in stores. Basically the maple syrup is boiled longer becoming thicker, darker, and rich with maple flavor. It is much much thicker than amber maple syrup most people are used to and is ideal for cooking. You wont have to worry about the thinner consistency with very dark maple syrup

  10. Molly Krywopusk says:

    My daughter asked me to make a 50 mini pecan pies for a shower. And to be gluten-free. I made regular, but ran out of corn syrup after 30 pies done. So I tried this but I made it without crust and used gluten free flour. OMG… they came out better than the regular.
    And to think 2 years ago I never baked before.

  11. Hi Sally! How would this recipe respond to the addition of some fresh fruit like figs? Thanks:-)

    1. Hi Janson, that would require additional testing. Let us know if you try anything!

  12. The first time I made this pie it was perfect! But the next time I tried my filling turned out like scrambled eggs…I remade it multiple times and every time, scrambled. I don’t know what I did differently – all ingredients were room temp, I let the butter cool before adding to the eggs, I gently folded together rather than beat the eggs and butter harshly – any advice?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, We have never had that happen for this pie! The only thing that would cook the eggs is if your butter is still too warm. If you try this pie again try letting your melted butter cool for even longer, and (as you have been doing) make sure the eggs at room temperature.

    2. Maybe this will help Sarah. I also ended up with a texture that looked like scrambled eggs and had to dump the filling. I’m about to try once more after reading that you should whisk the egg yolks and whites together first then add the eggs one at a time. Adding the eggs all at once without beating them was apparently what I did wrong so I’m going to try one more time.

  13. Hi Sally. Have you ever tried to add Molasses to thicken this up?

  14. Gail Rupprecht says:

    Adding The Bourbon: Did you really mean 3/4 C. Bourbon and 2Tbs. of Maple syrup?

    1. Hi Gail, it’s 3/4 cup and 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup plus 2 Tablespoons of bourbon. (Since you are reducing 2 Tbsp of maple syrup from the 1 cup (240ml) in the original recipe.)

  15. I prefer to make tarts rather then pie. I’m guessing it would work just fine. I tend to not blind bake even when the recipe says to do so and have never had a problem .

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shari, you can absolutely make these as tarts. Let us know how it goes!

  16. I want to combine the dark chocolate pecan recipe and the maple pecan. Can I add bittersweet chips to this recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan, 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.

  17. Heidi van Poppel says:

    Do we have to blind bake..? Last time I tried, the rice I used fell in the oven and yeah, that was a mess.

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Heidi, We don’t recommend skipping the blind-baking step for this pie. Here is more on how to blind bake a pie crust if you are interested.

  18. Hi. I’m marking baking this pie as we speak. It’s my first blind baked crust. I followed the directions to the letter and used dried beans (two 1 lb. bags) for weights. Then I tried to remove the foil with the beans, the crust stuck to the foil and began to tear. I waited for the pie shell to cool a little and tried again with a small spatula as a helper to separate them. Then I patched the few spots with tears or tiny holes with extra dough. What did I do wrong?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy! If you try blind baking pie crust again, use your hands to help detach the foil from the bottom pie crust when lifting it off. It can be a little tricky!

  19. I am using a pre-baked gluten-free crust, should I still blind bake the pie crust?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Diana, that shouldn’t be necessary since it’s pre-baked.

  20. I don’t think its a good idea to blind bake with foil.. It will likely result in sticking. Parchment paper or bust!

  21. Hi Sally! I have a question about the brown sugar. Can I skip it? My family don’t really like sweet things. Because the maple syrup is already sweet, is it possible to skip it? Thanks!and happy thanksgiving!!!

    1. Hi Emily, I don’t recommend skipping it completely but you could certainly reduce it if needed.

  22. I’m trying this and “assume” you bake the pie at 350? You share the temp for the crust but not for the pie w filling. Thank you in advance.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Isabella, correct, you par-bake the crust and bake the pie both at 350.

  23. I made this for Thanksgiving this year. It was a big hit. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  24. Is it possible to make this pie without the brown sugar? It seems like the maple syrup should be sweet enough? Or maybe add more maple syrup?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cheree, for best results, we recommend sticking to this recipe as written. Otherwise, we fear the pie may not set as intended.

  25. Barbara Hewitt says:

    Hi there! I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and it was very much enjoyed! It’s been years since I made a pecan pie, and it was nice to find a recipe without corn syrup. I used your all-butter crust recipe as well. Using the instructions for making ahead of time, I made the filling Tuesday evening, the crust dough on Wednesday evening, and finished baking Thursday morning. I had to use a deep pie dish, but it came out very well and tasted delicious! Thank you very much! I will make this again.

  26. Made this exactly as directed, using the all-butter crust. I was not thrilled with the result. I liked the taste of the maple syrup-flavored nuts, but the texture of this pie is very different to a true pecan pie made with corn syrup. You get none of the gel that is an important part of that other pie. Because this recipe calls for such a large amount of nuts, what you end up with is a nut filling glued together (loosely) with thickened syrup. The butter crust was a miss, too. The blind baking seemed to just melt the dough more than bake it. The dough slumped down the sides of the pan when I removed the pie weights. I reshaped it, gently, but it did not have a nice texture when the pie was baked. Furthermore, the texture of the nuts was too soft — a bit soggy. Won’t be baking this again.

  27. Sally, in theory, can one bake the same filling (with maybe a crust recipe from one of your bars) in an 8×8″ square baking pan? I’ve searched the internet, but I’m still unsure. I thought I’d ask an expert. Thank you for your beautiful posts!
    –Lauren

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, have you seen our recipe for Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars? It sounds like it may be just what you’re looking for! You can try halving that recipe for an 8×8 pan.

      1. Hi Lexi! I have seen that recipe. The reason I was hopeful that I could bake the pie filling in a square pan was because I still wanted the thickness of the filling! It seems the bar recipe listed has a smaller “filling”. I’ll experiment, maybe. Thank you so very much for your response!

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Lauren, you can certainly give it a try, but it may take longer to bake and cool to fully set. Let us know how it goes!

    2. I made a regular pecan pie into bars by using a buttered 9” pan with a sort of, kind of shortbread crust, for this Turkey Day. Beautiful. No crust pain in the butt shenanigans. No change in filling. Not enough butter in that recipe (not Sally’s) but still delish!

      1. Thank you, both Lexi and Helene, for your comments! I may give it a try! I appreciate both of you for weighing in! –Lauren

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