My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

My homemade pecan pie is classic and simple with an unexpected dash of cinnamon. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty– after one bite you’ll taste why it’s my favorite!

pecan pie

Today I’m bringing one of my classic recipes back to life with a new video and plenty more recipe success tips. I posted this recipe exactly 4 years ago!

Pecan pie is the classic sugary dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete. It’s as traditional as pumpkin pie and as wonderfully rich as apple pie. Growing up, my family’s Thanksgiving dessert table always included (and will always include) my late grandmother’s old fashioned pecan pie recipe. It’s a true honor to share her recipe and I hope this recipe lives on forever in her memory.

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.

  1. Make the pie crust. As always, use my favorite homemade pie crust.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread the pecans inside pie crust.
  4. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over pecans.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Video Tutorial


pecan pie slice

What Makes This My Best Pecan Pie Recipe

This is my tried-and-true recipe and here’s why:

  • Simplicity. There are only 8 ingredients in this remarkably simple filling (including salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract) so the flavors truly shine.
  • The best pie crust. We’re talking mega flaky, mega buttery, and mega delicious. This is the one and only pie crust recipe I use. It’s been passed down through generations and stands the test of time. Here’s my recipe for all butter pie crust if you’re interested.
  • No pre-baking needed. The buttery pie crust has a wonderfully flaky texture, but still stays perfectly intact as the pie bakes and cools. Some recipes require you to pre-bake the pie crust before pouring in the filling, but I don’t find that necessary. We can skip that step by simply baking the pie on a lower oven rack.
  • Incredible texture. The pecans on top get all toasty while the nuts underneath have a melt-in-your-mouth chewy texture. The pecan’s flavor and texture, paired with the flaky homemade pie crust, the filling’s vanilla, butter, and cinnamon… it all just makes this my favorite pecan pie recipe.

pecan pie before baking

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:

  1. Pecans: Can’t prepare this filling without pecans!
  2. Eggs: Eggs hold the filling together.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Salt + Butter + Vanilla Extract: Each give pecan pie its traditional flavor.
  6. 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.

pecan pie

How to Make Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup

The most common question here 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. Until I tried maple pecan pie!

Corn syrup is the glue that holds this 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. When creating my recipe for pecan pie without corn syrup, my goal was to find a solution to not only find a corn syrup substitute, but to guarantee the 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 bars recipe calls for tempering the eggs, but I wanted a no-fuss filling that skipped the extra steps. Entire the magical ingredient: 1 tiny Tablespoon of flour. Simple, delicious, and pure flavors give us a maple infused + buttery sweet + deliciously thick slice of pie. I know you’ll love my maple pecan pie variation too.

pecan pie slice

How to Freeze Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. Simply bake the pie as directed, allow it to completely cool, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before slicing.

I made about 3 or 4 of these pies the past couple of weeks to freeze for the upcoming holidays– they freeze and thaw beautifully! No one ever realizes they aren’t freshly baked.

More Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

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pecan pie

My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for many reasons. A little cinnamon, vanilla, melted butter, toasty pecans, homemade flaky crust… I could go on and on. Classic and simple, traditional and sweet.


Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) coarsely chopped pecans (a very rough chop!)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) dark corn syrup*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust through step 5.
  2. After the pie dough chills, adjust oven rack to the lower third position and preheat to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Remember, when rolling out the pie dough, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center and work your way out in all directions, rotating the dough with your hands as you go. Roll it out into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough in a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it’s smooth. For a beautiful edge, as shown in the video above, fold the overhanging dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. Again, you can see me do this in the video above. Brush the edges with egg wash. (To help guarantee a beautiful edge, I always chill the shaped dough in the pie dish for 10 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer before filling.)
  4. The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust. Whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl until combined. Pour 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, I 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 it is browning too quickly. Remove finished pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will settle as it cools.
  6. Slice and serve pie warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.
  7. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. 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. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry BlenderRolling PinGlass Pie Dish or Ceramic Pie Dish, Pastry Brush
  3. Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the 2nd half for another use.
  4. Corn Syrup: You can use light corn syrup instead. I have no substitution suggestions yielding the same texture, moisture, and flavor. Corn syrup is a must in traditional pecan pie. For a variation without corn syrup, try my maple pecan pie.

Keywords: pecan pie, thanksgiving

My favorite pecan pie! This classic recipe is inspired by my grandmother. Click through for the recipe!

290 Comments

  1. If I wanted to try and incorporate whiskey into the filling, how much would you recommend along with any modifications?

    1. Hi Katie, you can add whiskey to this pecan pie recipe. I recommend reducing the corn syrup by 2 Tablespoons (so 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) then add 2 Tablespoons your favorite whiskey. Whisk it with the other filling ingredients.

    2. Hi,

      I’ve made this for the 1st time. The pastry is amazing. I wasn’t sure about the filling, it was a little scrambled egg texture around the nuts. Is that how it should be?

  2. Hi sally,
    My husbands been asking me for a walnut pie and I couldn’t find on your blog. Do you think I could replace the pecans in this one with walnuts?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shanza, Walnuts are absolutely phenomenal in this pie. Use a 1:1 ratio switch. I hope it’s a hit!

  3. This might be a dumb question, but my neighbor gave me fresh pecans from her yard! Should I toast them first?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tatum, No need to toast them prior to using in this pecan pie recipe.

  4. Hey, would I be able to put a lattice/top crust on this pie?

    1. Pecan pies are best without a top pie crust. The dough on top can easily submerge into the wet & liquidy pie filling.

    2. Very tasty pie. I love that you don’t have to prebake the crust. However, I put the pie in the oven for the recommended 50 minutes and the entire inside of the pie was still very much a liquid. I think keeping mine in the oven a bit longer may help some. I used a pie tin by the way.

  5. I made this pecan filling, and put it in the fridge overnight, only to find that the butter had resolidified and separated from the filling. Can I put the filling in the microwave to melt the butter again, or will that not work?

    Thanks!

    1. You can simply go ahead and bake the pie. The solidified butter melts in the oven.

  6. Hi Sally,
    I tried your pecan pie today and it came out well.. they only problem was that the pie bottom was burnt .. I kept it for about 45min in the bottom rack..can I bake this in the middle rack??
    Otherwise the filling was perfectly cooked

    1. Hi Lakshmi, you can bake this on the bottom rack next time. Are you using a glass pie dish? They are my preferred choice with pies. I find metal pie dishes easily (and quickly!) burn the bottom dough.

  7. Hi sally! I hope you’re having a good time! May I just ask if I can use light corn syrup? Will that make a huge difference? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mariel, You can use light corn syrup – see recipe notes!

  8. Hey Sally! I plan on making your maple pecan pie later today, but I don’t have any maple syrup on me. Would honey work as a substitute? Thank you!

    1. Hi Alaina! If you don’t have maple syrup for the maple version, just use this recipe instead.

  9. Brian Kiontke says:

    Hi can I use an already made 9 inch frozen pie crust? I’m making this later this week

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brian, I don’t see why not. Enjoy!

      1. Brian Kiontke says:

        today im making this pecan pie and im using the 9in frozen pie crust. do i still need to use the egg wash?

  10. I made this and the filling was runny even though it was not jiggly at all in the middle. Did I miss something? No flour to tighten it up?

    1. Hi Loretta, the filling is supposed to be a little gooey, but it shouldn’t be liquid. Did you let the pie cool completely? There’s no flour needed, but a few extra minutes in the oven will be helpful if you try the recipe again.

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