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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

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. This is the same crust you can use when making mini pecan pies too!
  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. Salted caramel would be great, too!

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’d like to try that instead. Both pie crust recipes yield enough dough for 2 9-inch pies. You can freeze the 2nd half or make another 1 crust pie such as this chocolate chess pie, turkey pot pie, or my pumpkin pie.
  • 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. If you love this one as much as me, try my pecan pie cheesecake next. Talk about a texture lover’s dream!
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 and serving with a big dollop of whipped cream.

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 810 1x
  • 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

Scale

Crust

  • 1 unbaked Flaky Pie Crust (what I used) or All Butter Pie Crust*
  • egg wash for pie crust: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk or heavy cream

Filling

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) shelled pecans (pecan halves)
  • 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: Very roughly chop the pecans– some whole, some lightly chopped is fine. 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 50-55 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, Pie Crust Shield
  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Took pie out early and it was already overcooked seems like not enough filling and too many pecans

  2. I made this recipe as written (including the pie crust ) and it was fabulous! My husband even ate the plain crust edge at the top and he usually doesn’t. The taste of the filling was great but the texture was a bit odd, sort of a slightly separated or curdled appearance. Not sure why that happened, any ideas on why?

    1. Hi Kim, It sounds like the filling was over-baked. It should be gooey and sweet, but not curdled like scrambled eggs.

  3. I really loved the pie, but it came out watery. The corn syrup didn’t really get gooey. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Mark! Glad you enjoyed it. Did you make any substitutes? With three eggs and corn syrup, this should be a thick filling. Perhaps it needed to bake for longer to set up.

  4. I made this recipe but i changed a few things. Rather than using corn syrup, i made a simple syrup using sugar and water. I also used 1 egg and 1 cup of brown sugar. a little salt to taste and Anise extract instead of Vanilla extract. A good rule to remember is that 1 egg can set a cup of liquid. As i did not have a pie pan I used a cupcake pan and simply spread the dough into it. Instead of having one big pie, I had 12 little ones. My girlfriend’s nephews and nieces like them. They are Cambodian and pecans are a foreign food to them. People here tend to like eating nuts so I figured a nut pie would be a nice change for them.

  5. Hello!
    I’d really like to try this recipe out, because I’ve never baked a pie before. I did read ALL of your recipe notes throughly, but I’d still like to ask a question before I try it out.
    I am very nervous about under/over baking this! I read many reviews about it being runny, and was suggested by your team that it was perhaps underbaked. I read in your notes that the pie is done when the top is lightly browned, will the filling itself be lightly browned? (Silly question I know, but will a toothpick inserted in the center give any indication?) I just want to be 100% beforehand and not waste ingredients! Thank you!

    1. Hi Susan! Yes, the filling itself will lightly brown – you can see what this looks like in the photos above and the video will be helpful as well for a visual. Let us know how it goes!

  6. This is the same as the pecan pie I’ve made forever, except I use 1 cup dk brown sugar. It is rare to see someone use dk corn syrup and dk br sugar, necessities, I think, for THE BEST tasting! This is the easiest thing to bake in all the world, which is why I volunteer (or am required) to make it for holidays. I started taking 2 pies, just so people could take leftovers home.

  7. Just made this pie again. I made two, one for work and one for home. Served with a little apple cider for fall festiveness. My coworker told me it was the best pie she ever tasted!

  8. Loved the recipe.
    I do have a question can I do pecan tartlets instead?
    If so what size do the baking pans should I get?

  9. Really disappointed with the recipe.. it was uncooked in the centre even after baking for 1hr and 10mins..Had to throw away as it was inedible.. It was my worst disaster with any recipe used till date. I think this recipe really needs to be removed from your website or reworked on.

    1. I noticed you spelled center as centre .. could you have used centigrade for temp instead of fahrenheit ?

  10. This is the second time making it! Absolutely loved this. My husband said it was close to heaven. Thank you. I made it exactly according to the directions.

  11. Do you think this could be made with Agave Syrup, or a combination of agave and maple?

    1. Hi Lisa, We haven’t tested a version with agave, but if you would like a to use maple syrup we have a recipe for maple pecan pie that is made without corn syrup.

  12. I made this pie yesterday and was very disappointed. I bake all the time and love it, but the texture was weird, not enough filing and to many pecans. I use your website all the time and this is the first time I’ve been disappointed. I will keep using your recipes, just not this one. Have a great day.

  13. last year i made this pie and it tasted really good but my crust bubbled up and the filling seeped through. do you have any advice as to how to prevent this?

    1. Hi Donna, We are glad you enjoyed the taste! This is an easy fix for next time. Make sure you aren’t rolling the dough too thin. If it’s too thin, the filling could seep through it. Roll it out so it’s a bit thicker and then don’t skip chilling the shaped pie dough before adding the filling.

  14. After trying this three times I noticed a similar issue others had.
    It needs significantly more time in the oven at that temp setting in order for the whole thing to become firm, and not just the top. First two times, I was over-cautious and let it sit in the oven for closer to two hours and it came out as good as the pics shown on this recipe, but I wanted it a tiny bit gooey next time, so the third version I stuck to the instructions on timing. It came out as a very soppy/sticky mess, with the top cooking fairly well, but the core remaining in almost all liquid form.

    So anyone else trying this, I’d recommend checking it *at minimum from the 50mins*, and don’t be afraid to extend the baking time by 10-20 mins at a time.

  15. Hi, I wrote earlier about my leaking pie crust I just made the pie and it is still leaking I lightly buttered the pie plate, applied light coating of egg white to bottom of crust, and put it in freezer for 10 minutes It looks great but half the bottom underneath has the seeped out part. Do you have any recommendations as to how to fix this chronic problem I am having? Should I pre bake the crust?

    1. Hi Donna! Is the filling leaking through where a piece of fat melted in the crust? Try blending your pie crust fats a bit more so there aren’t large pieces that could melt and allow the filling to leak through. We don’t recommend greasing the pie dish. Hope these tips help!

  16. My family wants to add bourbon to the pie filling. Would it change the consistency of the filling? How much do you think I should use? Thanks!

    1. You absolutely can add bourbon to this pecan pie recipe. We recommend reducing the corn syrup by 2 Tablespoons (so 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) then add 2 Tablespoons your favorite bourbon. Whisk it with the other filling ingredients.

  17. I only made pecan pie for Thanksgiving this year. I followed the recipe and used the exact measurements. I cooked it for longer because it looked runny in the center. It wasn’t firming up. When we cut into it, it was more like pecan soup. Last time I’m allowed to bring a dessert for Thanksgiving. I’m humiliated. Please explain. It was a waste of money and time.

    1. Hi Jess, So strange that the filling would be watery. Did you make any changes to the filling? Did you use dark corn syrup and allow it to fully cool before cutting? Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  18. Perfect! I followed the recipe to the letter and made two pies as the ingredients and instructions just looked “right” to me. Because they looked so wonderful coming out of the oven, I sent one off as a gift to people dining earlier in the day. I’ve already received compliments and a request for two pies for Christmas. Well done, Sally. I’m usually a cook rather than a baker on Thanksgiving. Thank you so very much for this easy, lovely recipe.

  19. Loved this recipe! First time making this pie for thanksgiving and it was a hit. I couldn’t find Dark Brown Corn Syrup, so I added 1 tsp or so of blackstrap molasses to the mix and 3 drops of maple extract.

  20. I love this recipe! I used it last year and this year went to type ‘pecan pie recipe’ back into my search bar and it popped up–thank goodness. It is specifically more pecan-y goodness and less gooey filling alone. I’m not one for those mostly-filling-topped-with-a-layer-of-pecans type of pecan pies.

    If I don’t prebake my crust, it always seeps through, so I have learned to bake my crust beforehand with pie weights (I use whatever dry beans or rice I have on hand) on top of foil pressed ever so lightly into the crust. I let it cool as much as it can before I make the pie itself, then bake as instructed in the recipe. This leaves a fantastically crispy, tender crust.

    We do one other variation that we all love–add a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the recipe! Oh man, spiced pecan pie is such a favorite. Thank you for having such a wonderful, pecan-heavy variation of the classic pecan pie on your site!

  21. Made the recipe exactly as stated. While it tasted good, it was sooo watery. Tried baking it longer, and it seemed to help a bit but it’s still way more liquid than it is solid. Disappointed.

    1. Hi Monica! So strange that the filling would be watery. Did you make any changes to the filling? Did you use dark corn syrup? Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  22. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and although it tasted yummy, the filling seeped through the crust causing the crust to stick to the bottom of my pie dish in some spots. . I followed all instructions for both your pie dough and the Pecan Pie. Any tips for next time?

    1. Hi Kathleen, Is the filling leaking through where a piece of fat melted in the crust? Try blending your pie crust fats a bit more so there aren’t large pieces that could melt and allow the filling to leak through. Also rolling out your crust a little thicker next time will help. Hope these tips help!

  23. I love this recipe! i use sally for all my recipes and they are all out of this world!

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