My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons! 

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

First, I have a new post up on my photography blog this week. Come be amazed at the magnificence that are the redwoods in sunny CA. Second, I have a book signing tonight! I was in Baltimore this past Sunday, NYC this past Wednesday, and I’m in Baltimore again today. I’m often asked how I can handle all of this travel? One word: caffeine. But seriously… chatting with all of you, seeing how much you love my blog and recipes… seriously makes every single second worth it. I also go to bed at an embarrassingly early hour every single night. #old

Now, let’s talk pie. Pecan pie. The classic, the forever, the sugary dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete. As traditional as pumpkin pie, as deliciously chewy as chocolate chunk cookies, as devilishly rich as apple pie.

My friends, let me present you with my late grandmother’s old fashioned pecan pie recipe. Because this recipe should live on forever in her memory.

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

I’ve been consumed in pecan pie recipe testing for nearly two months. Any day I’m home in the kitchen, I’m working on perfecting this timeless recipe. Pie Determination: it’s a thing. And it’s dangerous. Also, slightly manic.

Take a walk down recipe testing lane with me, won’t you? I tried pecan pie without corn syrup. It was dry and gross. I tried it with more pecans and less eggs. Why did I do that? Then I tried it with more eggs, less pecans. Scrambled egg pie, anyone? Ummmm that test pie is erased from my mind forever.

I tried pecan pie with maple syrup, a little bourbon, and even a pinch of nutmeg. Sort of good, but not the classic dish I craved. Now I have 6 pies in my refrigerator and none of them are my definition of pie perfection. “Kevin, please take these mediocre pies, oh god except for the scrambled egg pie, to the neighbors please.”

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

For such a simple pie (pecan pie is truly the easiest pie you will EVER make), why was I overcomplicating things? It wasn’t until pie number 7 until I turned to grandma’s classic. Grandma, though no longer with us, still knows what’s best. That woman. My saving grace! Especially when it comes to pie.

Don’t mess with the filling ingredients.

All classic pecan pie favorites inside this pie, like Diamond of California pecans. Mama baking addiction and my grandma never, ever used a brand of nut besides Diamond of California in their baking. And in what crazy amazing world do I get to be Diamond’s brand ambassador? Pinch me.

There’s 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar in this pie. Typically you’ll find pecan pies have anywhere around 2 full cups. I find that much too sweet. I use the dark varieties of both corn syrup and brown sugar, compared to light corn syrup and light brown sugar; I do this merely for intensified flavor. And I suggest you do as well! 3 eggs hold the filling together, while vanilla extract, melted butter, and a small dose of ground cinnamon provide flavor. I don’t see too many pecan pies with cinnamon– so thank you, grandma, for giving me the opportunity to present a slightly unique pecan pie on my Thanksgiving table. And to all my readers!

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

Not only is this remarkably simple filling inspired by one of my grandmothers’ pecan pie recipes, the homemade pie crust is her own as well. A couple months ago, I wrote a very long post dedicated to this pie crust recipe. Why the ingredients work, the particular method, and all my tips and tricks to perfecting it.

Your Thanksgiving pie crust savior, if you will.

The buttery, flaky pie crust has a wonderfully crumbly texture yet still stays perfectly in tact as the pie bakes and cools. Some pecan pie recipes require you to pre-bake the pie crust before pouring in the filling, but I do not find that necessary. I skip that step by simply baking the pie on a lower oven rack.

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. Classic and simple.

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

I made about 3 or 4 of these pies the past couple of weeks to freeze for the upcoming holidays, so that’s why you see two different pie dishes in this post.

Let me know if this pie graces your Thanksgiving table!

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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

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)
  • 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 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 recipe 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 crust onto a lightly floured surface. Remember, when rolling out the chilled pie dough disc, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Roll it out into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth.
  4. The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Once completely combined and thick, 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, 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 and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar if desired. Cover and store leftover pie 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. 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.
  3. Source: Grandma’s filling & pie crust. ♥

Keywords: pecan pie

Classic and simple with a dash of cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. This is my favorite pecan pie recipe for obvious reasons!

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November 14th – Chicago IL. 2pm. Candy cooking demo, book selling, and signing at America’s Sweets & Baking Show (yes, a show about all things dessert) at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. This is a ticketed event. Click above for show details.

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Later this month: Pittsburgh and Cleveland! Here’s the full book tour schedule. Remember, the first 25 people at each location get a free bag of Diamond of California nuts.

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

190 Comments

  1. Hi Sally, I am an ardent fan of yours from across the pond. In your pecan pie recipe you talk about dark corn syrup. I am not sure what this is or whether I can get this ingredient here in the UK.  We have golden syrup and also black treacle (but this has a strong slightly bitter flavour). What do you suggest in place of corn syrup if I can’t get hold of it.   Would part golden syrup and part black treacle work?

  2. I just wish pecans were easier to find in Romania. They are a rare bird over here and extremely expensive too so for now I can either substitute them or just wait till I can source pecans from somewhere.
    Delicious!

  3. Hi! I’ve never made a pecan pie in all my 42yrs until today 🙂 I just couldn’t pass this one up and had to try. Especially because I had everything for it except for the dark corn syrup, but I grabbed some yesterday. I finally took it out of the oven because it had been almost an hour and a half … It still looked a tab bit jiggly so I wanted to ask if that was normal or if I messed it up somewhere along the line! I followed the recipe. It filled up the pie shell very very full so maybe it took longer because it’s thick. It hasn’t cooled fully so I’m not yet sure of the end product. But I thought I’d ask for a bit more details on what the pie should look like and how jiggly it should or shouldn’t be by the end. That way I’ll be more educated next time I make it 🙂 thanks so much for the yummy looking recipe!!

  4. I have been searching for a lovely pecan pie recipe for years – I am so excited to try this!! Looks to die for!! Thanks Sally 🙂

  5. I always channel my inner “Mommom” whenever I need baking advice. I LOVE how she is your inspiration to baking because I can relate so much! I miss her more than anything, but it’s the memories which matter the most! This pie looks GORGEOUS. I’m sure even the pecan quiche tasted pretty good 😉

  6. I just wrote down all ingredients for pecan pie. I made your cherry pie, homemade crust and all!  My husband loved it!  So I am looking forward to making pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I will post pics on my blog. I live in Austin so planning on seeing you at Book People on the 4th!

  7. YES! Many years I have waited for a pie like this to appear…
    This pie will be the victory dance after the turkey trot on thanksgiving morning. 
    Safe travels on your book tour Sally, wish you were coming to Florida.

  8. This pie sounds delicious but have you tried America’s Test Kitchen Old Fashion Pecan Pie? Seriously the BEST homemade pie…no corn syrup. It’s made with maple syrup, molasses, and heavy cream among other goodies. Google it and it pops up all over from Pecan Pie lovers!! I think I’ll have to do a pie contest and do your pie and ATK’s. Happy Holidays from my baking kitchen to yours!!

  9. I’ve never tried making a pecan pie, but I do have a bunch of corn syrup I need to find a use for. I may just have to add this to my Thanksgiving menu (which is, at the moment, almost entirely desserts).

  10. I just made this as practice for thanksgiving- it’s very good. It tastes like Christmas. 
    When I make again I will roll the dough out a little wider so I have room to crimp, also I will put tin foil over the whole pie as the top browend up a bit too much.

  11. So easy and the flavor was amazing! Crude was soooo flaky! But it was slightly runny 🙁 I cooked for almost 1 hr (oven is odd). I only cut one slice to taste. Any way I could fix before I serve tomorrow?

  12. Hey Sally-

    Maybe a silly question here but…here it goes. My daughter an I or new to baking but we are enjoying. This is our first pie from scratch…crust is chilling…praying it goes well. Anywho…the directions say too spread  the coarsley chopped pecans onto the crust then pouring the filling over. This sounds fine , but every time I look at that beautiful pic it appears all of the pecans on top are whole or mostly whole. Do you place a pretty layer on top?

      1. They shouldn’t. Make sure you set them in the crust first, then pour over the other filling.

    1. Made this pie yesterday. Absolutely delicious!! I used a store bought refrigerated 9″ pie crust, used light karo syrup and dark brown sugar, and only 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans. After I poured the pie filling over the pecans, the pie crust couldn’t have held another cup of pecans. The pecans and filling just “majically” mix together. Nothing extra to do! The cinnamon is definitely the “secret” ingredient that, in my opinion, makes this pecan pie the most delicious my roommates and I have eaten! And it is SO EASY.

  13. Hi sally,

    I decided id make pecan pie for thanksgiving tomorrow and first place i checked is your site 🙂 ive made your pi.pkin pie which was phenomenal so i dont doubt this oecan oie recipe will bea hit. My question is in regards to adding chocolate. At what step would you add the chocolate? Some recipes say to add it to the crust before pouring the filling, others mix into the filling before pouring into pie crust. What would you do? Or should i just play it safe and not add chocolate.

      1. I made it with the bittersweet chocolate chips that ghiradelli makes and it was heavenly. Thank you so much for a great recipe!

  14. Making this pie for tomorrow. The dough is chilling as I type this. One question, do you price the pie crust with a fork? I am a total pie novice, I’ve made your pumpkin pie before and looked like a pro to my friends and family, thanks! 

      1. Thanks so much! 
        Making 2 Great Pumpkin Pies and this Pecan Pie for tomorrow. Made your pumpkin cupcakes for my husband’s work potluck and they’re amazing! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes! 

  15. Hi Sally! I made two of your pies for thanksgiving (pecan & apple crumble) and both turned out amazing! Not only did everyone rave about them, but they also came out looking beautiful (a major plus). This is all thanks to how precise & detailed you are in your recipes – you make the execution so easy! I can’t thank you enough! 

    Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving & ate tons delicious food! 

  16. Sally,

    I made your Pecan Pie for Thanks Giving. Tasted wonderful but had the same problem that I’ve had with all past pecan pies I’ve made…They stick to the pie plate. What am I doing wrong ? Please help !

      1. I don’t know. I’ve tried putting butter on the plate also flour… still sticks. Should I try making a thicker crust?

  17. After not making pecan pies for many years, I made this one for Thanksgiving and it’s delicious!!!! Everyone loved it! I should have made two.

  18. Hi Sally,
    I made this for Thanksgiving. It was the first pecan pie I ever made. I’ve tried other pecan pies but this was the best one I have ever had. I will be adding this to my Thanksgiving menu and maybe even my Christmas menu also. Thanks for the recipe.

  19. Hi,

    I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it!  Only complaint was not enough filling! Lol

    How do I make this with more gooey goodness under the pecans?

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Sheryl

  20. Hello! Been wanting to make this ever since you published this post last month.  Any advice how I could substitute the 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon for another spice in order to accommodate for an allergy to cinnamon?  I never deviate from your instructions, so, I would love your advice! 

  21. Hi,
    I followed everything in the recipe except I used store-bought pie crust. I made it yesterday and put it in the fridge once it cooled n served it tonight. Mine turned out soupy once I cut the pie. The center was not gooey at all, but really soupy. What do u think I did wrong? 

  22. Hi Sally, 

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing!
    Cheryl, bake the pie until the internal temperature (center) has reached 200 degrees f. Also, don’t refrigerate! Cover with saran wrap AFTER it has cooled, and leave on the counter. I guarantee this will fix your soupy center.

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