Pecan Pie – A Southern classic holiday dessert some have dubbed “The Mother of All Pies.” That flaky, buttery crust with a custardy, crunchy pecan filling deserves the title if you ask me. 😜 Plus, this is one of the easiest pies you’ll ever make!
Pecan pie is one of my favorite pies to make all year round, but I will admit that it shows up in my kitchen more often when the holidays roll around. My friends and family highly request this particular recipe during the get-together season because it is darn delicious.
I’ve been obsessed with pecan pie since I was a kid. It’s just so homey and comforting, ya know? So, as an adult, I did my fair share of recipe tests before I settled on this version as the most heavenly pecan pie one can bake. 😇
Is it a Southern Thing?
Is Pecan Pie a Southern Thing?
Bless your little ol’ heart; I’m so glad you asked! Pecan pie is tremendously popular in the South, where it seems to have originated. Texans usually claim credit for the invention of this pie, but you’ll find it on tables all around the South nowadays, especially during the holiday season. It doesn’t discriminate, though, coz Northerners love it too! 😜
- Pie Crust – A premade refrigerated pie crust works beautifully in this pecan pie recipe, but if you want to go all out, you can definitely make a homemade crust instead.
- Eggs – Eggs work to bind the filling together and give it a custard-like texture.
- Sugar – Get out the brown and granulated sugar because you’ll need them both for this dish.
- Corn Syrup – Corn syrup adds sweetness and contributes to the smooth texture of the pie filling. I’ve tried it without, but it’s not the same.
- Pecans – We’ll layer our pecans right between the pie crust and the filling, and to make things look fancy, we’ll use them to decorate the surface of the pie too!
- Vanilla Extract – To give your pie a little extra layer of flavor, you’ll also use a splash of vanilla extract.
How to Make Pecan Pie
Prepare the Pie Crust and Filling
- Prep the Crust – Unroll the pie crust over the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under and lightly press against the rim of the pie plate, then crimp decoratively.
- Chill – Lightly prick the bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).
- Melt Sugar and Butter – Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Quickly stir to combine the butter and sugar. (Photo 1)
- Corn Syrup – Next, whisk in the corn syrup and salt. (Photo 2)
- Add Eggs – Put the eggs in a medium bowl and lightly beat, being careful not to overdo it.
- Combine – Then whisk in the corn syrup mixture.
Make the Pecan Pie
- Assemble – Place pecans at the bottom of the pie pan on top of the crust and pour the filling mixture evenly over them. (Photo 3-4)
- Bake on a baking sheet for about 50 minutes to an hour. To prevent the edges from browning too soon, cover the crust with foil or a pie crust shield for about 30 minutes. (Photo 5)
- Decorate – When you remove the foil or crust shield, you can add the decorative pecans on top, if you choose to.
- Continue Baking – Put the pie back in the oven after decorating and continue baking for the remainder of the time or until the pie is set.
- Cool – Remove the pie from the oven, and cool completely before serving. It will take about 3-4 hours.
- Serve it warm, or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Make a bourbon pecan pie by simply adding a few tablespoons of bourbon to the filling mix. That extra kick tastes amazing! 😋
- Please the chocolate lovers in your life by making a chocolate pecan pie. Just add a cup of chocolate chips to the filling mix and you’re in for a decadent treat.
Tips and Tricks
- If you’re feeling a little extra, toast the pecans before adding them to your pie. It brings out a nuttier flavor and they smell amazing too. 🤤
- Not sure if your pie is cooked through because of the decorative pecans on top? Just give it a light shake when you think it’s close to finished. If it jiggles just a little in the center (like Jell-O) and the edges are stable and set, then it’s done. Aside from that, the crust should be a deep golden color and the nuts and custard should be a medium-dark brown.
- It’s fine to serve this pie warm if you’d like, but let it cool for at least two hours to avoid a melty mess when cutting! (I know! The wait is the hardest part of this recipe!) ⏲
You can easily make this pie a day or two in advance. Simply follow the recipe instructions and let the pie cool completely. Then put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve pecan pie warm out of the oven, cooled to room temperature, or chilled in the fridge. Any way you slice it, this pie tastes amazing. And don’t forget to top each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some homemade whipped cream. 😉
Does pecan pie need to be refrigerated? Since the filling is made with eggs, it’s best to keep this pie stored in the fridge. It will keep in there for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze pecan pie? Absolutely! Make sure the pie is completely cooled before you wrap it in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Keep it in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it in the fridge the night before you plan to serve it up.
By the way, if you love your pecan pie just a little warm like I do, then feel free to microwave leftover slices in the fridge for 30 seconds or so before topping it with some melty ice cream. 💕
If your pie filling is runny, you’ve probably underbaked it. Give it about an hour in the oven, but if the whole pie still jiggles when you shake it at that time, give it another 10 minutes and check again. You want the outer edges to be firm and stable and only the very center to still be a little jiggly. Also, give it at least 2 hours to set but preferably 3-4 hours. The cooling/setting period is really important for this pie.
You can overcook anything, pecan pie included. If the crust and pecans burn, or if the filling gets dry and cakey, you’ve overcooked it. Set a kitchen timer to prevent this from happening.
Sure, maple syrup, molasses, or honey can work but with one caveat. Corn syrup is thicker than most other liquid sweeteners, so it could affect the texture of your filling. If you feel like the filling will be too runny, simply add a tablespoon of flour to the filling to help thicken it up.
What Goes with Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is an ideal dessert after a big savory family meal, which is probably why it’s so popular. I love serving it after serving smoked spatchcock turkey with roasted potatoes and carrots and green bean casserole.
More Satisfying Pecan Recipes to Try
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Southern Pecan Pie
- Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans (not exactly pie, but it deserves to be on this list! 😅)
And that’s a wrap! I told you this pie was super easy to make. Do you have a family pecan pie recipe, passed down for generations? A lot of my friends do. I’d love to hear your best variations on this Southern classic. Drop me a line in the comment section below.
Watch How to Make It
This blog post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/175℃.
- Unroll the pie crust, and cover the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edge, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under and lightly press against the rim of the pie plate, then crimp decoratively.
- Lightly prick the bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).
- Heat a deep, large skillet over medium heat, and add butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Quickly stir to combine the butter and sugar. Then whisk in corn syrup and salt.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl (do not overbeat). Then whisk in the corn syrup mixture.
- Place pecans over the crust on the bottom of the pie pan, and pour the corn syrup mixture evenly over the pecans.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for a total of 50 minutes to an hour. Cover the crust with foil or a pie crust shield for the first 30 minutes to prevent the edges from browning too soon. That would also be the perfect time to add decorative pecans if desired. Continue baking for the remainder of the time or until the pie is set.
- Remove from the oven, and cool completely before serving. It can take 3-4 hours.
- Serve pecan pie warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Tips & Notes:
- Where to find pecans? If pecans are not readily available at your farmer’s market, your best bet would be in the baking section of a grocery store. Most baking aisles carries baking toppings like different types of nuts, chocolates, dried fruits and etc. Your last resort would be ordering it online like on Amazon.
- If adding the decorative top, use about 1 cup of pecan halves. Add about halfway through baking or as soon as it starts to set.
- Let your pie set completely and cool down for at least two hours before slicing it.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.