What’s your favorite Thanksgiving pie? Mine is a toss up between apple, pumpkin, and pecan pie. In fact, I love them all so much I make one of each for our T-day feast. (It seems like everyone in our family has their favorite, and if I don’t make them all someone will run to the store to fill the gap!)
Pecans are native to North America, so it is entirely fitting that a pecan pie would make an annual appearance at Thanksgiving along with our other native foodstuffs like turkey, pumpkin, and cranberries. Pecan pie itself though, is a more recent invention. It became popular through the marketing efforts of Karo in the 1930s, to help sell their corn syrup, a necessary ingredient in the pie.
Most pecan pie recipes I’ve found call for 2 cups of sugar—one cup of corn syrup plus one cup of either granulated or brown sugar. I find that just a bit too sweet for my taste, so I’ve dropped the sugar down by half a cup. Feel free to reduce further or add more to your taste. The molasses, butter and vanilla bring out the wonderful flavor of the pecans. Nuts go rancid with storage, so make sure you are using the freshest of pecans for this pie!
Recipe updated Nov 21, 2014, originally posted 2005
- 1 9-inch pie shell, frozen (freeze for half an hour if freshly made) (I recommend our easy, flaky, sour cream pie crust)
- 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (save a few whole pecan halves to create a decoration on the surface of the pie if you want)
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl vigorously mix together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla, salt, until smooth. (No need for a mixer, you can beat by hand using a wooden spoon.)
2 Spread the chopped pecans over the bottom of a frozen pie shell. Pour the filling over the pecans. Don't worry about burying the pecans, they will rise to the surface. (If you have reserved a few whole pecan halves, you can use them to arrange them on the surface in a decorative pattern. Just dip them below the wet filling and let them rise again so they get coated with the filling.)
3 Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes tent the pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the crust and pecans from getting too browned. Bake for another 40 to 50 minutes until the filling has set. The pie should be just barely wiggly in the center.
4 Remove from oven and let cool completely. Note that the pie will be puffed up a bit when you first take it out of the oven, it will settle as it cools.