Pecan Pie

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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!

Pecan Pie Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 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 extract

Method

1 Mix filling: 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.)

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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 35 to 45 minutes until the filling has set. The pie should be a bit 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.

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Links:

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping here on Simply Recipes

Grandmotherhood and pecan pie from Lisa Fain, our Homesick Texan

Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie from Use Real Butter

Pecan Pie

Showing 4 of 136 Comments

  • Anu

    Hello. Do you use raw or roasted pecans? Thank you

  • AM

    Your website is my go to for recipes! I’m sorry if this has been answered previously but… Is it A) measure 2 cups of pecans and chop them OR B) chop pecans til you have 2 cups worth? I seem to put a lot more pecans when I chop til there’s 2 cups and while it’s a really great pie, I wonder if I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time! Thanks!

  • Brenda Spann

    Elise, I use glass pi plates and I am leery of puting my crust straight from the freezer into a hot oven and yet, I repeatedly read pie crust recipes that say to freeze the crust before baking. Please enloghten me about this method and whether or not it is safe to use my glass/pyrex. Some of my pyrex is old.

  • Linn

    I find it extremely hard to believe that everyone says this was the best! What, if you followed the directions as I did, then your pie was grossly over cooked! I was just sick to serve this at Thanksgiving – one piece was eaten! I threw the rest in the trash! What a waste of expensive pecans!

  • Laurie

    I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday. My guests raved and ranted, with most saying it was the best pecan pie they’ve ever had.

    I agree. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, which is beyond delicious.

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