Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Unlike pumpkin pie, pecan pie has always been an absolute favorite of mine. Given my long-running love affair with nuts, I’d gobble up as much pecan pie as I could around the holidays. I loved the combination of the sweet filling with the salty nuts. Pair that with a buttery, flaky crust and you pretty much had heaven as far as I was concerned. This ranks up there with pumpkin in terms of standard Thanksgiving pie fare, so I thought it would only be fitting to share my favorite recipe as we close in on the holiday.

I adore this pie for two primary reasons:

#1: There are tons of chopped up pecans all throughout the pie and not just in a little layer on top; and

#2: The filling doesn’t have that fake, gelatin-y, super firm set consistency, which can sometimes be a little off-putting.

I basically can’t get enough of this and am making it my New Year’s resolution for 2011 to make pecan pie outside of the month of November. It so deserves it!

One year ago: Lebkuchen – German Christmas Cookies

Pecan Pie

Yield: One 9-inch pie

Prep Time: 2 hours (including crust)

Cook Time: 50 to 60 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

A pecan pie studded with chopped, toasted pecans all throughout the pie.

Ingredients:

1 recipe Pie Dough (for single crust)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces

Directions:

1. Prepare the crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

3. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Use a fork to prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

4. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling the whole way up to the rim of the pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil/parchment and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 15 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate from oven.

5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium heatproof bowl set in a skillet of water maintained at just below a simmer. Remove the bowl from the skillet; stir in the sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until the butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs, then the corn syrup and vanilla. Return the bowl to hot water; stir until the mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat; stir in the pecans.

6. As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. Pour the pecan mixture into the hot pie shell.

7. Bake on the middle rack until the pie looks set and yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed with the back of a spoon, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pie to a rack; cool completely, at least 4 hours.

(Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated)

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62 Responses to “Pecan Pie”

  1. Cherine on November 12, 2010 at 4:20 am

    The pecan pie looks divine!

    Reply

  2. Estela @ Weekly Bite on November 12, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Being from Texas, we grew up on pecan pie! Every holiday season it was on the table. I love it!

    Reply

    • Hannah on November 24th, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      oh, I am the same way! I was born in Texas, and my my mom makes the best pecan pie I have ever tasted, because she uses maple syrup instead of corn syrup. It makes all the difference. If you try it, trust me, you will never go back. Everyone else who’s tried it agrees with me!

      Reply

      • Kim on November 25th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

        Hannah,
        Do you substitute the maple syrup in the same amount for corn syrup?
        Thanks.

        Reply

  3. Tabitha @ From Single to Married on November 12, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Oh how I want to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving but my husband doesn’t like it which means I’ll end up eating the entire thing myself which is never good. :) This one looks particularly delish!

    Reply

  4. briarrose on November 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Looks wonderful. I love the texture of your filling.

    Reply

  5. Paula on November 12, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Beautiful!

    Reply

  6. Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry on November 12, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Wow, I have never been the biggest fan of pecan pie, but this looks like it would change my mind instantly! How do you toast your pecans? Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 14th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Shawn, Just on a baking sheet at 350 for about 8 minutes, tossing them about halfway through. I have also made this without toasting them and it was great too!

      Reply

  7. Jenny Flake on November 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

    ooooo baby this looks good! Bring on the Holidays :) Really looks beautiful!

    Reply

  8. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on November 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

    This looks divine! Love an ooey, gooey pecan pie.

    Reply

  9. the blissful baker on November 12, 2010 at 8:56 am

    this pie looks delicious! i absolutely love pecan pie, but i’ve never made it – though i’ve made pecan bars numerous times. i’ll be trying this out for thanksgiving for sure, i can’t wait!

    Reply

  10. Jihane @ Sinful Sundays on November 12, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I’ve never been a fan of pecan pie because of that jello-ey rubbery middle that they often have. Since you say this one doesn’t have it, I’m going to give this recipe to my aunt so she could make this pecan pie for Thanksgiving. :)

    Reply

  11. Tina from PA on November 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I love Pecan pie too!! Do you make Pecan Tassies ? Love them too !! I always add Pecan pie to my Thanksgiving menu, it’s always a hit !

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 14th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Tina, Pecan tassies are one of my favorite Christmas treats! I haven’t made them in a few years though. Need to make them this year and get them up on the site!

      Reply

  12. Katrina on November 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

    The center of this pie looks perfect. I haaaaaate dry pecan pies!

    Reply

  13. Tracy on November 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    The texture of this pie looks wonderful! Yum!

    Reply

  14. bridget {bake at 350} on November 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Michelle! This looks amazing!!! I’m like you, I like pecan pie, but not that gelatinous center. Yours looks like perfection!

    Reply

  15. Cookin' Canuck on November 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    The chopped-up pecans in the filling is a fantastic idea. The more pecan flavor the better, in my books.

    Reply

  16. Irina@PastryPal on November 12, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I just found your site and wow, is it ever impressive! I’m amazed by all the great recipes and useful information you have here. And that pie looks sticky good! And you’re so right about making desserts outside their holiday windows. I would eat Thanksgiving desserts ANY day.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 14th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you for the kind words Irina, so happy you’ve been enjoying the site!

      Reply

  17. Courtney on November 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Looks amazing.. Just wish I could eat nuts. :( Will definitely be trying the pie dough recipe though :)

    Reply

    • The Pie Guy on November 13th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Courtney,
      I am in the same boat with you, alergic to nuts. But, I can have almonds. Is there an almond pie?

      Reply

  18. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on November 14, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I just picked up a big bag of pecans at Sam’s Club and didn’t have any plans for them. My mom often makes pumpkin pecan pies, but I find myself nibbling the pecans off of the top. For some reason, I’ve never made pecan pie, though… Will have to give this one a try!

    Reply

  19. Island Vittles on November 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I’ve been watching your Thanksgiving preparations with interest! Our Thanksgiving is done here in Canada, but I think I need to experience an American one this year…when should I be there? I’ll bring the wine! Theresa

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 14th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      Oooh bring on the wine! Are there traditional foods for Thanksgiving in Canada like there are here?

      Reply

  20. Ali Cakes on November 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    My family is from Tennessee, I’m the only one Ca born. I must do a comparison test from a family recipe with this one from BI. They always serve a winner and this looks to good to pass up. Thnx.

    Reply

  21. Sandra on November 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I agree that the calendar should never dictate your appetite, especially your sweet tooth. Pecan Pie for everyone!!!

    Reply

  22. Baking Serendipity on November 14, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Pumpkin pie always steals the spotlight from pecan in my house. I need to make this and give it the credit it deserves :)

    Reply

  23. Lisa on November 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Gorgeous photos. I am definitely going to try this recipe this Thanksgiving. Mmmm!!

    Reply

  24. Patty on November 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

    YUM! Luckily there are lots of pecans here in Mexico – all other nuts are hard (or impossible) to find in these parts – but we do get fresh pecans. :)

    Reply

  25. Deborah on November 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I used to not like pecan pie as a child, but now I definitely love it! And great resolution to have it outside of the holiday season!

    Reply

  26. Nuts about Food on November 16, 2010 at 8:12 am

    We are real pecan pie lovers in my family and that is one good pecan pie recipe…

    Reply

  27. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels on November 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I absolutely LOVE pecan pie and yours looks incredible! Pecan pie is the one pie that I could just devour in seconds. It’s just the perfect kind of pie. :)

    Reply

  28. Shannon on November 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I made this today and it is so incredibly delicious. The gooey center is perfect. Very easy to make and even if it wasn’t, it’s still worth any trouble! Thank you so much for this recipe; enjoy your holiday!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 19th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      So glad you loved it as much as I did Shannon! I wish I could have a piece now!

      Reply

  29. wvfinn on November 19, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Hey great looking pie Michelle! I see you used whole pecans on top. Is this in addition to the 2 cups or are these taken out of the 2 cups chopped you list in your ingredients?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 21st, 2010 at 11:19 pm

      The pecans on top are extra just for garnishment, they are not taken out of the 2 cups for the recipe. Enjoy the pie!

      Reply

  30. Jessica on November 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I love your chocolate pecan pie bars so when I thought about making pecan pie I immediately thought of your site. How far ahead can I make this pie? I’m debating making it today (Tuesday) to serve on Thursday.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 23rd, 2010 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Jessica, You will love this pie! I would only make it the day before, otherwise I fear the crust might get soggy.

      Reply

  31. Jen @ How To: Simplify on December 11, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Wow, this pie looks amazing. This is one of my favorite desserts to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

    Reply

  32. claudia on November 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    i can’t stand corn syrup…. can I change it for regular sugar? it looks divine!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 4th, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Hi Claudia, You definitely can’t substitute regular sugar for corn syrup in a pecan pie recipe. It’s pretty much the key ingredient and gives it the characteristic flavor/texture.

      Reply

  33. Jessika on November 28, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I used the two recipes for my Thanksgiving, and although I was positive I destroyed the pie crust, the whole pie was. amazing. I prepped the dough, and set the crust, but I accidentally baked it for the twenty minutes on the wrong temp. (yeah, don’t try to bake a pie crust at 7am) I then drove three hours, with a half baked pie crust. But after I finished cooking it, everyone was amazed. Thank you, I am now the sole baker of Pecan Pie for holidays from here on out.

    Reply

  34. Kristine on January 30, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I LOOOOOOVE pecan nuts, and this pie looks absolutely amazaing! Can’t wait to try it!
    (Too bad pecan nuts are really expensive where I live..)

    Reply

  35. PFRANK on November 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    looks so tempting. i love pecan pie. but nobody else at home
    can we make tassies with this recipe? thanks

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 17th, 2013 at 8:48 am

      I actually have a recipe for Pecan Tassies, if you’re interested: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/12/17/pecan-tassies-recipe/

      Reply

      • Pfrank on January 13th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

        Thanks Michelle so much. Love your posts, look forward to the Friday post especially. Like to see what’s happening to duke and Einstein . Have 2 guys like that myself both labs though- one is almost 14 and the other is a 4 1/2 month old one. We all look at your pics every week and give out comments to our dogs as why can’t you guys be like Einstein and duke!

        Reply

  36. Sarah on November 25, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I only bought light brown sugar. Could I use that with dark Karo syrup??? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 25th, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Hi Sarah, I think that would work fine.

      Reply

  37. Olga harris on November 26, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I just made this for thanksgiving. It wasn’t anymore difficult than regular Pecan Pie. It looks though it looks. Lovely

    Reply

  38. TeoBucatar on December 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Your pecan pie looks delicious!

    Reply

  39. Cat on December 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve been making pecan pie using the techniques of toasting and chopping the pecans ever since I found the recipe in Baking Illustrated a few years back. It’s hands-down the best way to distribute the crunch through each and every bite. Another plus is that it makes for the easiest cutting. The toasting increases the depth of flavor of the nuts. After much experimentation, however, I have found that for our palates, at least, we like it with brown sugar in place of white (not too firmly packed, so as not to introduce too much sweetness) and dark corn syrup in place of the light. Also, I cut the vanilla back to a dash and add 4-5 tsp Old Grand Dad 100 proof Kentucky Bourbon (although I used Jim Beam’s once when I was out of OGD, and it was pretty darned fantastic, too.) Off the flippin’ HOOK!!!!! This year at Thanksgiving I topped it with my home made eggnog ice cream, and the crowd went crazy. This makes a splendidly impressive holiday dessert. Not quick and easy with the pate brisee crust, but SOOOOO worth the time.

    Reply

    • Cat on December 4th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Correction: I meant to say that one of the things we like is the brown sugar of this recipe as opposed to the white that most recipes call for. It’s part of what makes it for us, as well as taking it one step further with the sub of dark corn syrup for light, which further deepens the earthy flavor. I have made it exactly as written, however, and gotta say, it’s pretty darned fine!! I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it as is, either. I just believe that the dark corn syrup and bourbon send it even further into the stratosphere. Bottom line: Run, don’t walk, to make this. Yes, it IS that good!!

      Reply

  40. Máire on September 17, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I can’t get my hands on corn syrup in Ireland. Could golder syrup or maple be used instead?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 17th, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Yes, something like Lyle’s golden syrup would work, as well.

      Reply

  41. Amanda on September 30, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    If we “cheat” a bit and use a premake/frozen pie shell, do you recommend that we still brown it? Or just put the filling in and bake as recommended in the pie shell package.

    Thanks in advance – can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply

  42. Katlyn on October 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    When you put the bowl in the skillet of water is like a double boiler or is the boil actually sitting flat on the bottom of the skillet with the water surrounding it?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 27th, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Hi Katlyn, The bowl is actually sitting on the bottom of the skillet with the water surrounding it.

      Reply

      • Katlyn on October 27th, 2014 at 11:31 am

        Thank you so much! I’m a huge fan of your recipes!

        Reply

  43. Heidelind on November 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I had no idea that it was so easy to make Pecan Pie! And this is just delicious!

    Reply

  44. svitlana on December 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    BEST pie I ever ate, making it again

    Reply

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