The BEST Pecan Pie Recipe (2024)

Gooey, nutty, and perfectly balanced between salty and sweet, this is, hands-down, the best pecan pie recipe. It is my absolute favorite version of this Southern classic and a must-make holiday dessert! With toasted pecans and an unbelievably flakypie crust, this decadent pie pairs perfectly with freshwhipped creamorscoop of ice cream.

The BEST Pecan Pie Recipe (1)

When it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, do you opt forpumpkin pie, pecan pie, or apple pie? Pecan pie has always been an absolute favorite of mine. I love the combination of the sweet filling, the toasted pecans, and the buttery, flaky crust; it’s absolutely heavenly.

This classic pie recipe is a Southern staple. Made with pecans, butter, sugar, and eggs, this gooey homemade pecan pie also commonly contains corn syrup, molasses, or even honey. While this pie is traditionally dished out at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can’t get enough of it and think it deserves a spot in your year-round dessert-making line-up.

Why We Love This Pie

I adore this pie for a number of reasons, the biggest of which include…

  • The Pecans– Not only are there tons of pecans all throughout the pie and not just in a layer on the top but the pie is full ofchoppedpecans, which makes this pie so much easier to eat. I find it so difficult to eat pecan pie when it’s full of pecan halves; anyone else?
  • Gooey Filling –It doesn’t have that fake, gelatin-y, super firm set consistency, which can sometimes be a little off-putting. The texture of this pie is absolutely sublime.
  • The Crust!– I usethe best homemade pie crustfor this recipe; it’s flaky, buttery, and bakes up perfectly every time. You can use a store-bought refrigerated or frozen pie crust, if you prefer.
  • Make-Ahead Friendly– Since there is a long cooling time you can easily whip this pie up a day or two before you plan to serve.
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How to Toast Pecans

The best pecans for pies or any baked good are toasted. I cannot stress this enough. If you are looking for that warm, buttery, nutty flavor of a delicious pecan, you absolutely must toast them before adding them to your pie.

The process of toasting nuts helps draw the natural oils from the pecan to the surface. It makes the nuts crunchier and truly enhances the flavor.

To toast your pecans, follow these instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spread the pecans into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and toast for up 10 minutes.
  • Around 5 minutes, stir the pecans to make sure they evenly roast.
  • You will know they are toasted when they are about a shade darker in color and you can smell their rich pecan flavor. Keep a close eye to ensure they don’t burn!
  • Cool completely before chopping and using in the pie.

How to Make Pecan Pie

This classic pecan pie can easily be broken down into 4 main steps, making the pie crust, prebaking the crust, cooking the pecan pie filling, and baking the pie. Let’s discuss how to make this easy pecan pie.

Step 1: The Pie Crust

I have an entire tutorial on how to ensure this crust turns out perfectly; refer to thehow to make pie crustguide (as well as the recipe written below) for more detailed instructions, but here is a quick overview:

  • Combine dry ingredients either by food processor or by hand, then mix in the ice water and chilled vodka.
  • Immediately turn the dough mixture out onto a well-floured surface and roll out to a 13-inch circle.
  • Transfer the dough to the pie plate, crimp the edges, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to one day.

Step 2: Prebake the Crust

I have an entire tutorial devoted toblind baking pie crust, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t done it before or would like extra information about the method that I use.

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line the chilled, unbaked pie shell with aluminum foil and press it against the dough so that it conforms to the shape, ensuring all of the dough is covered, including the edges.
  • Fill the entire shell with white granulated sugar, the whole way to the top.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and sugar.

Step 3: Make the Filling

While the crust is baking, begin making the filling. This allows you to pour the warm filling into the hot crust before baking.

  • Melt the butter in a double boiler, then add the sugar and salt.
  • With a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla. Continue to stir until the mixture is shiny and hot (and registers 130 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
The BEST Pecan Pie Recipe (3)
The BEST Pecan Pie Recipe (4)

Step 4: Putting the Pie Together

Now that your crust is baked and the filling is ready, it’s time to put the pie together.

  • As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 275°F and adjust rack to middle position.
  • Pour the pecan mixture into the hot pie shell and bake until the pie looks set yet soft, like gelatin, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely for at least 4 hours.
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Flavor Variations for the Filling

In my classicderby pie recipe, we add both bourbon and chocolate to the walnut filling to amp up the flavor, and we can do the same here, as well, using these guidelines for adding those ingredients:

  • Bourbon Pecan Pie:Add 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the egg mixture when you stir in the pecans.
  • ChocolatePecan Pie:Add ¾ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips to the egg mixture when you stir in the pecans.
  • Bourbon-Chocolate Pecan Pie:Add both the 2 tablespoons of bourbon AND the ¾ cup of chocolate chips for a decadent pie!

Serving Suggestions

After allowing the pie to cool, slice up a piece and dish it out for all to enjoy! Here are some decadent toppings that take this classic pecan pie to the next level:

  • A dollop offresh whipped cream
  • A scoop ofvanilla ice creamon top
  • Swirl somesalted caramelover your slice.
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Storing, Freezing, and Making Ahead

Whether you are keeping your pie whole or looking for ways to store leftovers, here are my tips for safely storing, freezing, and reheating your pecan pie.

  • Storing: Once cooled, the pie can be covered in aluminum foil and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: Cooked and cooled pecan pie keeps in the freezer for up to 2 months. Cover the pie in aluminum foil and then wrap it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
  • Reheating: Let the pie thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake at 250°F for about 15 minutes until warmed through.
  • Making Ahead: There are a few ways to prep in advance for making this pecan pie. First, you can make the pie crust up to 2 days before you plan to make the pie. Alternatively you can make the entire pie up to 4 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.

More Pecan and Walnut Favorites:

  • Pecan Pie Bars
  • Pecan Pie Cheesecake
  • Pecan Tassies
  • Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie
  • Cinnamon-Sugar Candied Pecans

If you make this pecan pie recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe!❤️️

The BEST Pecan Pie Recipe (7)

Pecan Pie

Yield: 8 servings (One 9-inch pie)

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Chilling time: 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 2 hours hrs

Sweet, buttery, and perfectly nutty this easy pecan pie recipe makes the ultimate holiday dessert.

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Ingredients

For the Pie Crust

  • 1 ¼ cups (163 g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup (46 g) chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, cold
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the Pie Filling

  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (198 g) dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup (234 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (228 g) pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces

Instructions

  • Make the Crust

    Food Processor Instructions:Process ¾ cups of the flour, the sugar and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add the butter and shortening and process until a hom*ogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 7 to 10 seconds (the dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and the mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl.

    By Hand Instructions:In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Toss the butter and shortening with the flour mixture to break up any big pieces. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse crumbs.

  • Sprinkle the vodka and water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together.

  • Roll out on a generously floured work surface to a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around the circumference, ease the dough into the plate by gently lifting edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the plate bottom with other hand. Dust off any excess flour with a pastry brush. With scissors or kitchen shears, trim the edge so that it overhangs by 1 inch. Fold the overhang under itself; the folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute the dough or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against the rim of pie plate. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to one day in advance.

  • Blind Bake Pie Crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Remove the chilled pie shell from the refrigerator and line with a large sheet of aluminum foil, pressing it so it conforms to the pie plate, and over the edges of the pie. Fill the whole way to the top with white granulated sugar, then transfer the pie plate to a rimmed half sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes. bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and sugar.

  • Prepare Pie Filling: While the crust is blind baking, 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.

  • Bake the Pie: As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 275 degrees F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Pour the pecan mixture into the hot pie shell. Place a pie shield around the edges of the crust.

  • 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 or overnight.

Notes

  • Equipment: 9-inch pie plate / Instant-read thermometer
  • Pie Crust: Use this all-butter pie crust recipe if you prefer no shortening and/or vodka.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: You can substitute light brown sugar.
  • Pecans: Toast the pecans for the best flavor! Follow directions in the ingredients section above.
  • Serving Suggestions: Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate, or salted caramel sauce.
  • Storing: Once cooled, the pie can be covered in aluminum foil and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: Cooked and cooled pecan pie keeps in the freezer for up to 2 months. Cover the pie in aluminum foil and then wrap it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
  • Reheating: Let the pie thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake at 250°F for about 15 minutes until warmed through.
  • Making Ahead: There are a few ways to prep in advance for making this pecan pie. First, you can make the pie crust up to 2 days before you plan to make the pie. Alternatively, you can make the entire pie up to 4 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

Calories: 555kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 274mg, Potassium: 179mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 52g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1.6mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Author: Michelle

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Photography by Ari Laing.

The BEST Pecan Pie Recipe (2024)

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