This delicious Southern pecan pie recipe is sweetened with maple syrup instead of corn syrup. This is the way my Grammy always made it, with one exception: she always used Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. I chose to use real maple syrup! It has all the flavor and none of the corn syrup.
Pecan pie is my dad's favorite pie! He has a serious sweet tooth. So it's no wonder he's in love with this toffee-sweet pie recipe.
As one of nine children, my mom grew up in a family that had to feed a lot of mouths. Even though our little family was just the four of us, my mom always cooked like she was feeding an army.
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving at our house without both Pumpkin Pie and this Pecan Pie. My mom would usually make two of each. Of course, we would always have plenty to share with the neighbors.
My mom made a habit of inviting stray friends and neighbors over for the holidays. She loved sharing her cooking and family spirit with anyone that needed it. I still remember this gesture of outreach. It really says a lot about her heart for giving! It taught me how impactful sharing a meal can be.
Now I make these pies every year for my own family. One of the things that I love most about cooking is sharing old family memories with my husband and daughter and creating new family memories that will carry on down to the next generation.
What You’ll Love About This Recipe
- Perfectly flaky, buttery pie crust.
- Thick pecan toffee pie filling.
- The ULTIMATE carb comma.
All of the pecan pie ingredients are most likely things you already have in your pantry. I've made this recipe so that this pecan pie is made without corn syrup, but feel free to stick with dark corn syrup or the imitation maple syrup that my Grammy used to use.
What You'll Need
- One Pie Crust: You can use a pre-made frozen crust, but why? Making a flaky, buttery, homemade pie crust is so easy. To make this pie gluten free, use a gluten-free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mill or King Arther Brand.
- Butter: I like to use browned butter in this pie because it adds an extra layer of nuttiness. Browning the butter is totally optional.
- Pecan Halves: You'll need 2 cups of pecan halves that will be rough chopped. I like to top the pie with whole pecans, but that is also completely optional.
- Maple Syrup: I've adapted this maple pecan pie recipe from Grammy's original recipe. I use real maple syrup instead of the maple-flavored corn syrup known as Mrs. Butterworth's (Do they still have this in stores?) Anyhow, adding a tablespoon of flour to the filling will compensate for the thinness of maple syrup and make sure your filling thickens properly.
- Eggs: You'll need two eggs for this recipe; make sure the eggs are room temperature.
- Vanilla: Just a little bit of vanilla.
- Salt: A pinch of salt helps to enhance the flavor of the pecans.
Step 1: Prepare the pie dough.
Make my all-butter pie dough. (If you are using a pre-made pie dough, roll it out, get it in your pie plate, and then put it in the fridge.) Whether you buy a crust or make your own, we will be pre-baking the pie crust for this recipe.
Step 2: Chop the pecans.
Roughly chop 2 cups of pecans. I buy at least ½ cups extra pecan halves to that I can use them on the top of the pie. I think it gives the pie a little bit more of a finished look. These are totally optional.
Step 3: Make the pecan pie filling.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. There is only one extra step here if you are using maple syrup. Making pecan pie without corn syrup can lead to a runny pie. To make sure the filling thickens properly, add one tablespoon of flour to the pie filling. Set aside until you are ready to use the filling.
Step 4: How to pre-bake the pie crust.
Make sure your crust is well refrigerated before pre-baking, at least 25 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450℉. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and tuck it gently into the corners. Add in ceramic pie weights or dried beans to weigh down the surface.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. You want the edges to be slightly browned. Remove the pie and let cool for a few minutes. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350℉.
Step 5: Add the filling to the pie crust.
Add the pecan pie filling to the pre-baked pie crust. f you want to be extra fancy, you can top the pie with perfect pecan halves in a circular pattern. My Grammy never did this, but I love the way it looks.
Step 6: Bake!
Now it's time to bake the BEST pecan pie! Bake this beauty for approximately 40 to 50 minutes. You will know it's done when the center puffs up.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes, pecan pie is great to make ahead of time. Simply wrap the pecan pie tightly in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
Like any pie, this is obviously dessert food. However, the eggs and nuts are jam-packed with healthy fats! Plus, natural maple syrup contains high levels of minerals and antioxidants, making it one of the most nutritious sweeteners out there.
Pecan pie typically thickens on its own as it is baking. The eggs, butter, corn syrup, and half and half form a thick custard as they cook. If you use maple syrup instead of corn syrup, you can can add flour to the custard to help it thicken.
Pecan pie is super rich and super sweet. It tastes like a rich, brown butter caramel sauce full of nuts, wrapped in a buttery, flaky pie crust.
Pecan pie is super easy to make from scratch. All you need are a bunch of pecans, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, and butter. Follow my easy pecan pie recipe and you will get step by step instructions on how to make the best pecan pie recipe out there!
Of course, you can use traditional corn syrup or even golden syrup in this recipe. The pie with have more of the classic Southern pecan pie recipe flavor, which is totally fine by me.
- Bourbon Pecan Pie: I love good bourbon, and nothing goes together better than pecan pie and bourbon. To make this into a bourbon pie, simply add two tablespoons of bourbon to the pie filling in lieu of the vanilla. Serve with a big dollop of ice cream.
- Mini Pecan Pies: I've made this recipe many times in the form of mini pecan pies. For full details, see my Pecan Tartlets recipe. I've also made this recipe in mini muffin pans for bite-sized mini pecan pies. What could be cuter?
Other Pie Recipes That You’ll Love
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Pecan Pie Filling
- ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, or brown the butter for a nuttier flavor
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup maple syrup you can use corn syrup or golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon flour leave out if not using maple syrup
- ½ cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups pecan halves chopped, more left whole for decorating
- 9 inch pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 450℉
- Optional: Brown the butter in a small saucepan.
- Whisk together the sugar and the salt.
- Add the melted butter to the sugar mixture.
- Add the maple syrup, half and half, vanilla, and flour. Whisk until combined.
- Add in eggs one at a time. Whisk to combine.
- Prebake the pie crust for 10 to 15 minutes at 450℉.I recommend refrigerating the pie dough for at least half an hour before pre-baking. Carefully line the uncooked pie dough with parchment paper. Make sure to tuck the paper into the bottom corners of the pie dough. Fill the whole thing with pie weights.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and carefully lift out the parchment paper and the pie weights.
- Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F.
- Pour the pecan custard mixture into the pie dough.
- Bake until the custard is set, 40 to 50 minutes. You will know it is done when it puffs up in the center.
- PRO-TIP: You may cover the edges of the crust in aluminum foil or with pie guards if you notice it getting too dark.
Laura's Tips + Notes
- Bourbon Pecan Pie: I love good bourbon, and nothing goes together better than pecan pie and bourbon. To make this into a bourbon pecan pie, simply add two tablespoons of bourbon to the pie filling in lieu of the vanilla.
- Mini Pecan Pies: I've made this recipe many times in the form of mini pecan pies. For full details, see my Pecan Tartlets recipe. I've also made this recipe in mini cupcake tins. You'll end up with bite-sized mini pecan pies. What could be cuter?
- Maple Syrup: You can use corn syrup or golden syrup in lieu of the maple syrup. Omit the additional flour if you are using either of these.
- Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mill or King Arther Brand.
- Refrigerate: Cover tightly with foil and store in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freeze: You can freeze the entire pecan pie or individual slices. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store for up to 3 months.
- To freeze individual slices: Refrigerate the pie overnight so it slices easily. Slice and wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.