Our pumpkin pecan pie has everything you love about the two classic holiday desserts, from the creamy pumpkin spice custard to the sweet, crunchy pecan topping. This pie may be two desserts combined into one, but it’s still very easy to make.
We recommend refrigerating this pie overnight for the best flavor, so keep that in mind if you’re menu planning for Thanksgiving or another large gathering. But this works in your favor during the busy cooking and baking season: Make it a day or two in advance to free up the oven and kitchen space on the big day.
Canned Pumpkin vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
When baking any pumpkin treat, you’ve got several options to choose from: canned pumpkin, fresh pumpkin, or pumpkin pie filling. For this pecan pumpkin pie recipe, It’s important to use plain pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Why? Pumpkin pie filling already has sugar and spices added, so it would throw the recipe off. Plain pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are often placed right next to each other on the grocery shelves, so make sure you snag the right can.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pecan Pie
- Pie dough: You’ll need dough for a single-crust pie for our recipe. You can use a classic butter pie crust or a premade frozen or refrigerated crust. To make dough for a single-crust pie, combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3 to 5 tablespoons of ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Pumpkin: Make sure to use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, for this recipe. We prefer canned pumpkin vs. homemade pumpkin puree for our pumpkin pies, but if you want to use homemade pumpkin puree, you’ll need about 1-1/2 cups of pureed cooked pumpkin for this recipe.
- Eggs: Eggs create the custard in the pumpkin portion of this pie. They’re also integral to making the pecan pie filling.
- Whipping cream: Most pumpkin pies are made with evaporated milk, but whipping cream makes it even more luscious.
- Maple syrup: Maple syrup sweetens both the pumpkin pie filling and the crunchy pecan topping, so you want to use the best you can find. Make sure it’s pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup, which has added corn syrup. These are our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best maple syrups.
- Spices: Sugar and spice makes pumpkin pecan pie very, very nice. The two classics—cinnamon and nutmeg—are here, and that’s all you really need. If you want to use only cinnamon, that’s fine too.
- Pecans: If you have the time, start with raw pecans, and toast them at home. They’ll taste richer and more flavorful. Chop them yourself, and save a few extra halves for garnish.
Step 1: Get the crust ready
Preheat your oven to 425°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle; transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the crust to about 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the plate. Crimp or flute the edge as you like.
Editor’s Tip: Make sure the dough is properly chilled before handling so it’s easier to roll out. If using an all-butter pie crust, pop the dough-filled pie plate into the refrigerator to chill while you make the rest of your fillings. That way the butter won’t melt too much before it hits the oven.
Step 2: Make the pumpkin filling
In a large bowl, beat two eggs, the pumpkin, syrup, sugar, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Pour the mixture into your pie crust.
Step 3: Make the pecan topping
In a large bowl, stir together the last two eggs with the pecans, sugar and syrup. Carefully spoon the nutty mixture over the top of the pumpkin.
Step 4: Bake the pie
Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Continue baking the pie until the crust is golden brown and the top of the pie is set, 40 to 45 minutes longer. Remove the pie from the oven.
Test Kitchen Tip: You want a little jiggle in the pie when it comes out of the oven. To test for doneness, tap the side of the pan with a spoon, and see if the filling wobbles just slightly. If it jiggles too much, it still needs more time.
Step 5: Let the pecan pumpkin pie rest
It’s important to let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least one hour (don’t be tempted to refrigerate it to speed up the cooling process—that can lead to a cracked top). Once cooled, refrigerate the pie overnight. If you’d like, serve the pie with dollops of whipped topping.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Variations
- Use a spice mix: If you want to keep it simple, use homemade pumpkin pie spice (or even apple pie spice) in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg. This will give you a spicier pie.
- Make mini pies: Experiment with making miniature pumpkin pecan pies. Pull out your muffin tin, and follow this recipe for adorable pumpkin tartlets.
- Add a pretty decoration: Create some decorations using extra pie dough: Roll the refrigerated pastry scraps to 1/8-inch thickness. Then, using a knife or leaf-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into about 1-inch pieces. Place the pie leaves on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 375° for six to eight minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Place them on top of the cooled pumpkin pecan pie before serving, or garnish each slice with a pretty leaf along with whipped cream.
How to Store Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Once cooled, you can store pecan pumpkin pie in an airtight container, or wrapped tightly, in the refrigerator for up to four days.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Pecan Pie
You can freeze pumpkin pecan pie, and this will save you some time if you’re cooking a lot for the holidays. Cover tightly, and store in a freezer-friendly resealable bag for up to one month.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Tips
Should you blind bake the crust for pecan pumpkin pie?
You don’t need to blind bake the crust for pecan pumpkin pie. It bakes in the oven long enough that the crust will cook as the filling cooks.
How do you prevent a soggy bottom for pecan pumpkin pie?
Prevent a soggy bottom for pecan pumpkin pie by baking the pie in the lower third of the oven.
How do you stop a pumpkin pie crust from burning?
To stop a pumpkin pie crust from burning, use a pie shield to protect the crust. If you don’t have one on hand, simply make a pie crust shield with aluminum foil.
Why did my pumpkin pie crack?
To prevent a pumpkin pie from cracking, follow these best practices: don’t overbake the pie; bake it on the lower third oven rack; make sure the oven temperature is correct; and let the pie cool slowly. Fortunately, with our pumpkin pecan pie, the pecan topping hides most cracks. And as backup, you can use those decorative leaves to hide any cracks—along with lots of whipped cream.