The Best Pecan Pie

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling

Makes

8 servings

Updated: Oct. 15, 2022
Pecan pie is a Thanksgiving tradition in my house, and I was on a quest to create the ultimate version. This might be it!& mdash;James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor

Ingredients

  • Dough for single-crust pie
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon, optional
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: Whipped cream and ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim crust to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans; cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and pecans start to brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove pecans with a slotted spoon, reserving butter in pan. Stir in brown sugar, maple syrup and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into eggs; return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Stir whiskey, if desired, and vanilla into brown sugar mixture; stir in pecans. Pour into crust.
  3. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Cover edge with foil during the last 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Refrigerate leftovers.
Pecan Pie Tips

Should you toast pecans for pecan pie?

Toasting nuts adds major flavor and texture to pecan pie. In this recipe, the nuts are toasted in butter to give them an even richer flavor. Be sure to keep an eye on them, though; burnt pecans will ruin your pie.

Do you need to blind bake the crust?

You don’t need to blind bake the pie crust for this recipe. The pecan pie spends nearly an hour in the oven, giving it plenty of time to turn golden brown. And if you notice the edges of the crust browning too quickly, make an easy pie crust shield.

Can you make pecan pie without corn syrup?

No corn syrup is required in this pecan pie recipe! Instead, we use maple syrup, which is less sweet. Maple syrup also adds more flavor to the pie—flavor that really complements the pecans and butter.

How do you temper the eggs in this pecan pie recipe?

You don’t want to scramble the eggs by adding them too quickly to the hot mixture. To prevent scrambling, add a touch of the hot pie filling to the eggs and whisk quickly (this is called tempering), then add that back into mixing bowl. Be sure to keep whisking, whisking, whisking!

How can you tell when pecan pie is done?

Just like with cake, you can tell pecan pie is done with a simple toothpick test. When your pecan pie is approaching the end of its baking time, insert a toothpick into the center of the pie. If it comes away clean, the pie is baked. If the toothpick is still gooey, let the pie bake a few more minutes.

Does pecan pie have to be refrigerated?

Once cooled, pecan pie should be kept in the refrigerator, per the USDA. Pecan pie can be left at room temperature for serving for about two hours. After that, it’s best to store the pie back in the fridge. Cover to keep the pie fresh.

Can you freeze pecan pie?

Good news: You can freeze pecan pie. Bake your pie and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap—two layers is best. Then, pop the pie in the freezer for up to a month. When you’re ready to enjoy the pie, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or gently heat it up in a 300ºF oven for about 20 minutes.

Lisa Kaminski, Taste of Home Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 695 calories, 49g fat (17g saturated fat), 130mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 4g fiber), 8g protein.

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