This Southern Pecan Pie is the best classic pie that you can prepare in no time. Nutty, sweet and oh so buttery, this pie was made to be on your holiday table especially when served a la mode with vanilla ice cream! Add the filling to my perfect pie crust, and get ready for the perfect pie! If you love this pie, definitely try this Buttermilk Pie, Chess Pie and Sweet Potato Pie recipes too!
Disclosure: I partnered with Land O’Lakes for this post, but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am grateful for authentic partnerships like this.
The Perfect Southern Pecan Pie Recipe!
When I was a little girl, I would watch my grandmother make pies with such ease. She’d roll out her dough on a dining room table coated with flour and stir spiced fillings in what seemed like the biggest pots ever. Big Mama moved around the kitchen like a butterfly, floating from one space to the other but never landing for too long. She worked efficiently, made very little mess (unless I was helping) and her fingers never doubted what they had to do next.
Each pie she made was perfect, or at least it was to me. Big Mama was, and will continue to be, the best baker I’ve ever known. The effort and love she poured into her pie crusts, along with delicious fillings, could never be imitated.
On brisk Fall days or at Holiday dinners, I crave any one of her pies. But, there is one that sits above the rest for me: Big Mama’s Pecan Pie. Her recipe for pecan pie is a classic, no-frills kinda pie, and it’s the ONLY ONE YOU’LL EVER NEED. Bold Statement but the complete truth!
What is Pecan Pie?
Pecan Pie is an American creation because the nut itself is native to North America. For a long time, pecans grew along areas watered by the Mississippi River, spreading a bit to the east into Alabama. Following the Civil War, commercial developers brought in a few varieties of pecans to grow in Georgia. Grafted pecan trees were also brought to Louisiana in the mid to late 1800s. Some believe the French invented the pecan pie after settling in New Orleans.
The earliest printed pecan recipes began popping up in Texas cookbooks in the 1870s and 1880s so it indeed has Southern roots. By the beginning of the 20th century, recipes for pecan pie had started appearing outside of Texas, but the pie didn’t become popular until the mid-1920s. Since then, pecan pie has truly taken on a life of its own. Pecan pie is a staple in almost every home in America come holiday season. I mean, who can blame us? It’s just that good.
What Makes a Perfect Pecan Pie Recipe?
Everyone has his or her version of a perfect pecan pie. Some pies are gooey, some are extra buttery and some have a caramelized taste. There’s something for everyone. Mine might be a mix of all of these.
Personally, I love a classic Pecan Pie. The crust should be buttery, flaky not too crumbly and just the right level of thickness. Let’s be honest, we want a lot more filling than crust here people.
The filling should be custardy and gooey but not insanely runny (I like it to not be too stiff so you can alter baking time here if you need to) and flavorful but not sickly sweet. You really want those pecans to shine because that flavor is something to go “nuts” for. Too corny?
Southern Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients
I’ve got a secret ya’ll. It’s the one ingredient I rely on every single time I bust out my pie dish: Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil.
Made with only sweet cream, canola oil and salt, Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil gives you the fresh butter taste you love without anything unnecessary. It is particularly great here in this pie.
The other key ingredients I use for the filling are:
- Granulated (White) Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Corn Syrup
I use two different sugars here because it helps round out the flavor. I didn’t want to go with all brown sugar since it can sometimes take over with its undertones of molasses.
Corn syrup is a crucial ingredient in pecan pie recipes. You will find it in almost every traditional one; however, I have seen some fantastic substitutions with maple syrup that you can definitely try.
Eggs are the great stabilizer and vanilla is an additional flavor that is a must here.
Tip: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature! It will help to set your pie. Necessary!
A little bit of all-purpose flour helps to set the pie even more. Don’t worry! You will mix this ingredient in thoroughly and won’t taste it at all after the filling sets up.
Finally, the other star, besides my Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil, is pecans. Here, I use pecan halves but if you want them smaller, you can use chopped or a mix of both for different textures. This is where you can make a preference call.
How to Make Pecan Pie
Don’t forget that the crust is essential as well! Make sure that you begin with a homemade crust if you have the time. Here is my favorite recipe for pie crust. ALL BUTTER!
The best part about making the filling for this recipe is it is a quick one-bowl whisk and stir method. A lot of the ingredients are in liquid form and allow this process to happen easily.
Once you add your flour and pecans, you will want to be a bit more careful with your stirring to combine.
Tip: Make sure you truly stir your flour into the mixture, making sure no pieces are left not combined.
If there was one thing I loved more than watching my Big Mama make her pies, it was seeing her share them. For her, the best part of baking was being able to share what she’d made with people she loved. Or sometimes just with strangers.
So today, I share this recipe with you all in the hopes that you’ll do the same this holiday season. Eat a slice, share a slice.
Southern Pecan Pie Recipe
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tbsp Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil or Regular Butter melted
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1 pie crust
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together both sugars until combined.
- Next whisk in corn syrup, melted Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil, beaten eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth.
- Quickly whisk in flour and pinch of salt until mixture is smooth but somewhat thickened.
- Add pecan halves and use a spatula to combine.
- Pour pecan filling into pie shell.
- Bake for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 350˚F and bake 30-40 minutes or until center of pie jiggles only slightly. If it shakes too much, leave it in the oven to bake longer. The pie should be almost stable.
- Remove pie from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then serve.