I’m excited to share my tried and true Pecan Pie Recipe with you today! This sweet Southern favorite is a festive dessert loved by many, especially during the holiday season. My recipe features the perfect balance of crunchy pecans and sweet, gooey filling in every slice, with a flaky, buttery crust that brings it all together. If you’re seeking a homemade pecan pie that delivers on tradition, flavor, and simplicity, you’re in the right place.
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 best pecan pie!! Whether it’s your first time baking a pecan pie or you’re a seasoned pro, this recipe is sure to impress your friends and family, creating a dessert centerpiece everyone will be excited to dig into. So roll up your sleeves, and let’s get baking!
Why I Love this Southern Pecan Pie
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.
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 this nut-filled pie is a classic, no-frills kinda pie, and it’s the ONLY ONE YOU’LL EVER NEED. Bold Statement but the complete truth!
Why You’ll Love This Pecan Pie
- Incredible Flavor: This pecan pie recipe delivers a delightful balance of sweetness and nuttiness, creating a taste sensation that’s hard to resist. The flavors are rich, complex, and deeply satisfying, making this a dessert you’ll want to revisit time and time again.
- Easy to Make: Despite its gourmet taste, this pecan pie is surprisingly easy to prepare. The filling comes together in minutes, and even if you’re new to baking, you’ll find the steps straightforward and manageable.
- Versatile: Pecan pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving! With its delightful sweetness and satisfying crunch, it’s a dessert that fits in at any occasion, from a family dinner to a festive holiday feast.
- Impressive Presentation: The shiny, caramelized top studded with toasty pecan halves gives this pie a gorgeous, mouth-watering appearance. When you present this at the table, it’s sure to draw admiring comments.
- Nostalgic Comfort: There’s something deeply comforting about a slice of homemade pecan pie. It reminds me of family gatherings, holiday cheer, and the joy of sharing good food with loved ones. Making this recipe always brings back those fond memories.
Origin of Pecan Pie
This 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 it 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.
It’s a staple in almost every home in America come holiday season. I mean, who can blame us? It’s just that good.
Ingredients To Make Homemade Pecan Pie
Let’s take a look at the key ingredients you need to gather to make the filling for this Southern pecan pie. All of the ingredients are easy to find, and you may actually have many of them on-hand.
- Butter: You’ll want to use unsalted, melted butter.
- Sugar: I use two different sugars, granulated (white) sugar and brown sugar, 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: Corn syrup is a crucial ingredient in pecan pie recipes. You will find it in almost every traditional recipe.
- Eggs: The stabilizers in the recipe and room-temperature eggs are best.
- Vanilla: Adds additional mellow, sweet flavors to the pie filling.
- Flour: 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.
- Pecans: 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.
- Pie Crust: I like to use a homemade pie crust. If you go with store-bought, you’ll need to get a 9in crust.
How to Make This Southern Pecan Pie
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. Here’s an overview of making this pecan pie recipe! Check the recipe card for more details.
TOP TIP: If using my pie crust recipe, roll one of the disks out into the pie plate then use a fork to poke holes along the sides and bottom of the pie crust. Line the pie crust with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights, making sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish.
Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper/pie weights then add the filling. If you would like, you can brush some egg wash (one egg whisked with one teaspoon of water) on the outside of the crust.
- Whisk together both of the sugars in a medium-sized bowl until combined.
- Add the corn syrup, melted butter, beaten eggs, and vanilla and mix with the whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the flour and pinch of salt and quickly whisk until the mixture is smooth but somewhat thickened.
- Add the pecan halves and use a spatula to combine.
- Pour the pecan filling into the 9in pie shell. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for fifteen minutes and then lower the temperature to 350˚F and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center of the pie jiggles only slightly. If it shakes too much, leave it in the oven to bake longer. You want the pie to be mostly stable.
- If you find that the crust is browning too quickly, add a pie shield or some foil on the outside halfway through the bake.
Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature, then serve.
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 pecan pie recipe with you all in the hopes that you’ll do the same this holiday season. Eat a slice, share a slice.
- Master the Crust: Starting with a homemade crust can truly elevate your pecan pie. My go-to is an all-butter crust recipe that delivers flakiness and rich flavor. Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort and adds a touch of homemade love to your pie.
- Room Temperature Eggs: To achieve the perfect set for your pie, make sure your eggs are at room temperature before adding them to the mix. This simple step aids in achieving a smooth, creamy filling.
- Stir with Care: When you add the flour and pecans, stir gently to combine. Vigorous stirring can break the pecans and create a less-than-ideal texture. And always ensure no bits of flour are left unincorporated!
- Serve it Up Right: Complement the rich, nutty flavor of the pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. This classic pairing enhances the overall dessert experience.
- Clever Measuring Tip: Spray the inside of your measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the corn syrup. This allows it to slide out easily and ensures accurate measurement.
How to Store and Reheat
To store pecan pie, allow it to cool completely, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can then store it in the refrigerator. If you’re reheating a whole pecan pie, warm it in a preheated 350˚F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. If you’re reheating individual slices, they can be warmed in a microwave for about 20-30 seconds.
How Long Will Pecan Pie Last in the Fridge?
When stored properly in the refrigerator, pecan pie will typically last for about 3-4 days. To maximize its shelf life, cover the pie with foil or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Can I Freeze Pecan Pie?
Yes, you can freeze pecan pie. To do so, first allow the pie to cool completely, then wrap it securely in aluminum foil or a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag. You can freeze pecan pie for up to 2-3 months. When you’re ready to serve it, thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it in the oven if desired.
This can be a little tricky because the pie continues cooking and setting even after you take it out of the oven. The classic “inserting a knife” doesn’t work here because the filling is so gooey. Your best bet is to start by making sure your oven is properly preheated and you follow all the cooking times outlined in your recipe. The best way to check if it’s done is to jiggle it slightly. If it moves quite a bit and seems to have too much liquid you will need to continue cooking.
Corn syrup has a much thicker, gooey texture than sugar and contributes to the traditional texture of pecan pie filling. Other liquid sweeteners such as maple syrup can be used but you are best to use a recipe created using a replacement rather than experimenting with replacing it in any recipe.
Yes! This is perfect if you’re expecting a crowd for the holidays! You can bake the pies as you have time and store them in the freezer until you need them. Be sure to wrap them in layers to keep out any off flavors. Allow them 24 hours in the fridge to thaw out.
More Southern Pie Recipes
- Pumpkin Pie
- Southern Egg Pie
- Sheet Pan Pie with 3 flavors in 1
- Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
- Buttermilk Pie
- Sweet Potato Pie
*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!
Southern Pecan Pie Recipe
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tbsp unsalted Butter melted
- 3 eggs beaten and room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1 9in pie crust
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together both sugars until combined.
- Next whisk in corn syrup, melted butter, 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. If using my pie crust recipe, roll one of the disks out into the pie plate then use a fork to poke holes along the sides and bottom of the pie crust. Line the pie crust with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights, making sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper/pie weights then add the filling. If you would like, you can brush some egg wash on the outside of the crust as well (just take 1 egg and whisk together with a teaspoon of water).
- 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. If you find that the crust is browning too quickly, add a pie shield or some foil on the outside halfway through the bake.
- Remove pie from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then serve.
- 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!
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature! It will help to set your pie. Necessary!
- Once you add your flour and pecans, you will want to be a bit more careful with your stirring to combine.
- Make sure you truly stir your flour into the mixture, making sure no pieces are left not combined.
- Serve it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to three months.
- Spray inside of measuring cup with nonstick spray when measuring corn syrup so it slides out easier.
This post was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated with new content and more images.