This comforting pecan pie has a gooey pecan filling and a rich, flaky, buttery crust. It’s best served with whipped cream or ice cream for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert!
With the holidays quickly approaching, there is one thing I can always count on year after year: pecan pie. To be honest, while I love Thanksgiving dinner, what I really get excited about are Thanksgiving desserts. I’m always sure to leave room in my belly for a piece (or two) of each pie, because, after all, I have a serious sweet tooth.
I have several pecan pie recipes on the blog, like my pecan pie bars and pecan pie brownies, but this classic pecan pie recipe is a true classic. The filling is gooey, crunchy, and caramely and complements the flaky, buttery crust perfectly. I could eat an entire pie myself.
How to make perfect pecan pie
- Make the pie crust. The first step is to make the pie crust and allow it to chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator. My recipe is incredibly simple to make and pairs perfectly with the filling of many types of pies, so feel free to make an extra large batch and store it in the freezer.
- Line your pie tin. Once the dough is chilled, sprinkle flour on a smooth surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thick. You’re aiming for a circle about 12-inch in diameter, but you can trim the ends of the dough off once you line the pie tin, so don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Once you place the crust in the pie tin, pinch the edges to create a decorative pattern. Put the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- Make the pie filling. Heat sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the eggs, salt, vanilla, and pecans and combine.
- Fill and bake the pie. Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust, using the reserved pecans to decorate the top. Place in a 350F/185C oven for 45-55 minutes, until the filling is set but still wobbly when you move the dish. If you notice that the pie crust starts to brown before the filling is set, wrap a layer of aluminum foil around the edges to protect it from burning. Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.
Tips for making perfect pecan pie
- If you want to enhance the richness of the pie, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream to the filling for an ultra creamy texture.
- Feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons bourbon to the filling for added flavor. The alcohol evaporates during baking, so you don’t need to worry about the pie containing alcohol – it will just maintain the bourbon flavor.
- Try adding 2-4 oz. chocolate chips or chunks to the filling along with the pecans for a fun twist. Or, try out my chocolate pecan pie for an ultra chocolatey version.
- While it’s not essential, for a crispier crust you can partially pre-bake it before adding the filling (here’s a good guide). Just be sure to wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the exposed crust before baking the filling to prevent it from burning.
- If corn syrup isn’t available for the filling or you prefer not to use it, you can substitute it for pure maple syrup.
- Make sure the chill the pie dough before rolling it out for at least an hour. This will make rolling it out much easier and allow the gluten time to relax, helping to create an ultra-tender crust.
More of my favorite holiday recipes
- Pumpkin Pie: This ultra creamy pumpkin pie is made with the same flaky, buttery crust as this pecan pie. It’s full of fall flavors and absolutely amazing.
- Caramel Apple Pie: Gooey, caramelized apples take this pie to a whole new level.
- Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake: Moist, tender vanilla cake is topped with juicy, caramelized apples for a show stopping dessert.
- Baked Apple Cider Donuts: Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, these apple baked donuts are full of flavor and coated in a cinnamon sugar spice mix.
- Pumpkin Bread: Light, moist, and full of autumn spices, this one-bowl recipe is perfect served alongside your Thanksgiving turkey.
- Perfect Pie Crust
- 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) pecan halves, preferably toasted
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/56g) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (246g) light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs , slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Roll out the dough:
Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll dough out into a 12-inch circle, then place gently into a 9×2-inch pie pan; you can do this by flouring a rolling pin and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Use a fork to create a decorative border or crimp the edges using your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- To make the filling: Chop the pecans into coarse pieces (or small pieces to make the pie easier to slice later on), reserving about 1/2 cup whole pecans for later decoration, if desired. Otherwise, chop all 2 and 1/2 cups.
Heat butter, sugar, and corn syrup together in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Let mixture cool slightly, then whisk in the rest of the ingredients, adding the chopped pecans last. Mix until combined. Pour filling into the chilled pie shell. Decorate the surface of the pie with the reserved pecans, pressing them in slightly so that they are coated with the filling, then let them rise back to the top.
Bake for 45-55 minutes. When you gently shake the dish, it should jiggle slightly, mostly in the center, but feel quite set. Cover the edges of the pie loosely with aluminum foil (or pie crust shield if you have one) if it starts browning too much while baking. If the top of the pie is also browning too quickly, cover the whole pie loosely with aluminum foil. Allow pie to cool completely, then chill for at least 4 hours before serving so that the filling can set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store pie in the fridge, covered, for up to 4-5 days.