Southern Pecan Pie

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This Southern Pecan Pie recipe produces a chewy, creamy and crunchy pie it’s guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Southern Pecan Pie

My earliest memory of pecan pie was in college in one of my baking classes, but before that, it was during Easter as a kid when my parents gave me those little chewy pecan candies. Then after that, I hated those pecan candies for always getting stuck in my teeth, so I didn’t touch pecan pies until I was an adult.

However, my mind was blown away by this creamy, maple-flavored pecan pie that I could not stop eating. Then one time, I was on the road in Kentucky working on a cooking show and got the famous Kentucky bourbon pecan pie, even though they were selfish with the bourbon.

So I drew inspiration from my experience with pecan pie, and I would serve this for dinner parties, and it would always make the guest go crazy! Like they all shared similar stories as my childhood, but with one bite, I converted them into believers.

I’m going to teach you how to make a pecan pie with a homemade pie crust that is flaky and buttery but sturdy enough to hold this pie up.

whole Pecan Pie

What are the ingredients of pecan pie?

Pecan pie is a Southern staple, especially since the majority of pecans produced in the United States are from Georgia. The pie is filled with a pecan filling made from dark corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract.

slice of Pecan Pie on a plate

Key Ingredients

Before you start whipping up this southern pecan pie, look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need for some delicious southern pecan pie.

Pecans

The great thing about pecan pie is the options you have with your pecans. I like to use pecan halves, and others use chopped pecans, and the choice is solely yours.

Unsalted Butter

The butter helps to create a creamy texture to the pie.

Eggs

As the pie cooks, the eggs help the custard form giving pecan pie its signature texture.

Corn Syrup

I love using dark corn syrup because of its maple flavor.

Brown Sugar

Whenever I get a chance, I will use dark brown sugar, but you can use light brown sugar if you like.

Flour

We need unbleached all-purpose flour for our pie crust.

Pecan Pie

How to make southern pecan pie recipe?

The key to cooking is proper technique, patience, and confidence. That’s how I will teach you to make a homemade pecan pie recipe. First, we start with a homemade pie crust.

Pie Crust: In a food processor, add flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse 3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. You can do this by hand with a fork or pastry cutter.

Drizzle in water until the dough ball forms (add another tablespoonful of water if needed). Press the pie dough into a disc shape, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Leave the pie crust out at room temperature to make it easier to roll out. Cold pie dough cracks as it’s rolled out and will leave you frustrated. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12″ round. Place your pie pan in the center to see how much wider you need to roll the dough out.

Pecan Pie

Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges with a fork or tuck the extra dough under itself and make a design with the dough. Transfer to a baking sheet. Pierce evenly with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Turn the oven up to 450°F.

Pecan Pie Filling: In a large bowl, combine cream, sugar, and melted butter together with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until creamy and thick. Add eggs one at a time. Add dark corn syrup, salt, and mix until smooth. Stir in pecan halves, then pour into the pie.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 350°F and bake for 40 minutes until the pecan filling sets. The pie is done when a small knife is inserted into the center, and comes out clean. Cool the pie for one hour before enjoying it. I like to serve mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and blackberry.

Pecan Pie10

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few notes from making this outstanding southern pecan pie.

  • Making a homemade pie crust is easy; the key is using cold butter and water to help it get flaky.
  • I find the best homemade pie crust has a blend of shortening and butter.
  • Crisco shortening is classic, but for a healthier version, use non-hydrogenated shortening.
  • If you notice your pie crust starting to separate when you place it in the pie pan, pinch it together with slightly wet fingers.
  • You can use a refrigerated pie crust or a frozen, unbaked pie crust.
  • I recommend making your own crust or buying a frozen deep dish pie crust.
  • You can use light corn syrup instead of dark corn syrup.
  • You can use light brown sugar or granulated sugar as a swap for dark brown sugar.
  • If you do use salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
  • No rolling pin? No problem, use a wine bottle instead.
  • You can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free pie crust. I find Bob’s Red Mill gluten 1-to-1 baking flour is the best for baking.
  • Make sure your oven is calibrated so your pecan pie bakes properly. This can dramatically affect your pie and cause you to think it’s the recipe. Use an oven thermometer to check. 
  • Placing your pie in a super hot oven helps set the custard faster. Then lowering it makes sure the eggs don’t curdle while baking.
  • A pie plate, pie pan, and pie dish or the same thing.
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Pecan Pie

FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about following a southern pecan pie recipe

Is pecan pie a southern thing?

Pecan pie is definitely a southern thing. Pecan trees are found all over the south, and we southerners have loved pecan pies for centuries.

Can I use light corn syrup instead of dark for pecan pie?

Yes, you can use light corn syrup instead of dark corn syrup, but the results may not be as good. Dark corn syrup has a richer flavor that goes well with the pecans in a pecan pie.

How do you keep pecan pie from being runny?

You can do a few things to ensure your pecan pie is not runny. First, you want to make sure that your oven is heating to the right temperature. Place an oven thermometer on the center rack for 10 minutes, then open the oven door and check the reading according to the manufactures notes.
 
Second, double-check that you used the right amount and kind of eggs so the custard can be properly set. Finally, bake longer, for an extra 10 to 15 minutes, if after inserting a small knife in the center comes out wet. Doing these things should make your pecan pie firmer.

Pecan Pie missing slices

Can you prep pecan pie the night before?

Absolutely! Making the pecan pie the night before will allow the flavors to marry together, and placing it in the fridge will allow for cleaner slices of pie.

How do you keep the top of a pecan pie from getting hard?

To keep your pecan pie from getting hard. You should bake it for less time, and if you notice that the pie is browning too fast, remove the pie from the oven, pause your timer and loosely cover it with aluminum foil, then continue baking until the pie is done.

Does pecan pie taste better, hot or cold?

This is a personal decision. My personal preference is to eat my pecan pie at room temperature. But to warm the pie, place it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Slice of Pecan Pie with whipped cream

How to store southern pecan pie?

Pecan pie is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
 
Freeze the pie for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.

Pecan Pie slice

More Southern Dessert Recipes

If you love southern pecan pie as much as I do, then I know you’ll also love these southern dessert recipes!

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Here are my steps for getting organized and moving fast in the kitchen.

Step 1: Get all ingredients for the southern pecan pie on the counter.

Step 2: Put everything measured into individual bowls.

Step 3: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best southern pecan pie recipe you’ve ever enjoyed!

Go ahead and try this southern pecan pie recipe today! And when you do, be sure to leave a comment and star rating. I know you’ll love it!

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slice of Pecan Pie on a plate

Southern Pecan Pie

Kenneth Temple
This Southern Pecan Pie recipe produces a chewy, creamy and crunchy pie it's guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 44 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8 persons
Calories 560 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

Pecan Filling:

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup halved pecans

Instructions
 

Pie Crust:

  • In a food processor, add flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse 3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
  • Drizzle in water until the dough ball forms (add another tablespoonful of water if needed). Press the pie dough into a disc shape, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Leave the pie crust out at room temperature to make it easier to roll out. Cold pie dough cracks as it’s rolled out and will leave you frustrated. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12″ round. Place your pie pan in the center to see how much wider you need to roll the dough out.
  • Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges with a fork or tuck the extra dough under itself and make a design with the dough. Transfer to a baking sheet. Pierce evenly with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Turn the oven up to 450°F.

Pecan Filling:

  • In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter together with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until creamy and thick. Add eggs one at a time. Add dark corn syrup, salt, and mix until smooth. Stir in the pecan halves, then pour into the pie.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 350°F and bake for 40 minutes until the pecan filling sets. The pie is done when a small knife is inserted into the center, and comes out clean. Cool the pie for one hour before enjoying it. I like to serve mine with a scoop of ice cream and a blackberry.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
  • Here are a few notes I had from making this outstanding southern pecan pie. Making a homemade pie crust is easy; the key is using cold butter and water to help it get flaky.
  • I find the best homemade pie crust has a blend of shortening and butter.
  • Crisco shortening is classic, but for a healthier version, use non-hydrogenated shortening.
  • If you notice your pie crust starting to separate when you place it in the pie pan, just pinch it together with slightly wet fingers.
  • You can use a refrigerated pie crust or a frozen, unbaked pie crust.
  • I recommend making your own crust or buying a frozen deep dish pie crust.
  • You can use light corn syrup instead of dark corn syrup.
  • You can use light brown sugar or granulated sugar as a swap for dark brown sugar.
  • If you do use salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
  • No rolling pin? No problem, use a wine bottle instead.
  • You can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free pie crust. I find Bob’s Red Mill gluten 1-to-1 baking flour is the best for baking.
  • Make sure your oven is calibrated so your pecan pie bakes properly. This can dramatically affect your pie and cause you to think it’s the recipe. Use an oven thermometer to check.
  • Placing your pie in a super hot oven helps set the custard faster. Then lowering it makes sure the eggs don’t curdle while baking.
  • A pie plate, pie pan, and pie dish or the same thing.
Storage:
Pecan pie is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
Freeze the pie for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 5gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 391mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 2gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 815IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg
Keyword southern pecan pie, pecan pie, pecan pie recipe, southern pecan pie recipe
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