This Southern pecan pie recipe is a slice of flavor and texture heaven! The caramelized pecans have a crunchy, nutty flavor sitting atop a deliciously sweet custard-like filling baked in a perfectly flaky butter pie crust. It’s an indulgent dessert you’ll want more than one slice of!

Pecan pie is one of the traditional Thanksgiving recipes and yet it’s also perfect for your Christmas dinner, too! With so many delicious dishes on your Thanksgiving table, you won’t want to miss out on this easy pecan pie recipe! Even with all the delicious Thanksgiving stuffing, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and yams, you’ll want to save plenty of room for pies!

A Southern Pecan Pie Recipe with a slice of pecan pie cut from the whole.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy homemade pie. I grew up thinking pecan pie was a difficult pie to make. False. It’s actually really easy to make! It’s so quick and easy because you don’t have to pre-bake the pie crust nor pre-cook the pie filling!
  • Make it with a homemade pie crust and people will be praising your name! Seriously, the buttery flakiness of my food processor pie crust paired with this sweet, soft pecan pie filling is like this buttery, delicious, caramel-y, nutty party in your mouth!
  • Perfect texture and beautiful appearance. The pecans float to the top while baking, giving the perfect look and showcasing those delicious pecans. And underneath the pecans is a delicious custard-like texture that isn’t super firm and yet not overly soft (as I said, it’s the perfect texture!).

Ingredients

Recipes to make a Pecan Pie Recipe on a cream background.
  • Homemade Pie Crust: Making a homemade pie crust for this pie is important! The buttery flake you get on a homemade pie crust really makes a big difference. Try my all-butter pie crust recipe!
  • Corn Syrup: Using corn syrup in addition to sugar is important when making a custard because corn syrup prevents the formation of sugar crystals. We use corn syrup in order to get a smooth consistency.
  • Butter: Combined with the sugars, the butter will bake into a caramel-flavored custard mixture.
  • Eggs: Eggs are the most important ingredient in a custard because it’s what thickens the custard (as well as binds). When eggs are baked, they go through what’s called coagulation which simply means changing from a liquid to a solid.
  • Pecans: Roughly chop the pecans. Be sure to use plain pecans and not pecans that are salted or flavored.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. 
  2. Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  1. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.
Pecan pie mixture being poured into an unbaked pie crust.
  1. Bake on the center rack for 50 minutes, checking at 40-45 minutes to see how the pie is doing. The pie shouldn’t be overly jiggly when you shake it but the center should still be soft. 
An unbaked southern pecan pie on a cream colored background.
  1. Remove the pecan pie from oven and let it cool completely to allow the custard to set (about 4 hours) before slicing and serving.
  2. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. I love mine plain! Store covered for 2-3 days in the fridge.
A baked Southern Pecan Pie on a tan colored linen.

Recipe Tips

If the filling is flowing in a wavy movement from the center to the edge, your pie isn’t set quite yet. The way to tell if the pecan pie is done is when the center gives you just a little jiggle — like the stable yet slightly wiggly movement of Jell-O when you give it a gentle shake — but the edges are stable and set.

No need to add additional pecans to the top of the pie. The pecans naturally rise to the top of the pie while baking.

You can use either light or dark Karo syrup. Using dark will give you a stronger toasty-type flavor.

If the crust is browning too quickly while the pie is baking, cover the pie with foil.

FAQs

What consistency is pecan pie?

Pecan pie has a crunchy texture on top due to the pecans rising to the top of the pie and caramelizing. Underneath the pecans is a custard-like consistency that is set, a little jiggly but not too firm.

What is the filling made of in pecan pie?

Pecan pie filling is a bit like a custard. It has corn syrup, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and pecans.

Is light or dark Karo syrup better for pecan pie?

It doesn’t matter. This is typically just a preference. Light Karo syrup has a lighter more mild sweet flavor (maybe a bit more vanilla-like) and is colorless, whereas dark Karo syrup has a dark color and a stronger flavor (maybe a bit like a toasty flavor) due to the molasses in it.

Can I make pecan pie without using corn syrup?

Not really. The corn syrup (with the help of the eggs), is what makes the custard part of this pie. Without it, your texture will be off, the flavor will be off, and you’ll most likely have sugar crystals.

Can you freeze pecan pie?

Yes! Make and bake as directed and let the pie cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil and store in the freezer for 1-2 months. Thaw the pies overnight in the fridge, then in the morning move to the counter and let come to room temperature before serving.

A slice of Southern Pecan Pie on a white plate with a fork to the side of the pie.

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A pecan pie on a white background with pecan pieces in the background.
Print Review
5 from 3 votes

Southern Pecan Pie Recipe

This delicious Southern pecan pie recipe takes 5 minutes to make! A delicious smooth and custard like base is topped with a crunchy, toasted pecan topping. It's baked in a flaky pie crust and makes for the most amazing pie!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust - I did a regular 9 inch pie plate, but you could also do a deep dish (the filling just won't fill it as much)
  • 1 cup light or dark corn syrup - I used light
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter - melted, salted or unsalted
  • 3 large eggs - beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans - roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl stir the karo syrup, sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, butter, and eggs, and pecans. 
  • Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Bake on the center rack for 50 minutes. Checking at 40-45 minutes to see how the pie is doing. Pie shouldn’t be overly jiggly when you shake it but the center should still be soft. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely to allow custard to set, about 4 hours, before slicing and serving.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. I love mine plain! Store in airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Notes

If crust is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
Can be frozen! Bake first, then cover and freeze.
My crust was very cold, no shrinkage! I pierced the bottom of the pie with a few fork tine piercings prior to placing the pecan filling in the pie crust.
I used my food processor all butter pie crust to make this pie. It’s the BEST!

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 73g (24%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 27g (42%)Saturated Fat: 7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mg (28%)Sodium: 353mg (15%)Potassium: 139mg (4%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 59g (66%)Vitamin A: 287IU (6%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 42mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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