This Classic Pecan Pie is a once a year indulgence for the holidays! Blind baking the crust and then baking the pie at a low temperature makes for the perfect filling texture!
Classic Pecan Pie
My Bourbon Pecan Pie is an adult version of this classic holiday dessert, but my childhood memories are of a booze-free, old fashioned pecan pie. It was the ideal season to whip up another.
We had guests coming for dinner on Sunday night so it was a wonderful excuse to make a dessert that the picky hubby would not touch. Nuts? Nope. Another fake allergy he loves to offer as an excuse. He’d be a walking bundle of hives if everything he “claimed” to be allergic to was true. My guests loved it and even son #1 declared it a winner!
Tips for Making a Classic Pecan Pie
I’ve made a number of different pecan pie recipes over the years, but I love all the tricks America’s Test Kitchen offers in their recipe. Plus, I had a couple of my own.
- Blind bake the pie crust before adding the filling. Blind baking, or baking the shell alone, lets the bottom crust firm up so it doesn’t get soggy.
- Line the top of the unbaked pie crust with non-stick foil, then add pie weights to help prevent the bottom from puffing up as it bakes. You can use dried beans instead of pie weights. Just purchase a bag of dried beans and designate them to be used just for baking pies.
- Cook the custard in a double boiler to 130º. That will help keep the eggs from curdling and make a lovely textured filling. You’ll need a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Toast the nuts to bring out the natural oils and to enhance their flavor, then chop them.
- Once the pie is filled, it’s baked at a lower than normal temperature to create a perfectly cooked pie without a burnt crust!
- The brown sugar amount is less than other pecan pie recipes, so the results aren’t an overly sweet dessert, though I can’t say a cloying pie would stop me from indulging!
Old Fashioned Pecan Pie Recipe
Though many folks try to avoid using corn syrup, it’s an integral part of this old fashioned pecan pie recipe. Using honey just wouldn’t be the same. This is not health food, but a holiday indulgence, so just go for it!
I also love the look of a classic pecan pie made with pecan halves instead of chopped nuts, but this version is easier to cut and eat with more bite-sized pieces.
If you love pecan pie, you’ll be an instant fan of my Pecan Pie Cookies which are buttery thumbprint cookies with a pecan filling. Less work with the same delectable flavors! And for cookie exchanges or gifting, these Pecan Tassies are like mini pecan pies! I’ve had my eye on these Pecan Pie Blondies and this Pecan Pie Fudge, too!
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Make a Pecan Pie
How Do You Know When a Pecan Pie is Done?
The top of the pie should be golden brown and when you give the pie a little nudge there should be a little jiggle, like gelatin, in the middle. The edges should be set.Too much jiggle and the pie is not fully cooked. The best method for testing is to use an instant read thermometer which should register 185 degrees F. in the center.
How Do You Store a Pecan Pie?
It is safe to store your pecan pie at room temperature on the day it was baked. Once cooled, cover the pie with plastic wrap. After that first day, keep leftovers in the refrigerator so they don't spoil. Pecan pie will be good for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Can Pecan Pie Be Frozen?
Yes, pecan pie freezes well. Wrap in plastic or foil, then insert into a freezer quality Ziploc bag. Store for up to 2 months.
Should I Toast the Nuts for a Pecan Pie?
Yes, toasting nuts brings out the natural oils and therefore more nutty flavor. To toast pecans, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook at 350 degrees for 7-12 minutes.
- 1 unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups whole pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces
Fit the pastry crust into a 9-inch pie plate and flute the edges. Chill for about an hour or until firm. Prick the bottom sides of the shell with a fork, then line the crust with non-stick foil and add pie weights.* Return to the refrigerator while preheating oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil and pie weights and bake for 10 more minutes until shell is lightly browned. While crust is cooking, make the filling. Remove the pie crust and decrease oven temperature to 275 degrees.
Melt butter in a double boiler, keeping the water at a simmer. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat. Mix in the sugar and salt with wooden spoon until well combined and butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs, then corn syrup and vanilla. Return the pan to the double boiler and stir until the mixture is shiny and warm to the touch, about 130 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in pecans.
Pour the pecan mixture into the warm pie crust and bake until the center is set, but still slightly soft, 50-60 minutes. Transfer pie to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.
* I own ceramic pie weights, but you can also use dried beans or rice. Save to use again and again.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 592Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 3gSugar: 48gProtein: 6g