No holiday celebration would be complete without a gorgeous Southern Pecan Pie on the dessert table. Served with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream, it's unapologetically rich and decadent to the very last forkful.
Southern Pecan Pie Recipe
Pecan pie is one of the simplest pies you'll ever make. No, really. The filling consists of pecans, sugar, eggs and corn syrup, and the variations start from there. Some cook's prefer to use brown sugar in place of granulated sugar, or a mixture of the two. That would be me. At times, maple syrup is used in place of the corn syrup. Other cooks prefer dark corn syrup in place of light corn syrup for the gooey filling. Then, there's the star of the pie, which pecans are the best to use? My answer is, use quality pecans whether they're from Georgia or from the great state of Texas. I can tell you first hand, they're both spectacular.
Easy Southern Pecan Pie Recipe
Is Pecan pie a Southern thing? We love our pecans in the South and this Southern style pecan pie is one of our iconic desserts. In keeping with tradition, my pecan pie is made to according to my family's taste. I actually prefer to use a mixture of brown and granulated sugar for the filling and Karo corn syrup is my go-to. I've worked with the great people who make Karo Syrup, and I developed this recipe for Toffee Crunch Pecan Pie for them a couple of years ago. Their classic pecan pie recipe is considered the gold standard, and I couldn't agree more.
How to Make the Best Homemade Southern Pecan Pie
I use pecan halves in this recipe but you could use chopped pecans, if that's your preference. Either way, it's worth the effort to make.
- This Southern style pecan pie recipe can be made in either a frozen unbaked deep dish pie shell or a homemade pie crust.
- If you use a frozen crust, there's no need to thaw or par bake prior to filling. To make your own crust, checkout my recipe for Flaky Pie Crust here.
- What's best dark and light corn syrup for pecan pie? It really depends on the baker's preference. Dark corn syrup is made dark with the addition of refiner's sugar, which is a type of molasses. That fact will affect the color and flavor. Using it, will result in a darker pie. It won't shorten the length of time to bake however, you should watch the pie for over browning while baking.
- Can I use honey in place for corn syrup for pecan pie? I wouldn't recommend using honey in place of the corn syrup for the filling. While I love honey, it tends to dominate the flavor of the pie more than the pecans and takes the flavor in another direction.
- I use a mix of two kinds of sugar for my pecan pie. I like to use ½ cup light brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar for the warm honey color that it gives to the baked pie. Be certain to check the pie halfway through baking. If the pecans are browning too quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top. They are coated in sugar, after all.
- I highly recommend that after pouring the filling into the pie crust, use a spoon to evenly space the pecans in the filling. At this point, you can flip them over so they're right side up for the prettiest presentation.
- How do you make fresh whipped cream? To make fresh whipped cream, using an electric mixer whip 2 cups heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and ¼ cup sugar until firm or stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over beat. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness to your liking. Whipped cream should be whipped the day you're planning to serve it and kept well chilled. You can also top pecan pie with vanilla ice cream.
- It's important to allow ample time for the pie to cool and set before cutting. If you cut this pie within 20-30 minutes of baking, the filling won't be set.
- You can store pecan pie at covered at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze baked pecan pie for up to one month.
More Southern Pie Recipes to Make
I have three favorite kinds of pie. Warm, room temperature and chilled. If you love pie, too checkout these recipes for more pie making inspiration from my kitchen to yours:
- This easy Pineapple Buttermilk Pie is a pineapple twist on a Southern classic.
- Old Fashioned Oatmeal Pie is a fabulous way to use pantry ingredients turning them into something spectacular.
- Apple Butter Pie features sugar and spice and everything nice.
- The BEST Sweet Potato Pie recipe topped with a homemade crunch streusel.
- You might also like this recipe from Southern Living for Rhubarb Custard Pie.
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Helpful Kitchen Items
Southern Pecan Pie
- 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust
- 1 cup light or dark corn syrup i.e. Karo
- 1 cup light brown sugar or granulated sugar OR ½ cup each
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecan halves
- whipped cream for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Press pie crust firmly into pie dish. Set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt.
- Add pecans, stirring until fully coated and evenly distributed.
- Pour filling into pie crust. Use a spoon to space pecans evenly.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes. Check at 40 minutes and lay a piece of foil on top to prevent over browning, if needed. Center should be set when gently shaken or reaches 200°F.
- Cool on a cooling rack for at least 4 hours or chill prior to cutting.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.
- To make fresh whipped cream, using an electric mixer whip 2 cups heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over beat, taste and adjust the level of sweetness to your liking.
- Whipped cream should be whipped the day you're planning to serve it. Store chilled.
Melissa, I confess I haven't always loved the filling for pecan pie. I thought I'd try your recipe with the brown sugar in the filling and I tell you that's a game changer. It does just as you said, give it a caramel like flavor. Thank you for sharing your tips and recipe!
Thanks so much I'm so happy you loved it!
Olivia J Do
I made this today and followed the recipe to the T. My pies can out watery. After 1hr and 20mins they didn't set. Do you know what I could've done wrong? I'm so sad this Thanksgiving pecan pie wasn't the same with these not so good pies.
You're referring to "pies" when this recipe is only for one pie. This makes me wonder, did you just double all of the ingredients and divide them between two pie shells? If so, that isn't always a foolproof way to double a recipe. It's often better when baking, to actually make the filing separately and assemble them as two separate pies. I'm not certain I have any way of knowing what happened to your pies, but when the filling is mixed properly using the right ingredient amounts, it works.
Should the crust be blind baked?
It's not necessary, otherwise, the recipe would include it.
Don't know if I can wait 4 Hours too cool
I live in California have a friend of my Dad who keeps my Father supplied with fresh pecans .
Can't wait to tackle it my Mom rarely baked now
Pecan Pie is one of my Mother's favorites .
How exciting, that's a mighty good friend. Enjoy!