Rich, buttery, and oh-so-simple, the classic pecan pie has earned its place as a after dinner dessert.
It’s a make ahead of time pie since it will need at least 4 hours to cool before serving.
When ready to slice into, serve the pie plated with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of real vanilla ice cream for you and your family and friends to indulge in.
This pie is popularly served at holiday meals in the United States and is considered a specialty dessert in the Southern states in the U.S.
Pecan pie was made before the invention of corn syrup, and older recipes used darker sugar-based syrup or molasses.
Southern Pecan Pie
1 single crust pie dough – your own recipe of store bought
6 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup *see Cooks Notes
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped fine
If you don’t have any light corn syrup, you can substitute it for 1 cup sugar mixed with 1/4 cup warm water. Then measure out 3/4 cup as you would if you had corn syrup.
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured countertop. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto a 9-inch pie plate.
Ease dough into pie plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into bottom of pie plate with your other hand.
Trim overhanging dough. Press edges around pie plate with a fork. Wrap pie plate in plastic wrap and put in fridge until dough is firm about 30 minutes. After removing from fridge, prick holes over bottom and sides with a fork.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Lime pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or beans. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Place on a cooling rack. Remove weights (beans) and paper. Note: pie crust must be warm when adding filling.
While crust is baking, melt butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of barley simmering water. Make sure that the water doesn’t touch bottom of bowl. Do not worry about condensation.
Off heat, stir in sugar and salt until butter is absorbed. Next, whisk in eggs, then corn syrup and vanilla, until smooth.
Return bowl to saucepan and stir until mixture is shiny, hot to the touch, and registers 130 degrees. Off heat, stir in toasted chopped pecans.
Place nuts in an empty skillet and turn heat on to medium. Toast nuts, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-5 minutes. Toast 1 cup at a time. Or toast both cups in a 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let nuts cool before chopping.
As soon as the pie crust comes out of the oven, adjust rack to lower middle position and reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. With pie still on cookie sheet, pour pecan mixture into warm crust.
Bake until filling looks set but yields like gelatin when gently pressed with back of spoon, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Rotate pie half way through baking.
Remove from oven and let pie cool completely on a cooling rack, for about 4 hours before serving.
Note that it is important to remove pie when it is just set (50 minutes to 1 hour) but soft in the middle. This prevents over baking and filling will continue to set while cooling.
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