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Tips For Making The Best Pecan Pie Recipe

The Best Pecan Pie Recipe | Melissa Clark | NYT Cooking

Most pecan pie recipes I’ve found call for two cups of sweetenerone cup of corn syrup plus one cup of either granulated or brown sugar. I find that just a bit too sweet for my taste. So, for this pecan pie recipe, I’ve dropped the sugar down by half a cup. Feel free to reduce further or add more to your taste.

The molasses, butter, and vanilla bring out the wonderful flavor of the pecans. Nuts go rancid with storage, so make sure you are using the freshest of pecans for this pie!

Perfect Pie Crust Tip : Make Sure To Cube Your Butter

This step is super important! You can chill the butter before or after cubingOR BOTH! Cubing the butter before you add it into the flour mixture speeds up the entire process, which is what you want. Making your dough needs to be quick! Remember you want those little pockets of butter throughout the dough and that wont happen if the butter is warm, it will all melt together.

Think of it like thisthrow a whole stick of butter into a bowl and get out your pastry cutterhow much longer is it going to take you mashing that entire stick of butter up into small pieces VS. if the butter was already cubed? Makes sense, right?

Pecan Bars: Pecan Pie You Can Eat With Your Hands

I have an AMAZING Pecan Pie Recipe here on my site, that has quickly become one of my most popular recipes, so I absolutely recommend you check that out. But if youre looking for something a little different, while still enjoying the traditional flavors of Pecan Pie this is the recipe for you!

You might associate Pecan Pie with Thanksgiving and fall baking. And while thats true, I have found that Pecan Pie is really a fantastic pie recipe to enjoy all year long, which of course includes these Pecan Pie Squares!

I mean, think about itthere are no true seasonal ingredients, it can hold up in most temperatures perfectly, and is a very easy dessert recipe thats special enough for serving to guests, but laid back enough to have with a scoop of ice cream on a Tuesday night!

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Ingredients For A Pecan Pie

To make this pecan pie, you need the following ingredients:

  • Pie Crust Try my favorite all butter pie crust recipe, youll only need a bottom crust, and my recipe is for a single crust so you dont need to change anything. Store bought pie crust works wonderfully too.
  • Eggs Allow your eggs to sit out at room temperature for a bit so that they arent cold when you mix the pecan pie filling.
  • Granulated Sugar Pecan pie is sweet, and granulated sugar gets that party started.
  • Brown Sugar More sugar, this time the darker variety, gives a caramel flavor and deep color to the filling.
  • Light Corn Syrup Corn syrup adds even more sweetness, and is what makes pecan pie filling so ooey, gooey and delicious. I use Karo light corn syrup.
  • Salt A bit of salt helps to balance out the sweetness.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract I suggest using the best pure vanilla extract you can reasonably afford. It really makes a difference.
  • Unsalted Butter Melted butter is added into the filling. This is a must for both flavor and texture.
  • Pecans Chopped pecans are mixed into the pie filling, while whole pecans adorn the top of the pie and look beautiful.

Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Sunnyland’s Southern Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

For years customers requested Pecan Pie, so we decided to fulfill their wishes. We use the finest ingredients, including Georgia grown pecans and real butter. You and your guests will immediately taste the difference. This pie makes the perfect gift for the holidays, for the hostess, or for any reason at all. We bake our pies in small batches right here at the farm. Each Pecan Pie, will serve 8 and freezes beautifully.

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More Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Pie Crust Every Time

  • Dont grease your pie plate. The dough has enough fat that you should have no problem with sticking!
  • I like to use a 2 teaspoons of vinegar in my pie crust. Why do you put vinegar in pie crust? Because the vinegar helps prevent the formation of gluten to make a tender crust.
  • Dont worry too much about the crust looking pretty. Trust me, this was a huge hang-up of mine for a LONG time. It would prevent me from even making pie, because they always came out kind of ugly! BUT heres the dealpie is supposed to be rustic. Its fine. Unless youre entering a pie contest how it looks REALLY isnt a huge deal.
  • How To Make A Pecan Pie

  • Preheat the Oven: Allow the oven to warm up while you prepare the pie.
  • Whisk the Eggs: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.
  • Add Filling Ingredients: Add in white sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and melted butter. Whisk until well combined.
  • Prepare Crust: Gently transfer the unbaked pie crust to the pie dish. Fold the edge under and crimp it. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom of the pie crust.
  • Add Chopped Pecans: Spread chopped pecans evenly over the bottom of the pie crust.
  • Pour In The Filling: Pour the filling over the pecans. Slowly the pecans will rise to the surface.
  • Arrange the whole pecans in concentric circles over the wet mixture in a decorative way.
  • Bake: Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake as directed in the recipe card below. After 30 minutes, uncover and continue baking until the filling is completely set in the center.
  • Cool: Once done, place the pie dish on a wire rack and allow the pie to rest for at least two hours before slicing.
  • Serve: Serve the pecan pie with whipped cream on top.
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    Tips For Baking Pecan Pie

    Bake your pie in a 350°F oven for about 30-40 minutes. Youll know the pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the pie is set. It should still jiggle just a bit when you give it a gentle nudge. Let your pie cool and set for an hour before serving.

    Shield the pie if the nuts or crust start to brown too much. If its browning too much, protect the edges from the heat with strips of foil tented gently over the edges, or use a pie shield.

    How To Store Pecan Pie

    Mini Croissant-Crust Pecan Pies – Food Wishes

    Typically pies with egg-based fillings, such as this pecan pie, need to be refrigerated. That said, I often make pecan pie a day ahead, tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and leave it on the counter. I’ve never had an issue.

    Leftover pie should be refrigerated, where it will easily keep for up to 3 to 4 days. If you’d like to store your pie for a longer period of time, I recommend freezing it.

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    Chemicals Preservatives And Additives:

    While there arent many available pecan pies on store shelves, theyre pretty popular in the frozen section. These pies can contain some or all of the following additives to make them last longer:

    • Sodium Benzoate
    • Natural Flavorings
    • Artificial Flavorings (To give a standard taste
    • Beta Carotene
    • Caramel Color
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup

    These ingredients would never be used by a home baker or by any local artisan baker.

    How To Blind Bake A Pie Crust

    For those of you who are making a pie that features a no-bake filling, you will want to pre-bake your crust, or blind bake it. This is super easy, lets talk about how

  • You will follow all the steps in the recipe as stated.
  • Place one of the rolled out dough circles into a pie plate, pinching the edges to form a crust. Using a fork, poke holes evenly on the bottom of the crust to help prevent bubbles. Place the crust in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This will prevent your crust from shrinking as its baked.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Cut a circle of parchment paper out as large as you rolled your crust, and place it into the frozen crust. Top the parchment paper with pie weights or dried beans.This mimics a filling of a pie as you bake it, holding it into place and preventing bubbles in your crust, along with the pricked holes you made with the fork.
  • Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and remove the weights and the parchment paper. Place the crust back in the oven for an additional 10- 15 minutes until the crust is golden. If the crust begins to brown too much, use a pie crust shield or aluminum foil to cover the crust and continue baking.
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    My Favorite Pecan Pie Recipe

    My homemade pecan pie is classic and simple with an unexpected dash of cinnamon. Its the perfect combination of sweet and salty after one bite youll taste why its my favorite!

    Pecan pie is the classic sugary dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete. Its as traditional as pumpkin pie and as wonderfully rich as apple pie. Growing up, my familys Thanksgiving dessert table always included my late grandmothers old fashioned pecan pie recipe. Its a true honor to share her recipe and I hope this recipe lives on forever in her memory.

    What Is Blind Baking

    Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

    Blind baking basically means baking your pie crust before filling it and baking the entire pie. This is necessary when making a pie with a custardy filling like ours today as it prevents the crust from becoming soggy. Dont forget to read the post on making the perfect pie crust and all about blind baking!

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    How To Roll Out A Pie Crust & Make It Look Pretty

    Rolling out a pie crust is pretty simple. Here are a few tips that I recommend for making a pie crust that doesnt fall apart when you roll it out:

  • Allow your dough to chill for at least an hour before rolling it out. I always recommend this step because it gives the gluten in the flour a chance to relax before you start stretching it out more. My goal is always a flaky crust and I find this step helps!
  • Make sure your surface is lightly floured AND keep a few tablespoons of flour on hand to add more when you need it! As you roll out your dough, lightly flour the rolling pin as well as the rolling surface, to prevent sticking on the top! You can turn the dough as you roll to prevent sticking. There is nothing worse than getting everything rolled out perfectly only to have it stick to the counter!
  • Roll your dough to about 1/8 1/4 inch thick. It honestly doesnt have to be exact, BUT I have made the mistake so many times rolling my crust too thin, which doesnt create a very stable base for your pie. But also make sure its not too thick, because you want it to bake through all the way. This recipe makes the perfect amount for 2 circles of dough.
  • Along with the thickness of the dough, you want to roll it out to measure 2- inches wider in diameter than a standard pie plate, OR 4 inches wider if you are using a deep dish pie plate. You need to make sure you have enough excess hangin over the edge to be able to crimp the crusts edge!
  • Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients

    Since its made with few ingredients, its imperative to use high quality nuts and spices. I genuinely love Diamond of California pecans and McCormick pure vanilla extract . For the BEST pecan pie filling, use these ingredients:

  • Pecans: Cant prepare this filling without pecans!
  • Eggs: Eggs hold the filling together.
  • Corn Syrup: Sweetens and helps prevent crystallization while the pie bakes. I prefer dark corn syrup for intensified flavor. See below if youre interested in pie without corn syrup.
  • Brown Sugar: Theres 1 and 1/2 cups total sugar in this pie, which includes the brown sugar and corn syrup . Typically this pie has around 2 full cups, but I find that much too sweet.
  • Salt + Butter + Vanilla Extract: Each give pecan pie its traditional flavor.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds an extra layer of flavor! I dont see many pecan pies with cinnamon so thank you, grandma, for giving me the opportunity to present a slightly unique pecan pie on our Thanksgiving tables.
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    Tips For Making The Best Pecan Pie

    • Bake the pie on a rack in the center of your oven to ensure even cooking.
    • Be sure to cover the pie with foil for the first half of the baking time so that the edges of the crust dont burn. The cover also helps the filling cook more quickly.
    • Take your time arranging the pecans on top of the pie, but dont worry if they arent perfect! The pie will still taste delicious no matter what it looks like.
    • You can replace the light corn syrup with dark corn syrup if you like. This will give the pie an even richer flavor and darker color.

    What Type Of Flour Should You Use In Pie Crust

    How To Make The Best Pecan Pie

    I recommend using a high quality all purpose flour. I love Bobs Red Mill Unbleached All Purpose Flour, but honestly, you can use whatever all purpose flour you have on hand and it will work!

    You might ask why I dont use pastry flour in my pie dough. I mean, I get the question because essentially a pie crust is a type of pastry. And when I tested pie crust with pastry flour, there is no denying that the crust was delicious and very tender, as pastry four has less protein than all purpose, BUT it didnt hold up as a crust as well as the crust made with all purpose flour. If you are looking for a flaky, yet sturdy crust for your pie, I definitely recommend all purpose flour.

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    My Buttery Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

    I wont pretend there is only one way to do this. There are many variations on fats, liquids, techniques that will all work! My mom actually used vegetable oil in her pie crust and swore by that method! But after a few solid years of testing different recipes and methods, this all butter crust recipe is the one that I stand by. Not only is it easy, it tastes delicious.

    Do You Use Light Or Dark Corn Syrup

    Either! Thats another great thing about this recipe, is its so adaptable! BUT I will let you know I havent made this recipe with a corn syrup substitute. I get that question a lot and I just cant recommend Pecan Pie without Karo®!

    Corn syrup has a few different uses. Of course it adds a subtle sweetness that we have all come to pair with pecan pie, but it also is a large part of the texture of pecan pie!

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