This classic pecan pie recipe is a family favorite and perfect for Thanksgiving! Easy to make and turns out perfect every single time!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the one thing that I love most about the holiday is all of the pies. Last week I shared a non-traditional Thanksgiving pie, my homemade lemon pie. So today I wanted to share a more traditional one – this easy pecan pie recipe.
The pecan pie filling comes straight from Josh’s grandmother. I made a few small tweaks to her recipe by adding a little brown sugar and vanilla extract, but it’s still pretty much the same as hers. This pie is also simple to throw together and the filling bakes up beautifully.
Since this pie does take some time to cool, you can also prep it ahead of time or even the day before to free up some precious oven space for the holidays. And if you prefer chocolate in your pecan pie, you can even add some chocolate chips to the filling as well!
How To Make Pecan Pie
To make this pecan pie recipe, you’ll want to start out by blind baking your pie crust. If you’re wondering what in the world it means to blind bake a pie crust, it simply means that you’re partially baking the crust before adding your pie filling.
Why? Partially baking your pie crust first prevents the bottom of it from turning out soggy. For custard pies like my homemade pumpkin pie or this pecan pie recipe, it’s best to blind bake your crust first. I’ve tested this pie by baking it in the lower third of the oven without blind baking the crust and while it turned out okay, the bottom crust was still soft and didn’t hold up nearly as well.
I also wrote an entire post here about how to blind bake a pie crust with step-by-step pictures. Here’s a simple breakdown for how to blind-bake it:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) & adjust your oven rack to the lower-third position
- Roll out your pie crust and fit in into your baking dish: I used my homemade pie crust recipe, but store-bought is fine too!
- Chill the crust: This gives the dough time to relax and prevents it from shrinking in the oven.
- Trim off any excess dough and decorate the edges
- Line with parchment paper and pie weights: Make sure to cover the bottom and sides with the parchment paper, then add your pie weights. Don’t have pie weights? Use some dried beans or rice!
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Remove the pie weights
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes: This will allow the very bottom of the pie crust to bake some.
Once the crust is blind-baked, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and mix up the filling. To save a little time, I prefer to mix up the filling while the pie crust is baking in the oven.
The filling is just a simple mixture of eggs, light corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and chopped pecans. Josh’s grandmother’s original recipe used just granulated sugar, but I really loved the addition of the brown sugar in this pie. I also added some vanilla extract to the pie filling because I love the flavor that it adds.
As far as the pecans, you can either chop them or use pecan halves. I prefer to use chopped pecans because it makes it easier to slice the pie, but feel free to just use pecan halves if you love the look of it that way.
Once the filling is added, I like to go ahead and add some foil or a pie crust shield to the edges of my pie crust. They’ll continue to brown a little more even after they’re covered, so I like to cover them before putting the pie back in the oven so I don’t have to worry about opening the oven door any more than possible.
You also want to bake the pie in the lower third of the oven. I tested this pie in the center of the oven as well and while it worked fine, I find that the bottom of the crust browns a little more if you bake it in the lower third of the oven.
As the pie bakes it may begin to brown on top before it’s finished. If this happens, just tent with a piece of aluminum foil until the center of the pie is set. The filling will puff up in the oven and sink down some as it cools, so don’t worry if you get a small crack or two as it won’t be too noticeable once it’s cooled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes, since this is a custard pie and contains several eggs I do recommend storing it in the refrigerator. Once it’s cooled completely, cover the pie tightly and refrigerate it for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze it?
This pie will freeze just fine! Once it’s cooled completely, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and store it in a large freezer bag or freezer-friendly storage container for up to 3 months. To thaw it, place it in the refrigerator overnight, then bring to room temperature before serving.
How can you tell when this pie is done?
The filling will puff up and look set in the center when it’s done. If the top of your pie begins to brown too much before it’s finished baking, simply place a piece of foil over the top until it’s done.
- Be sure to adjust your oven rack to the lower third position in the oven before getting started. By baking the pie lower in the oven, the bottom of the pie crust will brown a little more and hold up better.
- I prefer to use a glass pie dish when making this pie, it helps to be able to check the crust and see how it looks as it’s baking in the oven.
- Once I add the filling, I like to go ahead and add a pie crust shield around the edges to prevent them from browning too much. Feel free to add one later, but make sure to keep an eye on the pie so the edges don’t brown too much.
- If you want to make mini pecan pies or pecan pie bars, I have a mini pecan pie recipe here and a pecan pie bar recipe here.
Classic Pecan Pie
- 1 pie crust homemade or store-bought
- 3 large eggs room temperature and well beaten
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (175 grams) chopped pecans
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower third position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll out the pie dough to about 12 inches in diameter, transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, gently fit it in the dish, and trim any excess dough from the edges. Place the pie plate in the refrigerator and allow the dough to chill for 15 to 20 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the pie plate from the refrigerator, decorate the edges, and line the dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and the sides. Fill with pie weights, making sure to press them up against the sides as well.
- Bake in the lower third of the oven with the pie weights for 15 minutes or until the edges of the crust start to lightly brown. Remove from the oven, carefully remove the parchment paper (or foil) and the pie weights. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large mixing, whisk together the beaten eggs, light corn syrup, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fully combined. Whisk in the melted butter and vanilla extract until well combined, then stir in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the pecan pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. Cover the edges of the pie with foil or a pie crust shield if desired (I prefer to add mine at this point, but you can wait until the edges start to brown more then add one).
- Return the pie to the oven (in the lower third of the oven again) and bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top of the pie is set. If the pie begins to brown too much before it's finished baking, tent with foil.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Then slice and enjoy or cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.