This Old Fashioned Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup is a classic dessert that will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Made with plenty of pecans, brown sugar, and buttery pastry crust, this traditional recipe is sure to become a family favorite.
Traditional pecan pie is an elegant yet simple dessert that can be made in advance and saved for special occasions. Serve it at your Thanksgiving dinner or as part of a festive fall brunch – either way, it’s sure to be a hit! Enjoy the delicious flavors and homemade goodness with your family and friends this fall.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a classic holiday dessert that will look great on your Thanksgiving table or for Christmas dinner. No matter which holiday you choose your guests will love it.
- The flaky crust pairs so well with the gooey filling that is full of nutty flavor. The flavor combination is irresistible.
- It’s an old-fashioned pie that tastes just like your Grandma used to make. It will give you all the feel-good vibes this holiday season.
You only need a few simple ingredients to help you make this delicious pie. All of these ingredients are budget-friendly and easy to find at your local grocery store, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the stores this holiday season.
- unbaked pie shell – My favorite brand is from Trader Joe’s in the freezer section.
- maple syrup – You want real maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
- light brown sugar
- heavy cream
- unsalted butter
- large egg yolks
- toasted chopped pecans
History of Karo Pecan Pie
Did you know that back in the ‘30’s the brand Karo Syrup (corn/high fructose syrup) got immensely popular after the wife of a corporate sales executive from the company created what we now call pecan pie using corn syrup as one of the ingredients (learn more here)?
You can still find the recipe on a bottle of Karo Syrup! Mrs. Executive Wifey didn’t invent the jell-like filling; she just found a cheaper way to make pies, since sugar was so expensive back then.
Sugar isn’t considered a scarce baking ingredient anymore. Now sugar is reasonably priced, so go back to the basics and make an Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie!
How to Make This Old Fashioned Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup
Making this easy pecan pie recipe requires a little bit of time, but the effort is worth it. Follow these instructions or the full directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post and you will have a delicious pie in no time at all.
Step 1: Preheat the oven.
Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450°F.
Step 2: Toast the pecans.
Toast pecans in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes and set aside. Stir constantly, they can burn easily.
Step 3: Chill the pie crust while you make the pie filling.
Place the pie shell in a pie-baking dish and put it in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
Heat maple syrup, light brown sugar, cream, and molasses in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves (approximately 3 minutes).
Step 4: Cool the filling before adding the butter and eggs.
Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk butter and salt into the mixture until well combined. Whisk in egg yolks until incorporated.
Step 5: Bake the pie.
Put pecan in the bottom of the pie shell and carefully pour filling over the nuts. Place the pie in the hot oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 325°F for 45 – 60 minutes. Bake until the filling is set and the center jiggles slightly.
Step 6: Chill the pie.
Cool pie on a baking rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate until set (3 hours). Bring to room temperature before serving.
Substitutions and Additions
- I used a store-bought pie crust to make this recipe just to save a little time in the kitchen. However, you can use a homemade pie crust instead.
- For a little extra flavor, you can add a splash of vanilla extract to the pecan pie filling when you add the butter and salt.
- If you want the perfect blend of sweet and savory sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top of the pecan pie before you bake it.
Store your pecan pie in the fridge for 4-5 days. I like to cover my pie with a piece of plastic wrap or a piece of aluminum foil to keep it fresh.
This old-fashioned pie pairs so well with all your holiday favorites. You will always find this pie on my table alongside this Smoked Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan.
Sandra’s Pro Tips
- If you find that the edges of the crust are starting to brown too much in the oven you can place a pie shield around the crust, or use a piece of foil to make a homemade pan shield.
- When the pie is finished baking it will still have a slight jiggle in the center of the pie, don’t worry this is normal.
- You don’t have to toast the pecans, but give them a try because the toasted pecans add such a rich flavor and that’s what makes this pie so amazing.
- There’s no need to blind-bake your pie crust for this easy pecan pie recipe. It will cook while the pie bakes.
- I like to top my slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Do you have questions about this delicious recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions for this recipe.
The most likely cause of a hard top on pecan pie is that it was overbaked. The trick to prevent this is to bake the pie until the center is just set and not overcook it.
Pecan pie won’t set properly if it is undercooked. Make sure the pie comes out of the oven with a slight slight jiggle in the center. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Yes. Pecan pie should be stored in the refrigerator.
More Delicious Pie Recipes You May Enjoy
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie
- 9-inch pie pan
- Large Skillet
- 1 9 inch pre-packaged unbaked pie shell
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups pecans toasted and chopped
- Adjust oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Toast pecans in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes and set aside. Stir constantly, they can burn easily.
- Place pie shell in a pie baking dish and put in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
- Heat maple syrup, light brown sugar, cream, and molasses in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves (approximately 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk butter and salt into mixture until well combined. Whisk in egg yolks until incorporated.
- Put pecan in the bottom of the pie shell and carefully pour filling over the nuts. Place pie in hot oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until filling is set and center jiggles slightly (45-60 minutes). Cool pie on a baking rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate until set (3 hours). Bring to room temperature before serving.
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country, an America’s Test Kitchen magazine.
If you want smaller portions, try this wonton pecan pie bites recipe.
This recipe was first published in November 2013. It has been updated with new photos in November 2023.