A perfect, crunchy homemade pie crust and a soft, gooey filling; what can be better? Although pumpkin pie gets all the fame during thanksgiving, pecan pie is popular all year round.
However, it is generally thought that a pecan pie recipe is difficult to make. Contrary to popular belief, it’s quite easy, and I will show you how!
Let us start with the roots of pecan pie. Don’t you want to know from where this delicious dish came from?
A Short History of Pecan Pie
The pecan nut’s name comes from the French word pacane, derived from an Algonquian word meaning “nut.” That might explain why some people assume that the French settling in New Orleans invented pecan pies, despite the lack of proof.
Pecans being native to North America, the same is the place of origin for the pecan pie recipe. Pecan nuts grew across the region, as far north as Illinois and as far south as Iowa.
They grow along the Mississippi River, expanding into Alabama as well. Commercial developers brought in a few types of pecans to thrive in Georgia after the Civil War, now the main commercial grower of pecans in the U.S.
In the mid-to late-nineteenth century, grafted pecan trees were popular in Louisiana.
Immediately people started using pecans for baking when they came across the nuts. The first documented pecan recipes were in Texas cookbooks in the 1870s and 1880s; the first recipe that resembled what we now call pecan pie was published in 1898 in a church charity cookbook in St. Louis, but a Texas woman submitted it.
The invention of Karo syrup in the 2oth century popularised the pecan pie recipe even more. When it was promoted, the company claimed that a company executive’s wife discovered corn syrup could make a pecan pie.
Pecan pie’s popularity grew after promotional recipes began to appear on the labels of Karo syrup bottles. Due to the widespread availability of Karo syrup, many people were introduced to pecan pie.
So What is a Pecan Pie?
Pecan pie is a dessert prepared with pecans. Eggs, butter, and sugar are used to make the filling. Corn syrup is usually used. Many variants include employing white or brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, or honey with most recipes.
Regional variants also exist in pecan pies. Even bourbon, chocolate, shredded coconut, and whiskey are used. There are hybrids as well, such as pecan pie cheesecake hybrids, hand pies, and others.
Since the pecan pie recipe is so simple, there aren’t any major differences in the recipe from different regions.
Why is Pecan Pie so Popular during Thanksgiving?
The harvesting of pecans coincides with late September, spreading towards November and making the timing perfect for pecan pie being the ultimate thanksgiving dessert. During the holiday, indulge in baking this amazing delicacy and enjoy it with family and friends.
Fun Trivia about Pecans!
- Pecans aren’t nuts, but they’re close. They’re called “drupes” because they’re the fruit of a tree-like peach or a plum tree.
- There are two ways to pronounce “pecan,” No one can agree on which is proper.
- When they were found in the 16th century by Spanish explorers, they were given the name “nuez de larruga,” which means “wrinkle nut.”
- Pecans are closely related to walnuts, if you couldn’t already guess.
- Pecan trees live for 300 years.
- The 14th of April is National Pecan Day in the United States.
- National pecan pie day is celebrated in the United States on the 12th of July.
- Pecan nuts come in over 1,000 distinct types.
- A pecan tree takes 12 years to attain maturity and begin producing nuts.
- Making a pecan pie is very easy. Let’s make the best pecan pie recipe you have ever eaten!
The Ingredients for the Pecan Pie Recipe
First, Let’s make the Pie Crust
Because what is best than to make a pie from scratch! You can also buy a pie crust, but it’s always fun to make one.
Ingredients for our Pie Crust
- 2 cups- all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt (skip if using salted butter)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (115ml) sour cream (with fat)
Step 1: Soften the butter. Do not microwave. Just let it sit on the counter for a while. You can cut them into pieces, too, to make the process easier.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar.
Step 3: Put the butter cubes onto the flour. Use clean hands to squish the flour and the butter together until it looks coarse.
Step 4: Add the sour cream to the mixture and use a spoon or a fork to mix them.
Step 5: Gather the pie dough with your hands and roll it into a ball. Then take a knife and cut the dough in half. Form two disks and make sure there are no cracks. Do not worry about overworking the dough. Make it smooth.
Step 6: Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and wrap it with a plastic sheet, and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Step 7: Take it out and then roll out the dough. This will be your pie crust. To roll out the pie dough, flour on a clean, flat surface. Check to see whether the bottom of the dough is sticking when you roll it out. If that’s the case, raise it and dust it with flour.
Roll out to a thickness of 12 to 14 inches broad and 12 to 14 inches long. Don’t pre-bake the pie crust.
Let’s Make the Filling of Our Homemade Pecan Pie
- 1 unbaked pie crust, frozen for at least 30 minutes
- 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (you can also save some whole pecans from decorating the pie later)
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (You can also use white sugar if you want)
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Let Us Make Our Easy Pecan Pie from Scratch!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350′ F and move the wire rack to the center.
Step 2: Mix the filling of the pecan pie. Take a medium bowl. Mix the eggs, brown sugar, light corn syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla, and salt, until the batter is smooth. Do not use a mixer. You can use a wooden spoon. This will be our sweet filling!
Step 3: Spread the pecan halves in the bottom of the frozen pie shell, your homemade crust. Now, pour the pecan pie filling into the pie shell. Do not worry about burying the pecans. They will rise later.
Stey 4: Bake at 350′ F for 30 minutes. After that, cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil so that the crust doesn’t get too brown. Bake the pecan pie for another 35 to 45 minutes till the filling has been set. The filling should be soft at the center. Put the whole pecans on the pie in a decorative pattern.
Step 5: Once done, take out the pie from the oven and let it cool at room temperature.
Serve it with whipped cream or ice cream!
If you do not want a classic pecan pie recipe, let’s make an alternative homemade pecan pie with chocolate and bourbon. Shall we?
2. Chocolate and Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe
- 2/3 cup- white sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 refrigerated pie crust (make the pie crust as directed or use any of the pie crust recipes to make the crust)
Step 1: Preheat the oven as directed in the previous recipe.
Step 2: Take a mixing bowl and whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, eggs, butter, and salt until smooth and creamy.
Step 3: Combine the pecans and chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. Pour filling into the frozen crust that has been made. To avoid excessive browning, wrap the sides of the pie with aluminum foil strips if desired. Cover edges carefully.
Step 4: Bake in a preheated oven until the center is wobbly and set. Tap center surface to check.
Now, serve with vanilla ice cream to enjoy!
You don’t like it? Want something else? Let’s make a caramel one, then!
3. Caramel Pecan Pie Recipe
- 36 caramels
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/3 cups chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 frozen deep-dish pie crust (9 inches)
- Pecan halves, optional
Let’s Make the Pie
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350’F.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the caramels, water, and butter. Cook while stirring lightly until the caramels are melted. Remove from the heat.
Step 3: In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Gradually pour in the caramel sauce. Add the chopped pecans and mix well. Pour into the pie crust. Arrange pecan halves over the filling if desired.
4. Texas Pecan Pie Recipe
- 1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1 and 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- Unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Let’s Make the Pie
Step 1: In a food processor, mix the flour with the sugar and salt.
Step 2: Pulse in the cold water until the mixture is saturated. Turn the dough out onto a work area and knead it 2 or 3 times until it comes together. Form the pastry into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
Step 3: Preheat the oven as instructed in the recipe above. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a deep 10-inch glass pie dish and trim the excess. Fold the pie’s border under and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom of the pan with a fork a few times. 30 minutes in the freezer.
Step 4: You can pre-bake the pie if you want. In that case, line it with parchment paper, fill it with beans and weights, and put it into the oven for 25 minutes. Then take it out, remove the weights and bake for 15 minutes. Leave the oven open.
Step 5: Toast the pecans until they are light brown.
Step 6: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, milk, flour, vanilla seeds, and salt should all be combined. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil over medium heat. Allow cooling for 5 minutes after removing from the heat.
Step 7: Lightly beat the eggs in a heatproof basin. Whisk in the hot sugar mixture in small increments until well combined. Pour the filling on top of the toasted nuts in the bottom of the pie shell.
Step 8: Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes, or until the center is barely set and the crust is golden brown. Place the pie on a cooling rack to cool entirely.
You can serve this pecan pie with vanilla ice cream topping or unsweetened whipped cream.
Tips and Tricks for Pecan Pie Recipe
- Use unsulphured molasses because blackstrap molasses can be bitter and can dominate your pie. You can leave out the molasses and use honey or maple syrup in its place.
- Use the freshest pecans you can find. It will greatly enhance the texture of the pie.
- If your filling is not setting, keep baking until it is gooey, not liquidy.
How to Store Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a delicious treat that may be prepared long in advance. Bake the pie according to the directions, cool fully, then wrap firmly in plastic wrap or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container.
Allow coming to room temperature before slicing after thawing overnight in the refrigerator.
Now that you know four pecan pies, make one right now. Do not forget to share a pecan pie recipe with your friends and family.
With a perfect blend of crunch and softness, it can be a perfect treat for any occasion! Top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy the delicacy.
Now that you know the best pecan pie recipe, why don’t you make one yourself?
Do let us know which pecan pie recipe you enjoyed the most. Comment down.