Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

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Old Fashioned Pecan Pie is a classic southern recipe you'll want to make time and time again. It's the perfect dessert for holidays, special occasions, and any time you want a true taste of the deep south!

Old fashioned pecan pie on a green towel that reads 'family is everything.'
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Why You'll Love It

This classic pecan pie recipe will remind you of favorite family gatherings during the holiday season. One bite and you'll be transported back to Grandma's kitchen while she's making Thanksgiving dinner!

You'll love how easy this delicious pecan pie comes together. In just minutes, you'll have a beautiful dessert filled with buttery pecans in a flaky crust! 

Here are several more reasons you'll want to make this classic southern dessert for the holidays...

  • Easy: simple to prepare ~ bakes in one hour
  • Make Ahead: can be made several days in advance
  • Versatile: tastes great hot or cold
  • Keeps Well: holds well for a long period of time
  • Tastes Amazing: delicious with a scoop of ice cream or whipped topping
pecan pie cooling on a pie rack.

Ingredient Notes

To make this old fashioned pecan pie recipe, you'll need only 7 ingredients. Quantities are listed in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • refrigerated pie crust - keep in the refrigerator until ready to roll out
  • whole pecans - the meatier the better
  • salted butter - the salted type of butter tastes best in this recipe
  • white sugar - granulated sugar is the recommended choice
  • Karo® light corn syrup - doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup
  • large eggs - it's best to use large eggs, as any other size will produce too much liquid
  • vanilla extract - just a little makes a difference

Equipment Needed

  • large bowl
  • wire whisk
  • pie dish or plate

How to Make Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

Preheat the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. 

Press a refrigerated pie crust into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork. Crimp edges as desired to make a pattern.

pie crust with lattice weave edging.

Add pecan halves until the bottom crust is covered. Make sure nuts are facing up for best results.

large pecans lining the bottom of a pie crust.

Mix melted butter, sugar, Karo corn syrup, eggs and vanilla together in a bowl and pour over pecans.

Add the rest of the pecans on top in a design as shown.

pecan pie decorated before going into the oven.

Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or a shield. Place pie on a baking sheet on the lowest position of the oven rack. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes. Check internal temperature with a thermometer. It should reach 200 degrees F when done.

Old fashioned pecan pie cooling on a wire rack.

Cool pie on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature which will take at least 2 to 3 hours. Or, allow to cool overnight in the refrigerator.

How to Create a Design on Top

To create a design on the pie as shown, add pecans on top of the ones that have risen, which act as a base.

Start by creating a 'flower' with pecans in the middle of the pie, then add pecans around the edges in a circle, or randomly as desired.

pecan pie with a lattice edged crust on a green towel.

Make sure pecans are facing up for best results. Drizzle entire surface with a little Karo syrup to create a nice sheen. Bake as usual.

To achieve the crust pattern, cut slits all around the edge of the dough before placing in plate. Once dough is in plate, cross one strip over the other all around the pie.

Recipe FAQS

How do you keep pecan pie from being runny?

If you cook the pie until it's slightly jiggly in the middle, it won't be runny. Make sure you bake it until it reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's still doesn't set after cooling for 2 hours, you may need to put it in the refrigerator or let it sit out overnight on a counter.

Is light or dark corn syrup better for pecan pie?

Either one will work in this recipe. Light corn syrup is sweeter and adds a touch of vanilla flavor. Dark corn syrup is more robust and adds a darker color to the pie.

How do the pecans rise to the top?

If the filling holds more liquid than pecans, the nuts will magically rise to the top when baked.

Are there special instructions for higher altitudes?

Yes, this recipe is definitely affected by higher elevations. Bake at 325ºF instead of 350ºF. Reduce the sugar to ⅔ cup. Use 3 Tbsp. butter instead of 2.

Expert Tips

  • For best results, mix ingredients by hand.
  • Use the meatiest pecans you can find.
  • Salted butter tastes best in this recipe.
  • Cover the crust with a pie crust shield during baking to prevent burning.
  • Use Karo® corn syrup. It contains NO high fructose corn syrup like most people think!
  • If you'd like to make a substitution for Karo® corn syrup, try this recipe.
  • Use a 9 inch deep dish pie pan or plate for best results.
  • You'll know when the pie is done if it's set in the middle (just a little jiggle).
  • Bake pie until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let pie cool overnight on a counter (or in the refrigerator) to ensure it sets properly.
  • When set, the crunchy pecans on the top of the pie will be hard to cut, so use a sharp knife. 
  • Brush top with a little extra Karo syrup to make it shiny.
Old Fashioned pecan pie on a green towel.

Storage and Freezing

Make Ahead: pie can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Leftovers: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Freezing: you can freeze a whole pie, or cut it into slices and wrap well with plastic wrap. Store slices in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thawing: thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to a 350ºF oven to reheat for 10 minutes.

What to Serve with Pecan Pie

Serve this favorite pecan pie recipe with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Looking for even more holiday favorites? Try Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Pie, a decadent Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie, or my crowd favorite Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake to round out your Thanksgiving dessert table!

If you're looking for a another classic Thanksgiving pie, try this delicious Magic Crust Custard Pie that tastes like the holidays!

More Pecan Recipes

If you love pecans, try these other delicious recipes that celebrate the south!

Recipe Card

Old Fashioned pecan pie made the traditional way with a criss cross crust.

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie is a classic southern recipe you'll want to make time and time again. It's the perfect dessert for holidays, special occasions, and any time you want a true taste of the deep south!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings8
Calories: 591kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust 9 inch deep dish
  • 2 ½ cups pecan halves reserve ½ cup to decorate top of pie
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Press an unbaked refrigerated pie crust into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Crimp edges.
    1 refrigerated pie crust
  • Add pecans until the bottom crust is covered. (2 cups)
    2 ½ cups pecan halves
  • Whisk melted butter, sugar, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla together in a bowl. 
    2 Tablespoons salted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup light corn syrup, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pour mixture over pecans. Add extra pecans on top of pie to make a design.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes until middle is set. It should reach 200 degrees F. when done. There should not be a jiggle in the middle. 
  • Cool pie for at least 2 hours before serving, or place in refrigerator to speed up the process. 
  • For best results, let pie sit out on the kitchen counter overnight. 

Notes

  • Pie can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  • Store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Freeze leftover pie for up to 3 months. 
  • All ovens are different and high altitude may affect this recipe. If baking at a higher altitude, reduce oven temp to 325ºF. Use 3 Tbsp. butter instead of 2, and use ⅔ cup sugar instead of 1. 

Nutrition

Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving. It was such an easy recipe it seemed too good to be true. It turned out fabulous! Even people who said they ‘don’t really’ care for pecan pie loved it. My husband wants me to make it again for our Christmas family gathering. 😊

    1. Wonderful, Jan! So happy to hear that everything worked out and your family enjoyed the pecan pie!

    1. Hi Bonnie! You can use a frozen pie crust if you're not trying to form it in a different pan. Just use it in the aluminum pan it comes in and it should work out fine! 🙂

5 from 3 votes

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