Pecans add a wonderfully unique, nutty flavor to desserts, which is probably why pecan pie was even invented. A pie devoted just to pecans? Yes, please!
That said, it saddens me to think of the number of times I’ve had a dry and overly sweet pecan pie. That’s why I set out to make a pecan pie with an extra gooey filling that would ensure my pie was moist and pleasing to the palate.
It was just a few weeks ago that I visited a popular bakery near my home. I was perusing the desserts behind the glass display case when a mini pecan pie caught my eye. I was immediately enticed and ordered one for my table.
Sadly, the pie didn’t taste nearly as good as it looked. It was incredibly dry, almost brittle-like, with nothing but the overwhelming flavor of sugar.
Friends, pecan pie needs to be all about the pecans! If you can’t taste pecan in the pie, it’s a sad, sad day.
This pecan pie will make sure you get tons of pecan flavor with just the right amount of sweetness and moistness. The way I achieved that was by:
- Toasting the pecans: Warming the pecans in a hot pan for a couple of minutes brought out more of their wonderfully nutty flavor and natural crunch.
- Using a variety of sweeteners: Rather than just use white sugar and corn syrup to sweeten the pie, I opted to forego the corn syrup and, instead, use a combination of honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar.
I also picked up a tip to dissolve the sugar with the other sweeteners in a saucepan before mixing it into the batter. This help provides deeper flavor and a more gooey filling.
The only obstacle with making pecan pie is being patient enough for the pie to completely cool before digging in. Trying to cut into the pie any sooner won’t give you very clean slices, and the filling is just too hot to enjoyably eat the pie.
But once you can have a blissful bite of this pie, you’ll realize the wait was totally worth it!
Classic pecan pie made without corn syrup!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus more for greasing pie pan, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pecans toasted
- 1 pie crust recipe
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- cold water
Begin by creating the pie crust. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer or a food processor. Add the cubed butter, and beat/pulse the mixture until you get pea-size clumps. Stream in a teaspoon of cold water in at a time, just until the mixture turns into a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough, then press down on it to flatten it into a disc shape. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small saucepan, warm the sugar, maple syrup, honey and brown sugar together until it's smooth and liquid-like. Set aside to slightly cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until pale yellow. Stream in the sugar mixture from the saucepan, whisking vigorously as you do. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract until incorporated. Now, stir in the pecans.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a pie pan with some softened butter. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll the dough into a large 1/8" circle. Place the dough circle in the prepared pie pan. Pour the pecan filling into the crust.
Bake the pie for 45 to 60 minutes, until the filling has set. Let the pie cool in the pan for at least 4 hours before serving.