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Classic Pecan Pie Recipe – How to Make it in 12 Simple Steps

Pecans are trees that are native to the North American continent, so it is little wonder that Pecan Pie is a staple of most North Americans’ Thanksgiving meals. While Pumpkin Pie is also very popular at Thanksgiving, Pecan Pie is eaten all year round. Our recipe for Pecan Pie is the simple, traditional version of this classic dessert.

A full pecan pie with a slice.

Classic Pecan Pie Recipe

April Freeman
Containing just a few ingredients, this recipe has golden toasted pecans atop the gooey, rich center of the pie, all encased in a homemade pie crust. If you are looking for a surefire dessert to serve tonight, why not give our Classic Pecan Pie a try?

Video Version

Prep Time 20 mins
Baking Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Slices


  • 9 Inch Pie Pan
  • Medium-Sized Bowl
  • Fork
  • Butter Knife
  • Pastry blender
  • Rolling Pin
  • Wire whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Wire Rack


Pie Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup Light or Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 pcs Eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Melted Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • cups Chopped Pecans

Pie Crust Ingredients

  • cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Shortening
  • ½ cup Ice Water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Have a nine-inch diameter pie pan ready.
  • To make the pie crust, in a medium-sized bowl using a fork to stir together the flour and the salt. Add the shortening to the mixing bowl, chopping it into six or eight large chunks in the bowl with a butter knife. Use a fork or a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Continue doing this until the shortening is cut into tiny pieces in the flour mixture and the whole mixture has the texture of cornmeal.
  • Slowly drizzle water into the flour and shortening mixture, holding back the ice with your hand. Drizzle about a fourth of a cup, to begin with, and then stir the mixture. The mixture may still be rather dry and crumbly so add a little water, a splash at a time stirring gently with a fork.
  • When the pie crust mixture starts to come together into a large blob and there are no dry areas in the bowl, you’ve added enough water. Use your hands to gather the dough into a disk, pressing it together gently.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out using a rolling pin. Roll the disk of flour into a 12-inch circle. Fold the pie crust into quarters to transfer it to the pie pan. Unfold the crust and gently ease the pie crust into the pan, centering it in the pie pan. Use your fingers to create a rim around the edges of the pie crust.
  • Now you can move on to making the pie filling. Use a paper towel or a clean, damp dishcloth to wipe out the bowl that you used to make the pie crust. You don’t have to completely clean the bowl, just get most of the pie crust residue out of the bowl.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them lightly. Add the corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Use a wire whisk to whisk these ingredients together.
    The mixture is whisked in a bowl.
  • Use a rubber spatula to add the pecans to the mixture, blending them well. Pour the pie filling mixture into the prepared pie crust.
    The filling is poured into the crust.
  • Bake in the center of your preheated oven for one hour. If the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, you can use a pie shield or strips of aluminum foil to protect them in the second half-hour of baking.
  • The pie should be golden brown on top and the center will be slightly jiggly. The pie filling will set up as it cools. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before serving. Do not cut into a warm pecan pie because the filling will be too runny.
  • The leftover pie should be covered with aluminum foil and stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • This pie does freeze well. To freeze the pie, wrap it in two layers of aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for up to a month. To thaw it, place the pie in the refrigerator overnight. You can warm it in the oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes or so before you serve it.
    A slice of classic pecan pie.


Traditionally, before Europeans came to North America, Native Americans cultivated pecans as far north as Illinois. Most of the time, these lovely and useful trees were cultivated in areas near to the Mississippi River. Over time, they gradually were planted as far east as Alabama. After the Civil War, pecan cultivation came to the state of Georgia, which is the state that is currently responsible for most of the pecans grown commercially in the United States.
Once pecans were grown and marketed commercially, people began creating recipes to make delicious foods with this tasty nut. The first recipes using pecans were published in the late 1880s. In the early 1900s, Karo brand corn syrup was invented, and that invention is the ingredient that made the Classic Pecan Pie recipe possible. The company sold their syrup in cans that featured the pie recipe on the label and very quickly after that, pecan pie became popular all across the United States.
This pie separates while baking into two distinct layers. The pecans rise to the top of the pie, while underneath, a rich, decadent custard mixture is created by the butter, corn syrup, eggs, and remaining ingredients. Pecan Pie is one pie recipe that seems like it should be complicated, but it actually is very simple to create.
Keyword Classic Pecan Pie, Dessert, Recipe

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