This maple pecan pie is a classic American dessert. With a buttery, flaky pastry cradling a rich, sticky, gooey brown sugar-maple pecan filling, it’s a sensational sweet treat that deserves a spot on your Holiday menu!
Pecan pie isn’t very common in Britain and that’s such a shame – we are missing out!
The combination of pecans and caramel has always been a huge favourite of mine, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to try this beloved American dessert. The delicious marriage of crunchy pecans and buttery, caramel filling is a match made in heaven.
If you have a sweet tooth and like pecan nuts, then you simply have to try a pecan pie. I’ve taken inspiration from my favourite maple-pecan pastries and added a generous amount of maple syrup to the filling.
I took the pie to work this week and it was a HUGE hit with my colleagues. Everyone loved it. I’m already getting requests to make it again!
Love pecans? Try this incredible cinnamon pecan monkey bread recipe!
A popular thanksgiving dessert
When I think of a pecan pie, Thanksgiving always comes to mind. Pecan season runs from late September to December in the USA.
This timing perfectly aligns with the tradition of making pecan pie, which has earned its place as a traditional Holiday recipe alongside favourites such as pumpkin pie, roast turkey, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce!
Please keep scrolling to the printable recipe card for ingredient amounts! The list below is a quick guide so you can check you have all of the ingredients to hand to make this dish.
INgredients for the pie crust
- plain (all purpose) flour
- very cold butter, cut into small dice
- salt and white sugar
- iced water
maple pecan pie filling ingredients
- Golden Syrup. A traditional pecan pie normally uses corn syrup, but since corn syrup isn’t available in the UK, I’m using the closest equivalent we have. I have never actually tasted corn syrup, but I’ve been told they are actually very different in taste.
- Maple syrup. I used to use all golden syrup in this recipe, but one day I tried adding a 50/50 mix of maple and golden syrup. Man oh man! It was a game changer. But of course, maple and pecans go together like Laurel and Hardy, don’t they? If you like, you can just use maple syrup, but I use a mixture of the two since maple syrup is rather expensive.
- Salt to balance out the sweetness of the pie – just a little!
- unsalted butter
- Soft dark brown sugar – you can use light brown sugar instead if you prefer.
- Vanilla Extract – for the best flavour, use the best quality you can find.
- Eggs – you’ll need 3 large (not extra large)
- Pecans – well, it ain’t a pecan pie without them! It’s important to use nuts that are as fresh as possible. Nuts that have been sitting in a cupboard for months (or even longer) can turn rancid pretty quickly. To prevent this from happening, I store nuts in the freezer.
- Optional extra – a splash (or three) of Bourbon or Rum
- One large, sturdy baking sheet to sit the pie dish on while baking (the filling has a tendency to puff up a little, so this will save the bottom of your oven from any spillage).
step by step instructions
Making a homemade pecan pie is a lengthy process, but it’s not difficult. Let me take you through it step by step.
We begin by making the sweet pie dough for the crust. A food processor makes this very easy work, but you can of course make it by hand. Chilled ingredients make the best pie dough, so your butter and water must be as cold as possible.
**Obviously, if you would rather skip making your own pie crust and buy a ready-made one, please be my guest! Pre prepared pie crusts really aren’t a thing in UK supermarkets, so we have no choice but to make our own.**
make the pie dough
Step one – Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor and briefly pulse to mix the ingredients together.
Step two – Add the cold diced butter to the bowl and pulse again for a few seconds a couple of times, or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You don’t want the butter completely mixed in – a few small lumps should still be visible.
Step three – Pour the cold water through the funnel, pulsing until the mixture begins to form a rough dough (see picture 3 below). To avoid overmixing, I turn the machine off at this stage and turn the dough out on a piece of baking parchment and gently work the dough into a smooth, round ball.
Step four – Flatten the ball of dough into a disc, wrap it in cling film/plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about one hour to rest the dough.
*At this stage, you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to three days or freeze for up to two months**
blind bake the crust
Step five – Remove the now chilled pie dough from the fridge. Chilled dough is very difficult to roll out and will simply crack if you try, so let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes. Once it’s a little easier to work with, roll it out between two large sheets of baking parchment to a circle about 4-5 cm larger in diameter than your pie dish.
Step six – Peel off the top piece of baking parchment and flip the dough and the remaining piece of parchment (that was on the bottom) onto the pie dish. Peel off the baking parchment. Fold the excess dough underneath the pie dish to make a rim, then using a fork or your fingers, crimp the dough. Place in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 200C/180Fan/400F.
Step seven – When the oven is ready, line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until very lightly golden. I don’t like to get the crust too dark at this stage.
prepare the filling
Step eight – Melt the butter, then set aside to cool. If you add the eggs to the butter while it’s still hot, they will scramble! Roughly chop the pecans. Leaving them whole looks very pretty, but it makes the pie hard to cut and eat!
Step nine – Stir together the cooled melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, golden syrup, maple syrup, brown sugar and rum or bourbon if using until you have a smooth, runny mixture. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Step ten – Carefully pour the nutty mixture into the pre-baked pastry case. Place the pie dish on a baking tray and bake for around an hour or until the filling has puffed up and looks set around the edges. It will still have a slight wobble in the middle, but the pie will set while it’s cooling.
baking time for maple pecan pie
Pecan pie typically takes around one hour to bake in my oven, but given all ovens are different, it might take a little less or more time in yours.
It’s recommended to begin checking the pie after 40-45 minutes. Halfway through bake time, shield the edges of the pie crust with crumpled tin foil. If the nuts appear to be getting too dark or on the verge of burning, tent the top of the pie with foil.
how to tell when pecan pie is ready
When the pie is ready, the filling will look puffed up and caramelized. The pie will be slightly jiggly in the middle (a little bit like Jell-O) but it will set as it cools.
The texture of a pecan pie should not be firm – it should be soft and a little gooey, but it should still hold its shape when you cut into it. If the filling flows everywhere when you slice the pie, it’s underdone.
give the pie time to set
Now comes the really difficult but very important part – you must allow the pie to cool down completely before serving. If you try and slice it when it’s still hot and the filling hasn’t set, the pie will just collapse. I know it’s not easy, but patience is a virtue!
Pecan pie is rich enough to not really need any embellishments, but if you must have something, then vanilla or coffee ice cream is rather nice. Whipped cream is also good!
make it in advance
You can make pecan pie up to 2 days ahead of time. It will be perfectly good for 3-4 days stored in the fridge after baking.
Do you need to refrigerate homemade pecan pie?
Pecan pie contains eggs in the filling, so yes it should be stored in the fridge. It’s fine to leave it out for about 2-3 hours after baking, but any longer than that, pop it in the chiller. Remove from the fridge and leave for about 30 minutes before serving.
You can also freeze pecan pie for up to 3 months. Wrap slices of the pie in double layers of tin foil before freezing. Remove the pie from the freezer and defrost in the fridge overnight. Then remove the slices from the fridge and let them come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes to remove the chill.
Reheat the pie slices (150C/140Fan/300F) for about 10-15 minutes or until the middle is piping hot. For more detailed information, Pantry and Larder has a really great post about how to reheat pecan pie.
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought of the recipe by leaving a comment below, and if you would leave a rating by clicking on the stars in the recipe card, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you and happy baking!
want to see more american style desserts?
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
- FOR THE ALL BUTTER PIE DOUGH:
- 300g (1 cup + 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 175g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice
- Approx 6 tbsp very cold water
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 3 large Eggs, beaten
- 150g (3/4 cup) packed dark Brown Sugar
- 125g (1/2 cup) Golden Syrup or Corn Syrup
- 125g (1/2 cup) pure maple syrup
- 75g/1/3 Cup unsalted butter, Melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon real Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons rum or bourbon (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon Fine Salt
- 250g/2 Cups Pecans, roughly chopped
- To make the pie dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor and briefly pulse to mix the ingredients together.
- Add the cold diced butter to the bowl and pulse again for a few seconds 2-3 times, or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You don't want the butter completely mixed in - a few small lumps should still be visible.
- Pour the cold water through the funnel, pulsing until the mixture begins to form a rough dough. To avoid overmixing, turn the machine off at this stage and turn the dough out on a piece of baking paper. Using your hands, gently work the dough into a smooth, round ball.
- Flatten the ball of dough into a disc, wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour to rest the dough.
- Remove the chilled pie dough from the fridge. Chilled dough is difficult to roll out and will simply crack if you try, so let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes. Once it's a little easier to work with, roll it out between two large sheets of baking parchment to a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
- Peel off the top piece of baking parchment and flip the rolled-out dough and the remaining piece of parchment (that was on the bottom) straight onto the pie dish. Peel off the baking parchment (which is now on the top). Fold the excess dough underneath the pie dish to make a rim, then using a fork or your fingers, crimp the dough. Place in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/180Fan/400F.
- When the oven is ready, line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place in the oven and blind bake for around 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until very lightly golden. I don't like to get the crust too dark at this stage, since it's going back in the oven for quite a while later. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the filing. Turn the oven temperature down to 180C/160Fan/350F.
- Once the pastry crust has cooled to room temperature, make the filling. Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, golden/corn syrup, maple syrup, melted (cooled - or it could cause the eggs to scramble) butter, vanilla, rum or bourbon if using and salt. Stir in the chopped pecans. Pour into the baked pie crust.
- Bake at 180C/160Fan/350F for around 1 hour, covering with foil after 40 minutes so the pecans don't burn. The pie is fully baked when the pie looks set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely before slicing and serving.
Pecan pie texture - Pecan pie should have a soft, gooey filling. It should still hold its shape when you cut into it. If the filling flows everywhere when you attempt to cut the pie, it's underbaked.
Allow the pie to cool and set - Leaving the pie to set and cool completely is crucial. If you would prefer a firmer set, add 1 tablespoon of sieved plain flour to the filling ingredients, whisking well to avoid lumps from forming (please note however I have not tested this).
Baking time - Pecan pie takes around 50-60 minutes to bake in my oven, but it might take a little less time (or longer) in yours. It’s a good idea to start checking the pie after 40-45 minutes. Halfway through baking time, cover the pie crust edges with a scrunched up piece of tin foil. If the nuts look like they are starting to burn or turn too dark, cover the top of the pie with foil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 624Total Fat: 63gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 151mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.