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Grandma’s Classic Homemade Pecan Pie Recipe

With just a few simple ingredients, you can easily bake this holiday classic — Grandma’s Pecan Pie recipe. 

Over the years, I have decided that the classic dessert of pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts. Heck, if I’m being honest, it’s one of my favorite recipes. 

True confession: I went on a college visit with my oldest son recently, not at the holidays mind you, and they had pecan pie on the school cafeteria dessert line. It was by far my favorite thing I ate that day. I don’t need a Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy southern pecan pie. It’s perfect to me any time of year.

And while the taste of a perfect pecan pie is the main reason I love it, the ease with which it comes together is what makes Grandma’s Pecan Pie recipe so good. With just a few simple ingredients and a fairly simple recipe, you can easily have the best pecan pie imaginable. 

I know pies have this culinary fear-factor for some people who view them as exceedingly difficult to make. And some are. But around here, I specialize in EASY BAKING (I would’ve named this site “The Easy Bake Oven” if I wasn’t fairly certain a trademark challenge would ensue.) Regardless, just know that there’s nothing about this pie that’s difficult, especially if you use a storebought pie crust.

Now, about storebought pie crusts — they are not all created equal. 

Most skilled bakers will tell you that a homemade pie crust is really the only way to go. And while I agree IF you’re good at making pie crust, if you’re not, then purchasing an unbaked pie shell is your best bet. 

In other words, a premade pie crust is better, in my opinion, than a bad homemade crust.

What are the best storebought pie crusts?

My aunt is actually the one who can answer this question best. She’s tried them all and has narrowed down the top choices. I reached out to her before publishing this post, and here’s what I took away from our text exchange, as well as my thoughts on the matter.

Refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts in the red box are everywhere, all the time, and very easy to use. Unfortunately, the Pillsbury crusts and virtually all refrigerated roll-out crusts have — in our opinion — a chemical taste. If you regularly use them and like them, go for it. But in our opinion, there are better options, taste-wise.

My aunt was the one who clued me in a while back that the better option in terms of a premade crust is to buy a frozen pie crust. 

What are the best frozen pie crusts?

Best frozen pie crust: Mrs Smith’s. This is the result of many years of testing and testing, according to my aunt.

Runners Up (acceptable frozen pie crusts): Publix, Walmart, and Marie Callendar (although it’s pretty shallow and doesn’t hold enough filling for anything close to a deep dish pie.)

Are dry pie crust mixes good?

I’ll confess I’ve yet to try one, but I’m going to. Mainly because, according to my aunt, a pie crust mix is your best bet for combining good taste with baking ease. They’re tough to find when it’s not the holiday season. So if you see a box, grab it.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about Grandma’s Pecan Pie recipe

Can I use maple syrup in place of the corn syrup?

No. The viscosity isn’t the same, and as a result, your pie filling won’t be firm enough. Plus, ounce for ounce, corn syrup is sweeter than maple syrup. Save your maple syrup to pour over my Easy Self-Rising Flour Pancakes.

Is this MY grandmother’s recipe?

Hard to say. Both of my grandmothers were excellent bakers, as is my mother. But I don’t have a copy of a classic pecan pie recipe from either of them. I don’t remember my dad’s mom making an old fashioned pecan pie, but my mom’s mom always had a couple on her dessert table at the holidays. A full dessert table during the holiday season was her family tradition. This one is fairly close to hers, especially if you use dark corn syrup, instead of light.

Is it better to use whole pecans or chopped pecans in Grandma’s Pecan Pie recipe?

You’ll notice the picture shows whole pecans (pecan halves). I think that’s prettier. But honestly, it’s harder to cut. So I guess it’s a personal preference.

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Grandma's Pecan Pie recipe

Grandma’s Pecan Pie Recipe


  • Author: Regan at This Baking Life
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (9-in.) from-scratch pie dough, refrigerated store-bought pie crust, or premade, in-pan frozen pie shell
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup or dark corn syrup
  • 4 large whole eggs, beaten
  • 1tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, pecan pieces or pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan or pie dish; trim excess pastry around edges. Fold edges under, and crimp. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and corn syrup to melted butter; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisking butter mixture vigorously, add eggs, vanilla, and salt to pan. Mix well until smooth.
  4. Remove pie crust from refrigerator. Pour filling into pie crust, and top evenly with pecans.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until pecan pie filling is set and crust is golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. (Tent edges of pie crust with aluminum foil during last 10-15 minutes of cook time, as needed, if crust begins to brown too quickly.) Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grandma’s Pecan Pie recipe

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