This Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup is one of the easiest to make! A buttery, flaky crust is filled with a luscious caramel filling generously studded with toasted pecans. It is a perfect balance of sweet and salty, crisp and gooey, without any need for corn syrup, and is not overly sweet!
Pecan pie is a classic dessert without which no Thanksgiving is complete!
Given that pecans are indigenous to North America, it's natural that a pecan pie would find its place at the Thanksgiving table, alongside other native ingredients such as turkey, pumpkin, and cranberries or other Thanksgiving recipes.
Pecan pie is an old-fashioned pie and is a Southern staple, like the sweet potato pie. Made with pecans, butter, sugar and eggs, that bakes into a delicious caramel, nutty pie filling, is traditionally made with corn syrup.
The rise in popularity of pecan pie can be attributed to the 1930s marketing campaigns by Karo, aimed at promoting their corn syrup, a necessary ingredient in the pie.
Corn syrup when combined with eggs, holds the filling together to help ensure your pecan pie filling will set.
When creating my recipe for pecan pie without corn syrup, my goal was to use readily available ingredients already in most pantries and guarantee the filling would still set and taste delicious without being overly sweet.
Why you'll love this?
- Not overly sweet. Most pecan pie recipes call for one cup of corn syrup plus one cup of either granulated or brown sugar. I find that to be just a bit too sweet for my taste. So, for this pecan pie without corn syrup, I've not only omitted the white sugar and corn syrup but also used just one cup of dark brown sugar, which adds just the right amount of sweetness and imparts a deep caramel flavor.
- Begins with a rich, buttery and super flaky pie crust.
- Only 5 simple, easy-to-find ingredients for the pecan pie filling.
- No pre-baking is needed. The pecan pie without corn syrup is baked in two different temperatures. A hotter oven first kick starts the browning and crisping up, and then baking in a moderate heat finishes cooking the filling.
- Crispy and gooey! The pecans on top get all toasty and crisp up, while the caramelly filling underneath has a sticky and melt-in-your-mouth chewy texture.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Pie crust - I use favorite homemade all butter pie crust for all my pie recipes. Unless it needs a graham cracker crust like for the no bake mini cheesecakes. My recipe yields enough dough for one 9-inch pie and is perfect for this recipe.
- Pecans - Toated pecans is absolutely essential in making the best pecan pie without cornsyrup. Toasting nuts helps draw the natural oils, makes them crunchier, and truly enhances the flavor. If you need a refresher on how to do this, check out my post on how to toast pecans.
- Eggs - Eggs bind and hold the filling together.
- Brown sugar - Unlike the pumpkin cake recipe, I like to use dark brown sugar for its deeper and richer molasses flavor.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter and let it cool before adding it to your egg mixture.
- Flavorings - I keep it simple and use vanilla extract and salt. If you'd like to experiment with different flavorings, then check out some ideas below.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds an extra layer of flavor, like in sweet potato souffle.
- Bourbon : Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the egg mixture when you stir in the pecans. I recommend mixing in 1 to 3 teaspoons of all-purpose flour to compensate for the additional liquid.
- Chocolate: Add ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the egg mixture. Adding a layer of chocolate ganache to the cooled pie is also a delicious creation.
- Maple: Reduce the brown sugar and substitute some pure maple syrup for a delightful twist.
- Coffee: Mix 1 tablespoons of espresso or mix in instant coffee granules into the filling. Like the tiramisu tres leches cake, coffee flavored desserts are interesting and irresistible.
- Spice: Add warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to the filling for a cozy and aromatic pecan pie without corn syrup.
- Coconut: Mix shredded coconut into the filling.
- Salted Caramel: Drizzle salted caramel sauce over the top of your cooled pecan pie without corn syrup.
- Ginger: Incorporate grated fresh ginger or ground ginger for a warm and spicy kick.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1 & 2. Whisk eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl, until very smooth, thick and creamy.
3 & 4. Evenly spread the chopped pecans into the rolled-out pie crust and place the pie dish.
5. Pour the prepared filling into the prepared pie crust.
6. Top with reserved ½ cup whole pecans. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle much when you shake it but the centre is still soft when you touch it. It will continue to firm up as it cools.
It will be puffed with cracks and will look extreme, but it will deflate as it cools.
Tip: If you notice your pecans starting to brown too quickly, it's advisable to cover your pecan pie without corn syrup with foil loosely. Check your pie's status after 25 minutes of baking, and then check approximately every 10 minutes afterward.
How to serve?
Once baked, pecan pie should be cooled down completely to room temperature before serving, or the filling will be runny. As for the air fryer bread pudding, I like to pair with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an irresistible dessert.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
Make ahead: Pecan Pie can be made 1-3 days in advance. Allow it to completely cool, then cover and store it in the refrigerator. I like to remove it from the fridge one hour before serving. I often make it a day ahead, tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and leave it on the counter. I've never had an issue.
You can also make pie crust ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a day, then assemble the pie and bake on the day you want to serve it.
Freezing instructions: Pecan pie is a great dessert to make ahead of time and freeze. Wrap the cooled pie in a double layer of plastic wrap, then double wrap in foil, and freeze for up to two months. To serve, thaw the frozen pecan pie without corn syrup overnight in the refrigerator, before bringing it to room temperature.
- Glass pie dish - As I mentioned in my homemade pie crust recipe, glass dishes distribute heat evenly, ensuring that the bottom cooks thoroughly.
- Use toasted pecans - It adds a depth of flavor and crunch, like in pecan snowball cookies.
- Dark brown sugar - After experimenting with various sweetener options for creating a pecan pie without corn syrup, I found that dark brown sugar is the best choice for achieving the perfect consistency, taste, and sweetness.
You'll be able to tell that your pecan pie without corn syrup is fully cooked when you can gently shake the pie dish, and you observe that the center isn't excessively jiggly, while the outer edges are firmly set. Additionally, take note that the filling will puff up and develop cracks during baking, but it will naturally deflate as it cools.
Make sure to bake your pie for the recommended time, and it shouldn’t be jiggly when it’s done. Most importantly, let it have plenty of time to cool and set up. Also, overmixing the filling can add excess air to the filling, leading to a lighter texture, which may result in a runny pie.
Since this is an egg-based pie, it should be refrigerated. Be sure to wrap it well with several layers of plastic wrap or foil before storing to prevent it from absorbing any lingering refrigerator odors. I personally find that it can be stored on the kitchen counter for up to a day without any issues.
More Holiday desserts
Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup
- 1 Homemade pie crust click link for recipe
- 1 ½ cups toasted pecans, divided
- 2 eggs, large
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter (1 stick) not hot
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Prepare homemade pie crust according to recipe instructions. As per instructions, prepare, chill, roll out, and shape into a 9-inch pie plate. Do not bake.
- Coarsely chop 1 cup toasted pecans and leave the remaining ½ cup whole.
- Evenly spread the chopped pecans into the rolled-out pie crust and place the pie dish in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the pecan pie filling.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Whisk all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until very smooth, thick and creamy.
- Pour into the prepared pie crust and top with reserved ½ cup whole pecans in a desired pattern.
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle much when you shake it but the center is still soft when you touch it. If your pecans are browning too quickly then cover loosely with foil.Tip: It will be puffed with cracks and will look extreme, but it will deflate as it cools.
- Cool completely allowing the custard to set for atleast 2 to 4 hours. Slice, and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream ice cream, if desired.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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