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David Guas' Pecan Pie Recipe

David Guas' Pecan Pie Recipe


I’ve probably been eating pecan pie since I was in diapers. When I was in my teens, I’d go to the Camellia Grill on Carrollton Avenue and sit at the counter for a burger, dressed (in New Orleans-ese that means with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo), cheese fries, and pecan pie, grilled on the flat top on both sides and then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

That said, like most Louisianans, I ate the bulk of my pecan pie at the kitchen table surrounded by relatives and relations. Below is my recipe for pecan pie from my cookbook. I’m particularly loyal to Louisiana-grown ingredients, which is why in addition to Louisiana pecans I like to sweeten my pecan pie with cane syrup rather than corn syrup or molasses. Cane syrup gives this pie the earthiness of molasses minus its bitter qualities and is a whole lot more interesting, flavor-wise, than corn syrup. — Chef David Guas

Click here for other chefs' holiday culinary traditions.

Adapted from "Dam Good Sweet, Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style" by David Guas.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 5–7 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 large egg
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2⁄3 cup cane syrup, preferably Steen’s™ cane syrup
  • 2⁄3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups pecan pieces

Directions

For the crust:

Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the smallest pieces are about the size of corn kernels, 10-12 pulses. Add 5 tablespoons of water and pulse until the dough is no longer dry (when squeezed in your hand, it should form a ball and hold its shape), 4-6 times (if the dough is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of ice water). Turn the dough out onto your work surface and form it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 1 month; defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using).

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (let it sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften). Flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, 1⁄8-inch thick. Fold the dough into quarters and transfer to a 9 ½-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough and fit it into the pie plate, then trim off all but ¼ inch of the overhang. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the edge of the dough together to form a granny crimp. Chill while you make the filling.

For the filling:

Whisk the egg and the egg yolks together in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the cane syrup, sugar, cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the butter and melt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, continue to cook the mixture until it is hot but not bubbling, about 1 minute. Whisk the sugar mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time, just until the bottom of the bowl is warm to the touch, and then add the remaining sugar mixture. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.

Take the pie plate out of the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pecan pieces into the piecrust and pour the filling on top. Bake until the center has a little resistance, like a soft-setting custard, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Here's an interesting variation, Bourbon-Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie. Follow the recipe, but add 2 tablespoons of bourbon along with the vanilla to the hot egg-sugar base. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and place it in an ice-water bath to chill for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place 1 ¼ cups of pecans into the pie shell and top with an even layer of ½ cup of semisweet chocolate chips (or roughly chopped semisweet chocolate). Pour the slightly cooled filling into the shell and bake according to the recipe.


Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Alex Brannian, Food Styling by Ali Nardi

It's impossible to go wrong with pecan pie. Especially one that is really loaded with nuts, has a little verve from orange zest, and isn't overly sweet—exactly like the one here. Taking the time to track down new-crop pecans will push things right over the top.

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Pecan Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 115 minutes
Serving Size: 1 slice (98g)
Calories: 340

Ingredients

1 unbaked pie shell, 9-inch

1 ⁄ 4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Assemble all ingredients preheat oven to 350° F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine corn syrup, Truvia ® Sweet Complete ® Granulated All-Purpose Sweetener, oats, melted butter, salt, beaten eggs, pecans, vanilla, water and molasses.

Pour into a prepared unbaked pie shell.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until set.

For a crisper bottom crust, preheat a cookie sheet in the oven before placing unbaked pie on sheet to bake.


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This is a great recipe. I now use it instead of my Grandmothers.

This is a great recipe. I now use it instead of my Grandmothers.

This is going to be my new 'go-to' pecan pie recipe. Because of reading the comments, I toasted all of the pecans, and I used half light syrup and half dark syrup - and also took note that this recipe makes enough for two pies. Wonderful!

I've been making this at holidays for the past few years and it is a favorite (my daughter just requested it for her birthday instead of cake). I use a 10-inch pie plate (says so right on the bottom), and the filling fits perfectly.

I've made this for 4 or 5 years now--still one of our favorites. It does make more than easily fits in my deep dish pie plate, but I simply fill to the appropriate level and use the remains to make a few tarts--because I always have left over crust as well. This also gives me a mini-pie to leave behind, and a few to take as tastes before T'giving. There's always a few who want to cut the pie the day before! So look at the extra as a gift. It's a simple, really good pie.

This is the best pecan pie recipe that I have made. The grounded toasted pecans make a big difference. However, this is after I have made some adjustments. Follow the directions, however, cut the sugar by 1/2 a cup up to 1 cup, depending how sweet you like it. Also, reduce the amount of corn syrup that you use by about 1/2 a cup. I also like to use half dark and half light corn syrup. With these adjustments, the pie doesnt come out gooey anymore and tastes delicious. And, the pie mix is good for two 8inch pies like someone mentioned. Otherwise, it just goes to waste.

I made this pie and followed the directions as is, I baked it the amount of time directed and as I cut into the pie the whole entire thing started oozing out. It never congealed, it was an embarrasment as my family was looking forward to pecan pie. The crust was horrible, it was dry not a flake to be found. I don't even think this deserved even a 1 fork rating. What a waste.

Agree that the amopunt of filling from the recipe exceeds capacity of 10 inch pan, but the final outcome was wonderful. Definitely a do-over.

I have been baking for many years and get irritated when there is a lack of care in test kitchens. The filling for this pie could easily fill to 2 8" pie crusts and have no waste. I am in the process of baking this right now. (a test run for Thanksgiving dinner) with much of it over spilling the pie crust which will probably burn. The Flavors of the raw ingredients were outstanding and I would suggest toasting the entire amount of pecans. Aimee

This is a tasty recipe. Roasting the pecans really does make all the difference in the world!

I made 1/3 recipe in a Keebler chocolate crust, baked 50 minutes. Delicious!

Excellent pie. Am a cook, not a baker so I use the pre-made pie crusts (not for long). This is my 3rd time with this recipe and everyone still comes back for more. I will have to quadruple the recipe when I am finely able to prepare and perfect the home-made crusts.

This is the best pecan pie my family and I had ever tasted. It has now become a staple in our holiday meals.

i definately recommend people adjust their cooking times on this one. mine required just a little longer too cook, however once it was finished . it was a masterpiece. everyone in my entire family swears by this recipie now.

This recipe is everything that a pecan pie should be and best of all it's incredibly simple. Some people mentioned that their pies were soupy but I encountered no such problems. I'm sure I'll be making this one again.

I took the advice of one reviewer and left out the corn syrup (I didn't want the soupy pie most other reviewers described). Suffice it to say, my four year old called it "Sand Pie". I highly recommend the Apple Cranberry Ribbon pie for holiday baking instead. By the way, this site seems to be rigged. My first attempt at posting this thumbs down review was deleted forty five minutes after it appeared! Is it possible that we're only reading the reviews 'they' allow us to read?

I tried this recipe without the corn syrup as one reviewer recommended. UGH! My 4 year old called it "Sand Pie". Perhaps I'll try it again with the corn syrup despite the fact that many reviewers complained that the recipe came out soupy. In the meantime, I'll highly recommend the apple cranberry ribbon pie instead of this one.

Very rich! My family loved it! Great pecan taste will make again!

This is the best pecan pie I've ever made or had anywhere! Very much superior to plain-jane pecan pie. I cannot judge the crust recipe as I only used the filling recipe. Trust me, I know my food and this is, well, KILLER! (If I may use that adjective). A+ pie!

I just made this for Christmas. I followed the directions but for 2 exceptions: I substituted 1 cup of brown sugar for white sugar, and added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to cut the sweetness (yikes pecan pie is sweet!) I feel the addition of the ground, toasted pecans really added a new depth of flavor to this pie. In the future I will try this trick with the maple pecan pie recipe on this site, as I love the maple flavor with the pecans.

A HUGE hit with the family and on the "please bring" list for family gatherings list!

Addendum to previous comment: I coated the pecans with groung cinnamon, cloves and cardamon.

I made this as one of several pies for Thanksgiving and it was the first to disappear. I recommend adjusting the spices to taste and adding some if you like.

Pecan pie is my favorite dessert and i always look forward to the holidays to have a slice with vanilla ice cream. This is the first one I have ever made on my own and now i think i will be eating it all year long.

I made this & took it to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. I also had a soupy result upon cutting into it. However, my aunt is a wonderful & experienced cook. She advised that we put into a 350 oven & cook it until a knife inserted into center came out clean. So, all wasn't lost, only delayed!


Pimento cheese drop biscuits

Ingredients

2.5 cups White Lilly all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Baking powder
.25 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, ground
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
8 tablespoons Unsalted butter, cubed
.75 cup Sharp Cheddar, grated
.5 cup Roasted Red Peppers, roughly chopped (roughly 1 large bell pepper)
1 cup Buttermilk, cold

Directions

&bull Heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt, in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 3-4 times, then add cold cubed butter, and pulse again 8-10 times.
&bull Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the grated cheese and the roasted peppers. Using your hands, fold in the cold buttermilk, about half-cup at a time, into a portion of the base, just until it comes together and forms a dough ball. It should be dry enough to roll out. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface.
&bull Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a straight rolling pin that has been lightly floured, roll the dough into a .75-inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough in half so the short ends meet. Repeat the rolling and folding process 5 times. Roll it out to be .5-inch thick on final roll, then punch out with ring cutter (3.25 inches in diameter.) Be careful - DO NOT TWIST YOUR BISCUIT CUTTER!!
&bull Brush with buttermilk and bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
&bull Remove from oven and brush with melted unsalted butter.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup pecans, finely crushed
  • 1 cup pecans, quartered
  • 1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

To Make Crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and white sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually sprinkle the water over the dry mixture, stirring until dough comes together enough to form a ball.

On a floured surface flatten dough ball with rolling pin. Roll out into a circle that is one inch larger than pie dish. Place pie shell into dish and refrigerate until pie filling is complete.

To Make Pie Filling: In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, light and dark corn syrups, brown sugar, butter, salt and finely crushed pecans. Spread quartered pecans over bottom of refrigerated pie crust. Pour syrup mixture over top of pecans, then arrange pecan halves on top of pie.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for one hour or until firm let cool for one hour before serving.

Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.


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So easy and so good. Very happy to get to use mapel syrup instead of corn syrup, though it is more expensive. Better flavor and more natural.

I made this yesterday , it was delicious , one thing I changed was 2 eggs and one yolk , instead of 3 full eggs , the rest is perfect !! My guests asked for second servings !!

Big Hit! The Thanksgiving crowd LOVED this pie -and Im including southerners here- better than any other I've tried before. Yes I know we all hate the 'recipes changers' but sometimes they can be useful so here goes. After all the "too sweet" comments (even though pecan pie IS sweet) I dropped the white sugar altogether, bumped up the butter a bit and added a slug of Kentucky bourbon. Filling texture was perfect and maple was NOT overpowering as I feared. My own trick with any pecan pie is for holiday time is I always add a handful of fresh cranberries to the filling. Adds a bright contrast to the sweetness and looks great! Try it!

This was fantastic! Having read the reviews, I added a pinch of salt to the filling mix, subsituted in 1/4 cup Jim Beam Maple Bourbon Whisky for a 1/4 cup of the maple syrup, used the full amount of sugar, 2 eggs, made the filling denser, and 3 cups of pecans, or as many as I could fit into the crust. I use Bernard Clayton's half and half pie crust - foolproof, tasty, tender, and stands up to wet pies nicely.

I used at least 2 cups of pecans--my Dad's favorite pie is pecan and he said this is the best one he ever had. Easy and delicious!

too sweet. i tried adding salt and orange zest and reducing sugar, but it was just way too sweet. i even upped the pecans but left the other ingredients the same. i have had other pecan pies, but this one was over the top in terms of sweetness. i will not make this again.

I actually increased the filling by another half as the first time I made this recipe, the filling was a little thin after baking. I also added a 1/2 teaspoon of zest of tangerine to the filling and it was really amazing! It added some roundness to the sweetness of the filling. I also recommend covering the crust with foil to keep it from being too brown.

Based on other reviews, I added a generous pinch of salt and a very heft glug of bourbon. And based on my own slobbering over the prospect of cramming as many pecans per bite as possible into my, er, piehole, I increased the nuts. ZOMGOMGWTFBBQ goooooooood. Multiplying the recipe 1.5X was a perfect fit for the 2 standard size, frozen pre-fab pie crusts I used. Super easy recipe, but that was expected, having lazied out on the crusts.

YUMMY. I made this last year for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. and yes it's sweet. It's now standard fare at our Thanksgiving table. I added a few more pecans also.

I use a different recipe for the pie crust. the cook"s illustrated recipe for foolproof pie dough. Being Canadian I love the idea of using maple syrup. It is the best pecan pie my entire extended family has ever tasted. I have made it several times. A real winner!!

I went to make a traditional pecan pie for a surprise visit from my brother and found I didn't have enough Karo syrup. After checking my pantry for a substitute and finding an unopened bottle of maple syrup, I found this recipe and am so happy I did. It was so well received and both my brother and my husband said that it was the best pecan pie I had ever made. Great recipe.

Awesome and easy to make. I am always asked to bring one or two of these whenever invited to a potluck. A real crowd pleaser.

Fantastic recipe! Made 3 for co-workers Christmas gifts and one for my holiday dinner. Best taste and very easy to make. A new favorite!

Made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious. Set up really nicely, but wasn't too sweet. Can't comment on the pie crust as I used my own recipe for that.

I have made this several times for a real southern crowd and it is always a big hit. The maple syrup is a great ingredient that is used in place of corn syrup in many other pecan pie recipes. I recently started adding about a shot of bourbon to the liquid before pouring it on the pecans and it gives it a great added richness.

Fantastically simple. Wonerful flavors. I have served this many times to family and friends. It always gets rave reviews. Easy when you have little time to prepare.

I made this Thanksgiving morning, it was easy and very delicious. I toasted the pecans first, used Trader Joe's pie crust, grade B dark amber maple syrup and add a big pinch of kosher salt. It wasn't as sweet as I expected based on other reviews and we enjoyed every bite.

A fantastic pecan pie. The maple really makes it special. One key correction to the recipe - it needs salt to cut the sugar. Even if you use salted butter, you may need to add a dash more kosher salt.

I know a lot of reviewers think this pie is too sweet, but I disagree. It's a pecan pie - it's SUPPOSED to be super-sweet! I used the full amounts of sugar, although a bit more pecans than the recipe called for -- I chopped half of them, and left the rest whole. I also used a refrigerated pie cruse (the kind that comes rolled up) in a deep-dish pie pan. I find that frozen crusts can come out goopy and gooey on the bottom of custard pies, whereas the refrigerated pie crusts come out crisp. The maple flavor in this pie is just incredible, and a unique change from traditional pecan pie. I made two pumpkin pies and one of these. this pie was gone in minutes, whereas I still have 1 1/2 pumpkin pies sitting in my fridge. If you are a fan of pecan pies, this one will knock your socks off! If you find it to be too sweet for your tastes, I suggest serving some whipped cream made with only a tiny bit of sugar. This will cut the sweet, and add a nice creaminess.

checking in after Thanksgiving to report this pie was a success and easy to boot. Only thing I messed up on was using a 9" regular crust vs the recommended deep dish. Filling bubbled over and I thought I was doomed, but luckily the pie was on a foil lined cookie sheet, and ended up looking fine in the end. I did cover the edges 1/2 way through and glazed the crust with an egg wash prior to filing. not sure it helped though with the run over. anyway, will probably give it another shot for x-mas. I like the look of the whole pecans, but found it a bit cumbersome to cut and eat, might chop them next time as well.

Way too sweet. The only salvation I see for this would be to double the nuts and halve the custard, just so it flavors the nuts and makes them stick together.

SO good. Everyone raved about it at my Thanksgiving dinner. Very sweet like a pecan pie generally is, but with a richer flavor because of the maple. I will definitely be making this again. SO easy. Next time I will use my own crust.

Amazing! and sooo easy to make. I used nearly a cup of brown sugar packed and no white sugar because I misread the recipe. (I wasn't trying to be "fancy' or anything, I just forgot to write down the white sugar all together) oh, and added a pinch of salt because every review complained about it being too sweet. It was fabulous!

very easy recipe, but you can use a little less maple syrup bc it comes out very sweet. also, i chopped the pecans in a food processor and then arrange pecan halves on top of the pie once i poured the filled into the crust. that way, it came out picturesque!


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Pecan Pie Ingredients

If you are a pie novice, the classic pecan pie is the place to start. Because pie making doesn’t get much easier than this. I used the recipe on the Karo® Syrup website because I knew it would be a winner!

You start with Karo® Syrup because it gives your pie the perfect amount of sweetness and gooeyness that a pecan pie needs. You can either use light or dark, it’s simply preference. Dark will give your pie a more robust flavor, while the light gives a more delicate vanilla flavor. I usually go for light, but you really can’t lose with either. The only other ingredients you need are eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and of course – pecans. You just mix everything together, no fancy equipment needed, and pour it into an unbaked pie crust.


Gallery

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 Tbsp. ice water, if needed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 10 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 4 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Prepare the Piecrust: Place salt and 1⁄4 cup of the water in a glass measuring cup. Stir to dissolve salt chill 30 minutes.

Place flour in a large bowl. Cut in shortening, using a pastry blender, until crumbly. Drizzle cold salted water over flour mixture. Toss lightly with a fork until dough comes together, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, if needed.

Form dough into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll dough disk into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Carefully transfer to a 9 1⁄2-inch deep-dish pie plate, and press into bottom and up sides of pie plate. Trim Piecrust, leaving about 1 inch around edges reserve dough scraps. Fold edges under and crimp. Bake in preheated oven just until crust is set, about 4 minutes. Let cool 2 to 3 minutes on a wire rack, and fill in any cracks with leftover dough scraps so there are no openings in any of the crust. Cool 30 minutes. Brush lightly with beaten egg. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Prepare the Filling: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium. Add sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes. Add corn syrup, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes. Slowly whisk about 1 cup hot mixture into beaten eggs slowly whisk beaten egg mixture back into hot sugar mixture, and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans.

Pour Filling into cooled crust. Bake at 350°F until pie is cooked through and set in the middle, 40 to 45 minutes. Cover edges with aluminum foil after 30 to 35 minutes to prevent overbrowning. (The center will rise a little at the end but will settle when cooled.) Let cool completely (about 2 hours) before slicing.