Grandma’s Pecan Pie Recipe

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A tried and true classic, this Pecan Pie recipe is truly the best! It tastes just like the one Grandma used to make and with less than 10 ingredients, it’s incredibly easy too. Perfect for both Thanksgiving and Christmas!

A slice of pecan pie on a white plate

The Best Pecan Pie Recipes

We have made and tried a LOT of pecan pie recipes and as far as classic pecan pies go, this one is the best. By far. The filling is perfectly sweet and gooey, filled with pecan halves and a warm molasse-y flavor. I added in a bit of orange zest, which may seem a bit strange but man, it really makes this pie extra special and sets it apart from the others.

For the crust, I used a refrigerated pie crust to keep things extra easy but feel free to use your favorite homemade crust instead.

While the crust does need to chill for 30 minutes and the bake time is about an hour, the actual hands-on prep time for this pie is just 10 minutes! And it can easily be made in advance, making it perfect for the busy holiday season!

Overhead view of a homemade pecan pie

What You’ll Need

You’ll need less than 10 ingredients to prepare this easy pecan pie. Most of them are likely in your cupboard already!

  • Pie crust – Both refrigerated pie crust from the store or homemade pie crust will work. Your choice!
  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar – Dark brown sugar and granulated sugar are both used to sweeten this pie. The dark brown sugar helps to give a molasses flavor to the filling.
  • Light corn syrup – Corn syrup is key to thickening the filling and achieving the right texture.
  • Vanilla extract – For flavor.
  • Orange zest – Optional but in my opinion, adding the zest is what helps set this apart.
  • Salt
  • Eggs – Help give the filling substance.
  • Pecan halves – You can’t have pecan pie without pecans!
  • For serving – Either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving.

Can You Make Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup?

This is not a pecan pie recipe you can make without corn syrup. Think of the corn syrup as the glue that holds this pie together. It helps to thicken the pie filling and prevents it from spilling all over when you cut the slices, plus it gives it tons of flavor. Making this pie without corn syrup would sacrifice the flavor and the texture.

Recipe Variations

Want to turn this into a less-than-traditional pecan pie? Here are a few ways to get creative with this holiday dessert!

  • Chocolate Pecan Pie – Add a cup of semi-sweet chocolate and cut back on the pecans by about 1/2 cup. My favorite is German Chocolate Pecan Pie.
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie – Omit the vanilla extract and add 1 tablespoon of good quality bourbon.
  • Pumpkin Pecan Pie – The combination of two fall favorites!
A fork digging into a slice of homemade pecan pie

How to Make Pecan Pie

This easy pecan pie recipe comes together quickly in just a few steps. There are just 10 minutes or so of actual hands-on time!

  • Prepare the pie crust. Spread the pie crust in the pie pan. Crimp the edges and poke the bottom with a fork. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or freeze for no more than 10 minutes.
  • Make the filling. Whisk the sugars in melted butter over medium heat, until melted. Remove from heat. Whisk in the corn syrup, vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Add in lightly been eggs.
  • Assemble the pie. Place the pecans in the pie shell. Pour the filling mixture evenly over them.
  • Bake. Cover the pie with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the center is set.
  • Cool. Cool on a wire rack for an hour then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

How Do You Know When Pecan Pie Is Done Baking?

You can tell when your homemade pecan pie is done baking when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The filling will still be a bit wiggly, though not too much. It should appear mostly set. Note that the pie will continue cooking even after it’s removed from the oven, so you don’t want to overbake it.

Tips for Success

Here are a few helpful tips for making the best pecan pie.

  • Mix the filling by hand. I recommend using a whisk to combine the filling ingredients to avoid overly beating it.
  • Use a pie shield. A pie shield or foil on the edges of the pie crust should be used for at least the first 30 minutes. This helps prevent the pie crust from browning.
  • Try toasting the pecans. For extra flavor, toast the pecans before baking.
  • Cool before slicing. Allow the pie to cool completely (and chill in the fridge) before slicing. Otherwise, the filling will go everywhere when you slice it.

Serving Suggestions

Keep your pecan pie refrigerated until just before serving. You can serve it at room temperature if desired. I like to serve my homemade pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, though whipped cream is also delicious!

How to Store & Freeze

Homemade pecan pie can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep it covered with plastic or foil to prevent it from drying out.

You can also make the pie ahead to freeze. (This is perfect for the holiday season!) To freeze, bake the pie as usual and allow it to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then place in a ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy!

More Pecan Pie Recipes:

Grandma's Pecan Pie Recipe
5 from 51 votes

Grandma’s Pecan Pie Recipe

A tried and true classic, this Pecan Pie recipe is truly the best! It tastes just like the one Grandma used to make and with less than 10 ingredients, it's incredibly easy too. Perfect for both Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Servings: 10
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour


  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving; optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Place the pre-made pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Lightly prick bottom of the crust with a fork. Place in the fridge and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze no longer than 10 minutes).
  • Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugars, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest (optional), and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then combine with the corn syrup mixture.
  • Place the pecan halves in the chilled pie shell and then pour the filling mixture evenly over them.
  • Cover your pie with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until center is set and not overly wiggly. Check it often.
  • Remove from the oven when done and set on a wire rack to cool for about 1 hour, then refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
  • Pie can be made 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Last Step:

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Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 302IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg


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26 comments on “Grandma’s Pecan Pie Recipe”

    1. Hi Carole. I prefer orange zest in a pecan pie but it’s really personal preference. If you want a hint of lemon, then yes you can do that. You can also omit the zest all together and it will be fine.

  1. I have my mother’s recipe which she got from the NY Times recipe book of 1941…I can picture the book anytime I think of it. That recipe uses either the dark corn syrup, which she preferred, or the light. But yours looks very much like hers did. I will try yours, with the homemade orange zest that I made as that sounds like a good idea to me. I’m excited to try it as pecan is on my favorite pie list.

    1. I’m just now seeing this so you may already have an answer. The nuts float up to the top when you pour in the liquid filling. Might need to rearrange them a bit if you want a pretty pattern.

  2. This sounds like a great recipe, but I’m working on a sugar-free version because I’m diabetic; would love to hear your thoughts, I’m still in the ideation phase and haven’t tested anything yet. Thinking of equal thirds of Agave nectar, Yupon syrup, sunflower lecithin, with brown butter, and a little Lorann caramel flavor. I’ll probably hit it with a couple shots of whiskey, cause I know myself, haha. I figure worst case scenario, it will be nutty and boozy and how can you go wrong?

  3. This pie sounds as delicious as it looks. I wonder what keeps those eggs from cooking when you stir them into that HOT mixture ? I want to try this, but I don’t want to mess it up. I’m not good with pies. I’ll let you know how I do. Just need a few ingredients first. Thanks !!!

    1. Well the mixture is already off the heat and idk about you but it did cool down a bit pretty quickly to the point that I was struggling to actually mix the eggs in lol

  4. 5 stars
    Let me preface this by saying that I have never been the biggest fan of pecan pie. I always thought of it as runny goo with rock hard nuts in top that simply tasted way too sweet. I have never made a pecan pie before but it was a special request for Christmas. I searched Pinterest for four days reading recipes and decided that this one seemed ok. Followed your recipe exactly except I doubled the orange zest. Wasn’t sure how long to cook the bitter and sugar cause I wasn’t sure what smooth meant. I stirred it until the granules just started to disappear. I must have done it correctly because the pies turned out amazing! I did have to cook them for 20 additional minutes but I think my new oven is not calibrated correctly. I waited until they were room temp and had a sample slice. Oh my word! I didn’t know pecan pie could taste like that!!!! The pie wasn’t gooey-runny, the pecans were firm and meaty and not rock hard, and the orange zest, that wonderful orange zest, gave it just a little zing to counter the sweetness. Thank you!!!! This one is going in our family cookbook!!!

  5. It says to put pecans on top of the crust, then the filling. Why are the pecans on the top, do they float to the top. It doesn’t say to add pecans on top like I see in the picture.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this pie with the orange zest and it was amazing! My family loved it! I had just made a different recipe that was too sweet so I did cut sugar to just 3/4 light brown sugar (not packed) and it was perfect.

  7. 5 stars
    I made 2 of these pies for a friends birthday. I made extra to try it out as I am on the hunt to make the best pecan pie for my friends and family. I did change a couple things and added some of my own spin on mine.. They came out the best. I would recommend anyone who is looking for a good pecan pie recipe. Stop looking. You have found the best! Pat yourself on the back for this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    This pie was delicious, it was my first time making pecan pie ever! I made it for my father in law, I did not use the orange zest! Mine was very wobbly so I cooked it for an hour. Will try taking it out at 50 minutes next time or using the knife test. Wonderful recipe! 

  9. I made your Grandma’s pie and it is super delicious!! This is my 3rd pecan pie testing recipes and it wins hands down. I do have a couple of questions . How wiggly should the pie be when done? I think I might have cooked mine too long , left in oven about 20 extra minutes. It didn’t look as creamy as yours. I also put the corn syrup in with the sugar at first (mistake) instead of removing from fire then adding. My filling wasn’t as clear looking as yours. Is that an important step? I am going to make it again the right way but just wondering if that could be why it turned out not as clear looking.

  10. I’m obviously missing something here. Steps 3 & 4 make no sense to me. Step 3 instructs you to whisk sugar, butter, eggs, corn syrup, etc together. Step 4 instructs you to melt butter and whisk in ingredients separately. Can you please clarify where I’m misreading ? Thank you so much! Julie