My grandmother’s pie is something the entire family eagerly anticipates every year. Her recipe puts other pies to shame because she highlights pecans’ rich flavor like no one else.

Unlike my grandmother’s, today’s pecan pies are known for having a gooey, jelly-like center with a thin layer of pecans at the top, and excessive corn syrup is usually to blame. This southern dessert was around far before corn syrup, and recipes have changed over the years with the production of new ingredients. It was originally intended to be prepared with traditional pantry items, such as sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and more pecans than you know what to do with.

Other contemporary pie lovers suggest replacing the corn syrup with molasses or bourbon, which can create a different kind of flavor. While my grandmother’s recipe does call for some dark corn syrup, her pie is still chock full of nuts with just the right amount of gooeyness. What’s her secret? It’s all about the ratio between pecans and the other ingredients.

When the filling contains more liquid mixture than pecans, the pecans will naturally rise to the top during baking, leaving the jelly filling underneath. As a solution to this problem, my grandmother packs tons of pecans into the filling and uses a smaller amount of the other ingredients. This prevents the pecans from floating to the top.

Allowing the pie to chill long enough is another crucial detail. This seals everything together, creating nutty deliciousness throughout the pie. Perfection doesn’t even begin to describe it.


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 60 to 70 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours

Servings: 8

1 cup Karo® dark corn syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ heaping cups of pecans
1 9 inch unbaked deep-dish pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in pecans.
3. Pour filling into pie crust and bake on a cookie sheet.
4. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving. Serve with whipped cream.

RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when the center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly – it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is browning early, cover edges with foil.