Classic pecan pie is a dessert starring pecans and a custard filling made from butter, eggs, and sugar. Pecan pie is among the most famous holiday desserts in the United States, right there among eggnog and ginger bread cookies.
We can trace the origin of pecan pie back to southern United States, as pecans are native to the south. Pecan pie is a variant of other sugar pies, which were also popular in Europe. The difference between these pies were the available ingredients in the area.
The question of who invented the pecan pie however is a bit of a mystery. As usual, multiple claims have been made as to who the inventor was. Some believe the native Americans introduced pecans to the French, after the French settled in New Orleans, and that the French were the ones who invented the pie.
Specifically the makers of one syrup company claimed a sales executive’s wife invented the dish as a discovery in the 1930s. That claim didn’t quite hold up as pecan pie had been invented long before syrups came out on the market. The first pecan pies had custard made from dark molasses, or dark sugar syrups.
Alas sometime in the 1950s pecan pie became known as a traditional southern dessert. And so pecan pie familiarized itself on the dinner tables of families and friends celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pecan pie became so much of a dessert staple for the holidays, that we find it mentioned and commonly associated with these holidays in literature and movies.
Have you considered making a pecan pie from scratch only to head to the store and find one ready to go? See, it’s just not as delicious if it isn’t homemade. And the truth is, pecan pie is much more simple to make than one might think.
So let’s put on our baking hat and impress some holiday guests this year with the best ever tasting homemade pecan pie!
What You Need:
For The Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup salted butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp water
For The Custard Filling
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup salted butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecans (chopped)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and begin making your pie crust. Cut the butter into small cubes. Combine the salt in with the flour and add the butter and shortening. Mix until the dough resembles small peas. Add the egg and water and stir. Now chill the dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the custard filling.
In a bowl, excluding the pecans mix all ingredients together- sugar, salt, eggs, corn syrup, maple syrup, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll out into a flat circle large enough to fit on the pie pan. We do not need to bake the pie crust prior to adding our custard, it’ll all bake together. Add chopped pecans to your pie crust and pour the custard filling all over the pecans. Add a cute festive design to your pie crust edges with a fork. Before putting the pecan pie into the oven, carefully cover the top with foil.
Bake the pecan pie in your oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Take a look to see how the custard jiggles. If it jiggles a little, you’re good to take the pie out. If it really shakes a lot it means the pie hasn’t set, and needs additional time in the oven. The pecan pie must cool completely before serving, so refrigerate the pie for at least two hours.
For being such a staple holiday dessert, this recipe for pecan pie is super simple to follow! The preparation and baking time together takes about 2-2.5 hours, and then consider another 2 hours for chilling the pie prior to serving. I’d recommend baking the pie the day before your holiday party, so you know it has chilled and set properly. Plus, it’ll take the stress off the day.
I promise you, that even with a full dessert table, this pecan pie will be the first one gone!
This certainly is not a diet friendly dessert! But holidays aren’t meant for dieting! I hope you try this recipe out and indulge in this classic southern pecan pie for the holidays. Merry Christmas!