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Apr 10, 2011 12:49 PM

Best Pecan Pie Recipe?

I have been looking for a GREAT pecan Pie recipe - some have corn syrup - some don't - the amount of sugar also seems to differ from recipe to recipe - which one is the best?

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  1. I make the Cook's Illustrated recipe for my family at Thanksgiving and everyone loves it. More nuts, less goopy glop - that suits our tastes, anyway - but some love the goopy glop!


    11 Replies
    1. re: gansu girl

      Thank you gansu girl - that sounds like the type of pie I would like to make...I'll give this recipe a try.

      1. re: gansu girl

        +1 for the Cook's Illustrated recipe. I've made it countless times with rave reviews!

        1. re: junglekitte

          Did you use the chocolate that they list in the recipe?

          1. re: eaglelake

            I don't remember there being chocolate in the recipe. I use the one from their book "The Best Recipe", but I just checked their website and the pecan pie I saw doesn't call for chocolate. I personally wouldn't enjoy that combination as much.

            1. re: junglekitte

              No chocolate - we're pecan pie purists - don't know which recipe you've looked at but the one we use is the same as junglekitte - no chocolate, just lots & lots of nuts!


              1. re: gansu girl

                I clicked on the site you recommended - and then clicked on pies - the recipe that comes up says "Chocolate Pecan Pie" - I certainly agree with the posters here - no chocolate in pecan pie - I also don't want a pie that runs all over the plate - I like it firm enough not to be runny. I thank all of you that posted.

                1. re: eaglelake

                  I think you clicked on my site - the link in my signature? I do have a choco-pecan pie recipe there - the one I was referring to is here: - you need to have a membership but you could sign up for a 14-day free trial - it's worth it - although the chocolate one I have on my site was a hit, the straight-up CI pecan pie recipe is the go-to and oft-requested one!


                  1. re: gansu girl

                    No, I had the same problem. That website only lists a chocolate pecan pie. You can just Google Cook's Illustrated Pecan Pie and get numerous hits for that recipe, though.

                2. re: gansu girl

                  IMHO, chocolate in a pecan pie is an abomination. Sort of like flavored coffees--if I want a flavor that's not coffee, I'll have it separately. Cannot abide chocolate pecan pie.

                3. re: junglekitte

                  You ought to try it some time. I use a chocolate pecan pie recipe that I got from a Bakers Chocolate pamphlet. It's served with a coffee whipped cream and really is quite good. I usually use a higher quality chocolate, though.

                  It is a different animal than straight pecan pie, but the combination works very well together.

              2. re: junglekitte

                I third the CI one, if it's the one in the Best Recipe. I like that they cut the pecans. It doesn't look the same but is so much easier to cut.

            2. the classic Southern recipe:

              and a version made without corn syrup:

              Haven't tried the CI one, but they're generally a reliable source for well-tested recipes.

              My advice, whichever recipe you choose: Brown the butter- it makes a huge difference.

              1. I have received rave reviews for the Maple Pecan Pie with Wheat Flavored Crust on epicurious ( The maple syrup in the filling adds incredible depth without being too obviously maple-y. And the wheat flour in the crust stands up well to the sweetness.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jessinEC

                  I've made this, and it's outstanding. I use only Grade B maple syrup 'cause I like the more assertive taste.

                2. Not too many pecan pie recipes include ground pecans; these yield the best results imo. David Rosengarten's recipe is excellent (will never use another). I prefer my pecan pie straight please - no chocolate, maple syrup, or anything else ;)

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: lilgi

                    Thank you for all the great advice..I went into the CI site to sign up for the "Free Trial" - and they asked for a credit card can this be "free". I have subscribed to the magazine for a few years - but have moved on to other books and mags. I guess I'll just keep looking for the best recipe....

                    1. re: eaglelake

                      I can post it if you want. I have the Best Recipe book but it's years old. I'm not sure if they've updated it (since they seem to do it all the time) but I like the one in it.

                      1. re: chowser

                        My copy is years old too, but it's an amazing recipe. If it aint broke why fix it? ;p

                        1. re: chowser

                          It doesn't look like they've updated it - the recipe on the website is from 1995. There are three recipes - the regular "Perfect" pecan pie, then a maple variation and a version with chocolate chunks added. Can't wait to try this.

                        2. re: eaglelake

                          Eaglelake, I'm posting the recipe for you. Btw, CI's latest IS in fact David's recipe which I've had for ages, the only difference is their use use chopped and whole pecans as opposed to grinding exactly half the amount. I don't use the CI book but happened upon it yesterday while shopping for a cookbook gift and glanced at the recipe, I believe the copy was New Best Recipe, not entirely sure. My experience with David's recipe is that the ground nuts in the filling yields outstanding results.

                          I'm only posting his instructions for the crust because there are a few helpful hints for any other crust that you use, but I don't use a shortening. For this one I like a sweet dough crust which I will post if you like.

                          Pecan Pie
                          (Makes one 9-inch pie)

                          Pie Crust
                          1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
                          2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
                          1/2 teaspoon salt
                          8 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
                          2 Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (like Crisco), cut into bits
                          1 large egg separated
                          Ice Water

                          6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
                          1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
                          1/2 teaspoon salt
                          3 large eggs
                          3/4 cup light corn syrup
                          1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
                          1 cup finely ground pecans
                          1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

                          Prepare the Crust
                          In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, butter, and shortening, and blend the mixture with your hands until it resembles coarse meal. In a clear measuring cup, combine the egg white (reserving the yolk) and enough ice water to measure a total of 1/4 cup. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and combine until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, flatten it into a 4-inch disk, dust it lightly with flour, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for one hour.

                          On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a round that's approximately 1/8-inch thick and 13 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, preferably glass. Press the dough into the corners of the plate. Trim the outer edges of the dough so there is an even, 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck the overhang under the dough that's sitting on the edge of the pie plate and, working with your fingers, flute the edge of the dough (you don't have to do this but it looks nice). Chill for one hour more.

                          Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the bottom and sides of the shell with a fork. Fit the shell with a round of wax paper, and weight it with rice or beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and bake for an additional 10 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining egg yolk with 1/8 teaspoon water, and brush the bottom and sides of the shell with the mixture. Return the shell to the oven, and bake for 1 minute more (this will prevent the crust from getting soggy).

                          Make the Filling
                          Lower heat in the oven to 275 degrees F.

                          In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk in the sugar, salt, eggs one at a time, corn syrup, and vanilla. Return the bowl to the heat, and stir until the mixture is shiny and quite warm to the touch (about 130 degrees). Add the ground pecans and the chopped pecans.

                          Return the partially cooked pie crust to the oven to warm it (putting a warm filling in a warm crust also helps to prevent sogginess). Remove the shell from the oven after five minutes, and fill it evenly with the pecan mixture. Bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center feels set but still slightly soft. Cool at least 4 hours.

                          1. re: lilgi

                            Thank you so much - lilgi - that was very kind of you to post this recipe for me...I am going to make this for a dinner party this weekend - I'll let you know how mine turns out - thanks again.....

                            1. re: eaglelake

                              yw! Good luck this weekend, would love to know how it turns out.

                            2. re: lilgi

                              I realize this is an old thread but I made this pecan pie for Thanksgiving and it was so easy and so, so delicious. I did use a food processor for the crust but other than that followed the recipe exactly. I would make again in a heartbeat. The finely ground pecans made a nice touch.

                        3. I've always used Dear Abby's pecan pie recipe & had good results: