Recipe: The Best Pecan Pie Ever

By Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn
December 16, 2014 Updated: March 12, 2018

For as long as I can remember, the best pecan pie recipe I’d ever tasted was the one I made at home using a “time-honored” recipe for the filling plus my own pie crust recipe. It’s not that I’m biased. It was literally beyond comparison for anyone to whom I served it. 

I’m happy to divulge the Perfect Pie Crust recipe, and I can tell you where you can find the recipe for the filling. It’s right on the bottle of Karo Corn Syrup

Wait a second. What? Corn syrup? Really? I know what you’re thinking. 

First, you’re thinking about the horrors of “high fructose corn syrup“.  HFCS is one of The Scary Seven hit-list of ingredients in food.

But Karo Corn Syrup does not contain HFCS, notwithstanding any rumors to the contrary, which may have arisen out of the fact that Karo did at one time include HFCS in its corn syrup (Karo has removed HFCS from all of its products).

Still, I know you must also be thinking twice about using any product derived from corn, which is known to be genetically modified. In fact, unless a product is certified to be free of genetically modified organisms, it may contain GMOs. Luckily, there is Wholesome Sweeteners brand Organic Light Corn Syrup which may be the one brand of corn syrup sold in the United States that is certified as non-GMO.

Nevertheless once I started thinking about the corn-GMO-quandry, I decided that it was better to not use corn syrup at all if I could avoid it.  So, I did some research to determine if I could – avoid it, that is, when making pecan pie. As it turned out, it was a fairly complicated question. The good news is that the complicated question yielded as simple, happy answer: yes, it is possible to swap out corn syrup for a syrup made with plain ole table sugar and come out with the same fantastic pecan pie. 

Read more about GMOs

There are two ways to go about it. One is complicated and time-consuming. But one is very very easy, and since we aim to be both natural and savvy here, I will tell you the easy way – which I assure you I have tested in my own kitchen and on my own friends and family, who swear that there is no difference between the corn-syrup-based pie and the one based on the following formula:

Dissolve one cup of sugar in ¼ cup of water = pecan-pie-worthy sugar syrup (if a darker-looking pie is desired, use brown sugar instead of white sugar).

Now, for the rest of the recipe, which should take no more than five minutes to prepare:

Stir into the sugar syrup:

•            1 (additional) cup of sugar

•            3 eggs

•            2 tablespoons of melted sweet cream butter

•            1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

•            8 ounces of pecans (2 cups)

Pour into your Perfect Pie Crust and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the filling reaches 200 degrees (60-70 minutes). I give you no other signs of done-ness because temperature should be your only gauge for the done-ness of pecan pie.

Allow to cool for at least two hours, and enjoy with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

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*Image of “pecan pie” via Shutterstock

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn