My mama's pecan pie is everything you love about pecan pie. Sweet, a rich bourbon flavor, flaky pie crust. You will love this pecan pie!
I love the holidays so much!
My mom's pecan pie is everything! Actually, I am not quite sure what of hers isn't everything!
This is just about as southern and traditional as it gets. Flaky homemade pie crust, sticky sweet filling loaded with Georgia pecans, and a strong pour of bourbon send this right over the edge! I am so excited and happy to be sharing a little slice of pie from our family with you today!
Pecan pie is actually quite simple.
The bourbon can be skipped if you don't drink or like it. If you don't mind adding it, then I highly recommend not skipping it. Mom always used Maker's Mark Bourbon when cooing for the holidays. We prefer to drink other bourbons, but she always cooked with that one. Use whatever kind of high quality Kentucky bourbon you like.
- Brown Sugar
- Corn Syrup
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust
While you most certainly can use a store-bought pie crust for this recipe, I highly recommend you give making your own a try! I have a full in-depth post all about homemade pie crust - full-proof steps, make-ahead tips, and how and when to blind bake HERE that I know will be super helpful not just for this recipe but other pie recipes as well!
Homemade Pie Crust for Pecan Pie
- 1 Cup Flour
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Lard or Shortening
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 3-7 Tablespoons Ice Water + more if needed
- In a large bowl, add flour, salt, cold butter, and cold lard/shortening.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut butter and lard into the flour until the mixture resembles small pea size shapes. If the butter and lard have gotten too warm in the process, place them into the freezer for 5 minutes to chill before continuing.
- Fill a large glass with water and ice. Using a tablespoon measure, spoon in 3-7 tablespoons of the ice water into the flour mixture. Using a fork or spatula, mix well. You may need to add in more water if still floury and not coming together. You want the dough to just begin to come together - not sticky and wet but not floury and crumbly as well. It will still be a bit crumbly but when you squeeze it together with your hands it stays together (see the picture below). Do not add too much water (I usually end up adding around 10 tablespoons most of the time).
- Sprinkle flour lightly out onto the counter and place dough on top. Roll around flour so that all sides are covered and bring it together into a ball shape.
- Roll out with a rolling pin in a circle until it is larger than your pie plate.
- Gently pick up the crust at one end and scoot the pie plate right up next to the dough so that it is easy to flip over/drag over onto the pie plate (this allows you not to have to pick up the entire pie of dough and risk breaking). Make sure the dough lays evenly around all the edges.
- Trim off any excess on the sides of the crust, then gently crimp your edges with your fingers all the way around the pie plate. (To crimp: gently fold the excess crust under itself on the edge. With your pointer finger and thumb on both hands, gently pinch together the crust then push both hands together to meet, forming a small pinch. Repeat around the entire crust.)
- Blind bake and proceed with the recipe.
You can either use baking pie crust weights (affiliate link) or just buy a $1.00 bag of pinto beans from Walmart and keep them in a mason jar and just use them for this specific task.
How to Blind Bake Pie Crust
What does blind baking a pie crust mean? Blind baking a pie crust is the process of partially cooking a crust in its shell without a filling inside. You do this for any liquid or custard-based quiches or pies because they are liquid fillings. If you were to place a liquid filling in an unbaked pie crust and bake, the bottom of the pie crust would never be able to fully bake and still be raw. By blind baking it by itself, you ensure that the bottom of the crust actually gets baked for those types of recipes.
You will need to use pie weights, or better yet, just buy a bag of $1.50 dried pinto beans from Walmart and designate them to be your "baking beans" used only for this recipe (my mom and I have ours stored in a mason jar). You will need the weight of the beans on top of the crust to ensure an even bake on the bottom without any air bubbles forming.
- If a blind or partial bake is needed, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place wax or parchment paper over the pie crust on the pie plate. Pour in baking beans or pie weights and evenly distribute around the shell.
- Place in the oven for 15-16 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Pick up the edges of the wax or parchment paper and pour the beans into a mason jar. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
How to Make
What could be simpler than a bowl recipe?! Yay! Just dump, whisk and pour into the pie shell.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all the ingredients except for pecans in a large bowl and whisk together until well-mixed.
- Add the pecans to the mixture and stir well until coated.
- Pour the filling over the blind-baked pie crust.
- Place in the oven for 40 minutes. Check at 35 minutes. Remove immediately after the center does not jiggle anymore.
- Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy with homemade whipped cream.
How to Make Ahead of Time and Freeze
I will never forget when my mom realized she could bake Thanksgiving pies ahead of time and freeze them. Leaving no work to be done for desserts once Thanksgiving day or week rolls around. ??
She thought, "if I can buy a frozen pumpkin pie at the grocery store, why couldn't I make mine early and have it in the freezer ready to go?"
Good thought mom! So, good news! You can!
Make prepping for Thanksgiving WAY EASIER by knocking out the desserts and having them DONE and READY TO GO!
How to Freeze and Make Pecan Pie Ahead of Time
- Follow the above recipe and instructions completely. Once the pie is baked, allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap a couple of times and then with foil making sure it is airtight. Write "Pecan Pie" and the date on the outside of the foil with a sharpie and place in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To eat, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge 24 hours before to thaw. Set out on the counter 1-2 hours prior to when needed to enjoy at room temp or enjoy cold straight from the fridge.
Leftover pecan pie can be kept covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Keep leftovers stored covered in the fridge for 4-6 days.
This pie should be completely set and not jiggly when it is finished baking. If it is still jiggly you will have a runny pie mess on your hands! Bake pecan pie at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set in the middle and does not jiggle.
Yes, you can freeze pecan pie! Follow the above recipe and instructions completely. Once the pie is baked, allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap a couple of times and then with foil making sure it is airtight - place in the freezer for up to 6 months. To enjoy, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge 24 hours before to thaw.
More Thanksgiving Recipes!
- Carrot Cake Loaf with Maple Glaze
- Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Southern Cheesy Corn Casserole
- Southern Cheddar Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Broccoli Casserole Made without Velveeta
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Bread
- Apple Pie
- How to Fry a Turkey
- Make-Ahead Stuffing