Let’s be honest, the best recipes are the ones that look like they were hard to make but were, in fact, easy as pie. (Sorry, we had to.) And as food writer (and food lover) Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska says, this pecan pie might look fancy and even store-bought, but "It’s actually so easy to make! It looks like it isn’t, but if you use a store-bought crust, you’ll find out you can put this pie together in under 15 minutes, plus baking time."
To make sure you got that, we’re going to need to say it again. Prepping this pie takes all of 15 minutes. Or maybe 16 or 17 if you want to add your own little flourishes, which are most welcome here. Sampson says you can "add in a cup of chocolate chips with the pecans for a chocolate pecan pie." You can also toss in raisins, crushed graham crackers, and even a spoonful or two of bourbon to kick things up a notch. The "secret" is to use a store-bought pie crust to save yourself time and effort and to avoid what’s traditionally the most frustrating part of pie prep.
Don’t forget, you can keep pie crust in the freezer for up to six months and thaw it in about 20 minutes on the counter or much faster in the microwave, so you really can whip up an easy pecan pie any time the occasion calls for something sweet.
Gather your ingredients for this pecan pie
This pecan pie calls for just eight ingredients, all of which are almost surely already in your pantry, fridge, or freezer with the possible exception of that handy pre-made pie crust and the pecans themselves.
You’ll need one pre-made single pie crust, one tablespoon of flour (and more as needed), two tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temp, one cup of sugar, one cup of corn syrup (you can sub in molasses, honey, maple syrup, or other options), three eggs, two teaspoons of vanilla extract, and one and a half cups of shelled and halved pecans.
Now is also the time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out the crust for your pecan pie and flour it
Pecan pie preppers, take note! "I think the biggest mistake people will make on this pie," says Laura Sampson, "is not liberally dusting the store-bought crust with enough flour. It really does make a huge difference to how the pie actually bakes up. So don’t skip this step!"
Flour a clean, dry cutting board or section of counter, then unroll the pie dough on the floured surface and liberally dust each side with more flour. Now gently measure the crust against your pie pan by laying the pan atop it. If you need to roll it out a bit to make it fit, you can do that with a rolling pin, just flour it again if you roll it. If it stretches wider than the pan, trim the excess.
Finally, sprinkle any remaining flour in your pie pan. (See? Lots of flouring!)
Prepare and shape the pecan pie crust
Now that your pan and pecan pie crust are well-floured and the crust is the proper size, it’s time they meet. Lay the pie crust in the pie pan, easing it down against the sides of the pan. Now crimp the pie crust around the edge of the pan using your finger. You can add a bit of texture with a fork if you’d like.
Put the pie pan and crust in the refrigerator so it can chill for a few minutes while you make the pie filling.
Mix the filling ingredients for your pecan pie
Now it’s time for a bit of mixing. As in mixing absolutely every remaining ingredient together.
Melt the butter in a microwave or pan, then use a whisk to gently mix the melted butter with the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Make sure to blend but not whip or beat the pie ingredients, just use the whisk to mix everything together and break up any lumps of sugar and ensure the eggs are well stirred-in.
Then, add the pecan halves and stir them into rest of the pecan pie filling ingredients.
Pour in the pecan pie filling
Now comes the easiest step of all: pouring the pecan pie filling into the prepared pie pan. The only thing to watch out for here is the nuts not being spread evenly throughout, so use a spoon (or fork or spatula or whatnot) to ensure the pecans are evenly distributed throughout the filling.
You can add in any little extras now, too, like raisins or chocolate chips or that dash or two of bourbon. And that’s it — your prep is done. So, now comes the hardest part: the waiting.
Bake the pecan pie then wait for a few hours
Pop the pecan pie in the preheated oven and plan to bake it for 60 or 70 minutes. It needs to cook until the top is slightly springy and the crust nicely browned. You can (and should) put a baking sheet on the rack below the pan to catch any drips and check now and then to see if the crust is browning too quickly. If so, tear some foil into strips and cover the darkening edges of the pie crust.
"Don’t serve this pie hot," says Laura Sampson. "It will need hours to fully set," and it’s best served at room temperature or even lightly chilled. And, of course, it’s best with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
Let’s be honest, the best recipes are the ones that look like they were hard to make but were, in fact, easy as pie. (Sorry, we had to.) And as food writer Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska says, this pecan pie might look fancy and even store-bought, but "It’s actually so easy to make!"
- 1 pre-made pie crust
- 1 tablespoon flour (more as needed)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-½ cup shelled pecans in halves or pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Unroll the pie dough on the counter, and liberally dust each side with flour.
- Gently measure crust against your pie pan, trimming excess or rolling out with a rolling pin if too small. Flour again after rolling.
- Sprinkle any remaining flour in pie pan and set aside.
- Lay the pie crust into the pie pan and fit to shape, then crimp the crust around the edge of the pan.
- Put pie pan with crust in the refrigerator while you make the pie.
- Melt the butter, then use a whisk to gently mix the melted butter with the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla (do not whip or beat the pie ingredients), then stir in pecans.
- Pour the pie filling into the prepared pie pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is slightly springy.
- Let cool completely, which may take three or more hours.