Pecan pie is best made simple and traditionally, without all that funk and improvisation. You can wow your friends and family with “chocolate,” “maple brandy,” and “so-on” variations, but in the end, the old-fashioned recipe wins favor. So here’s that recipe, time-tested and mother-approved.
Feel free to use a pre-made pie shell from your grocer. You can make your own pie crust if you’re bold enough, but either way works. Be sure to bake your shell beforehand (10 minutes at 400 degrees, a couple holes poked in it with a fork).
2 cups of pecans, toasted, chopped into pieces
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (light) corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven (or reduce heat after baking crust) to 275 degrees.
Time-saver – toast the pecans while you pre-bake the crust. You only need 10-15 minutes to toast them. Once cooled, chop with a knife into small pieces.
Melt the butter in a bowl, preferably set in a pan or skillet of simmering water. Once melted, remove from the water; add the brown sugar and salt until the butter is blended.
Add the eggs (beaten first), corn syrup, and vanilla.
Put the bowl back in the pan of simmering water, and stir it around until the mixture is hot to the touch.
Remove from the heat and blend with the chopped pecans. Mix well, and then pour it into the pie shell.
Bake on the low or middle rack for between 50-60 minutes (respectively). You’ll know it’s good when you press on it with a spoon, and it’s soft but set.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 4 hours before serving. The heat will redistribute through the pie over that time. Cover it with some tin foil so nothing gets at it.
And that’s it! The result is a soft and smooth texture, sugary, but not overpoweringly sweet. It’s perfect!