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This pecan pie recipe is thickened and sweetened with pure maple syrup instead of corn syrup. No weird ingredients in this pecan pie! The filling gets poured into a homemade pie crust that is buttery and flaky. And the best part about this homemade pecan pie without corn syrup is you can make the day before!
So when it comes to my life I try to avoid weird chemicals, preservatives and eat organic about 99% of the time. It’s been a bit of a long road to get here. I grew up on a farm and we ate our own pasture-raised meat and our own home grown vegetables. Sugary cereal was a once in a great while treat.
Of course going to college I went a bit off the rails. I relied on way too many Diet Cokes and Lean Cuisines then I’d like to admit. After college, I kept up those bad habits when I was trying to drive from Boston to my first job as a teacher. Convenience was the name of the game. I figured I worked out and ate low calorie that counts as healthy right?
But when I found my love of baking and using real ingredients, I started to progress away from all those chemicals and convenience foods. And not just with my food, but in all aspects – cleaning to makeup you name it. So when it came to dreaming up a pecan pie recipe for the blog I just couldn’t bring myself to using corn syrup like a traditional pecan pie. Enter this homemade pecan pie recipe made without corn syrup!
I figured if f I don’t want to eat it, how can I make it for someone else and serve it?! So instead of corn syrup, this homemade pecan pie uses brown sugar and maple syrup. And I thought if we could use maple syrup anyway why bother with gross corn syrup? Pure maple syrup brings a lovely level of sweetness making for a thick, creamy pecan pie filling without all that added junk.
Hi. I’m Heather and I like my pecan pie without corn syrup.
Why You Will Love This Pecan Pie Recipe Without Corn Syrup
- Make Ahead – The best part about this pecan pie recipe without corn syrup is that you can make ahead of time. You can make the pie dough up to 3 days ahead of time and keep in the fridge. And this pecan pie can be made the day before (keep stored at room temperature). Let it cool before covering. You can also make the pie filling the day before and keep in the fridge.
- No Corn Syrup! – This pecan pie recipe uses brown sugar, and maple syrup to sweeten the pie instead of corn syrup. All sorts of goodness with zero weirdness. I used Grade A pure maple syrup.
To Toast Or Not To Toast?
The pecans that is! You don’t have to toast the pecans first, but you definitely can take the extra few minutes to toast the pecans. Toasting the nuts helps to bring out the oils and flavors. It really enhances the flavor of the pecans. I’ve made this pie both ways with great success, but definitely worth the extra few minutes of effort.
Homemade Pie Crust Ingredients
For this pecan pie made without corn syrup, you can make a homemade pie crust, or use a single store-bought pie crust. Homemade is always best in flavor and texture, but nothing wrong with taking a quick shortcut and use a store-bought!
Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients
- Brown sugar – I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar would also work for this maple pecan pie.
- Maple Syrup – A grade B or grade A works fine, just make sure it’s the real deal here not the fake pancake syrup kind.
- Pecans – You want to roughly chop the pecans.
- Vanilla Extract – I prefer pure vanilla extract, but imitation will also work!
- Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter, but salted butter can also work. You will want to omit the extra salt if you do.
How To Make This Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup
1. Make the pie crust
- Make the crust. In a food processor, or mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. You can also do this by hand if you want, but I find using my food processor is just SO much easier and quicker. And I’m all for that during the holidays.
- Add butter pieces. Scatter butter over top. Make sure your butter is cold and cubed up so it’s easier to work in.
- Cut in the butter. You want to incorporate the butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. If using a food processor, I pulse until the piece are pea-sized. If doing this by hand, then you can rub the butter between your fingertips or use a pastry cutter.
- Add ice cold water. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. If making by hand, stir dough together using a spatula, until dough sticks together. Or pulse if using the food processor. Test the dough by squeezing some together with your fingertips. If it sticks together, then do not add more water. If it does not, then add the remaining tablespoon of water. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Roll Out The Pie Crust
Once the dough has chilled I roll it out and place it inside the pie plate. I do like to let it chill for about 15 minutes in the fridge again to chill it once more, so I end up with a buttery flaky crust that doesn’t shrink when it bakes. While the pie dough is chilling, I preheat the oven and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to also warm up that I set the pie on top while it bakes to help make sure I get a crispy bottom crust.
- Roll out dough and place in pie pan. Using a lightly floured surface and rolling pin, roll out the pie crust to a 12″ circle. Fold the pie crust in quarters or roll it over your rolling pin. Unfold (or unroll) the dough into your pie plate tuck into the bottom.
- Fold the edge under.
- Crimp the edges. Fold the edge under and flute the edges by pressing the crust between your index finger and thumb and index finger of your other hand.
- Chill the for 15 minutes.
Don’t Want To Crimp? Crimping can be a bit more difficult for beginner bakers, so if you’re new to baking pies and not ready to tackle the crimping you can decorate your pie crust edges in lots of easier ways. The easiest way it to press the crust edge down with a fork to make crimped edge. Or try one of these other fun ways to decorate your pie crust edge.
3. Blind Bake
- Place pie crust into pan. And crimp. Preheat your oven to 375oF.
- Place parchment paper into the pie plate. You can also use tinfoil but I prefer using parchment paper. You want a big enough piece to cover the whole pie.
- Fill with pie weights. You can use store-bought pie weights or use dried rice or beans. I like to use dried beans/rice because it’s cheaper! Make sure to fill up to the top of the pie crust or your pie crust might shrink down the sides if it’s not fully weighted down.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Go ahead and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 375oF then take it out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and pie weights.
3. Make The Maple Pecan Filling
- Make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. Stir in the chopped pecans. You want pecans that are roughly chopped but in still good sized pieces. I know some pecan pies are covered in whole pecans before baking, but I prefer chopped pecans completely as it’s easier to cut and bite into.
- Pour the filling into the pie. Pour the syrup mixture into the par-baked pie crust. Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 20 minutes until the filling is set but still has a little jiggle to it. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minute or until set. Pie will continue to set up as it cools. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight.
More Recipe Tips
- Blind Bake. Blind bake your pie crust so you don’t end up with a soggy pie bottom for your pecan pie, nobody wants that!
- Use A Pie Shield. If your pie crust edges on your maple pecan pie are browning too much then be sure to cover them with a pie shield (or you can simply use some aluminum foil).
- Use PURE maple syrup. Not that fake stuff! Yes I grew up on the fake stuff too, but for this pecan pie made without corn syrup splurge and get the good stuff.
How To Tell When Your Pecan Pie Is Done
When baking your maple pecan pie, you want to bake the pie until the pie crust edges are golden brown, and the filling is set but still has a little jiggle to it.
If you give the pie a little jiggle when the timer goes off, you should see the edges are set but the center still jiggles a bit. It will continue to firm up as it cools.
Pecan Pie Recipe FAQ’s
You definitely can. Just make sure to still blind bake the crust.
Yes you can. Make the filling (minus the chopped pecans), cover and refrigerate up to 5 days before. You can also make the pie crust up to 5 days before. You can also blind bake the crust a day before of when you plan to assemble the pecan pie. Just wrap and keep at room temperature. You can also make the whole pie the day before. Keep wrapped on the counter overnight or in the fridge, wrapped well.
Yes the pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Just let cool completely then wrap well and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
You want to let the pie cool for about 2 hours to let it set up before slicing into it.
The pecan pie filling is gluten free, so you just need to be sure to use or make a gluten free crust and you’re all set!
Yes you can, add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the bottom of the crust before adding the pecan pie filling.
Of course you can enjoy a warm slice of this maple pecan pie on its own but I figure it’s the holidays so why not make it even extra special. I love serving with a dollop of whipped cream, but ice-cream is also wonderful!
More Recipes To Try
Pecan Pie (no corn syrup)
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
- 4-6 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
- ½ cup (107 g) packed light brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 cups (226 g) pecan halves roughly chopped
- Make the crust. In a food processor, or mixing bowl combine the flour and salt Scatter butter over top and cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. If using a food processor, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press dough together, using a spatula, until dough sticks together. If dough does not stick together, stir in the remaining tablespoon of water. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out the disc of chilled dough. Turn the dough a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9” pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Trim the excess, leaving about a 1 inch overhang. Fold the excess pie dough underneath, crimping the edges. Chill the pie crust for 15 minutes before filling.
- Blind bake the crust. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish and filled to the top of the pie plate.. Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper/aluminum foil (with the weights) out of the pie.
- Make the filling. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth and combined. Stir in the pecans. Pour the syrup mixture over the top.
- Bake the pie. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown and top is set. If the crust is browning too much in the oven, cover with tinfoil or a pie crust shield. If the top is also getting too dark, loosely tent foil over the whole pie. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight.
- Make ahead instructions: Make the filling (minus the pecans), cover and refrigerate up to 5 days ahead of time. You can also make the pie crust up to 5 days ahead of time. You can also blind bake the crust a day ahead of when you plan to assemble the pie. Just wrap and keep at room temperature. You can also make the whole pie the day before. Keep wrapped at room temperature.
- Freezing: You can freeze a whole pie up to 3 months. Make sure to keep it well wrapped with several layers of tinfoil or plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and then serve the next day at room temperature before serving.
- Maple syrup: You want to splurge and use the good stuff here! No fake maple syrup (aka pancake syrup). Use whatever grade or type of pure maple syrup that you like.
- Butter: Make sure your butter isn’t piping hot, or it could scramble the eggs.
- Eggs: Make sure these are room temperature or they will solidify the butter.
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