Make Ahead

Mr. T.'s Pecan Pie

December 26, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Makes 1 nine or ten-inch pie
Author Notes

I’ve been making at least one pecan pie per year for quite a long time now. This is my own creation, following a long evolution that started with a recipe for pecan pie in the Culinary Art Institute "New Orleans" pamphlet-style cookbook (1959), which my mother gave to me before I was married. The orange zest is a relatively recent addition. We received as a holiday gift several years ago a package of gorgeous pecans from Georgia; some are rolled in a sugar and spice mixture that includes a fair bit of orange zest. The combination is heavenly. (I did not use those pecans in the recipe. I just used the idea of combining orange zest with the pecans.) You should add as many pecan pieces as you possibly can without making the filling overflow (i.e., more than a cup, if your shell will hold them). The filling will expand a bit while it cooks, so keep that in mind, however. The butter, egg and syrups mixture's only purpose is to serve as a glue for the pecans. Also, placing the pecan halves on top makes a big difference in getting the maximum surface area of toasted pecan flavor which, to my mind, defines this pie. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • 1 9-10" pie crust (whatever recipe you prefer)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick, or two ounces)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Lyle's "Golden" or Steen's cane syrup (or light corn syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Grated zest of one orange (2-3 tablespoons)(optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces (toasted or raw)
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves (or more, if you like, and they fit)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly toast the pecan pieces (not the halves) on the top shelf of your oven. It should take no more than about 3 or 4 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is when you put them in.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and stir well. Stir in the syrup, salt, nutmeg, and zest, if using.
  3. Fold in the toasted pecan pieces. Pour into unbaked pie shell. There is no need to pre-cook the shell.
  4. Cook at 400 degrees for ten minutes. Turn down the heat to 350 degrees, remove the pie and place the pecan halves on the top, in a pattern if you like. I usually run them in concentric circles, with the pecan halves placed lengthwise perpendicularly to the circumference.
  5. Put an aluminum foil or other frame over the crust and return the pie to the oven for another 35-40 minutes. Check the pie after about 20 minutes. If the pecan halves seem to be browning too quickly, very loosely place a small piece of aluminum foil over them.
  6. Let the pie sit for at least ten or fifteen minutes before cutting. We usually serve this with a small scoop of French vanilla ice cream on each slice. It's also excellent for breakfast, with creme fraiche. But you knew that already, right?
  7. Enjoy!! ;o)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Starmade
  • hardlikearmour
  • AntoniaJames
  • Heysus

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

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4 Reviews

Starmade February 22, 2021
I love the minimal sweetness of this and will always use for my pecan pie
Heysus September 12, 2018
I wasted my time making this pie. Lots of pecans but simply no filling for all the pecans. Hardly any sweetness at all. Tasted more like some sort of health food. Will not do this again. A waste of a good pie crust and pecans.
hardlikearmour November 14, 2011
Wow! This seems like the definition of a perfect pecan pie. I love that you use the golden syrup - it makes a pecan pie taste much better than corn syrup.
AntoniaJames November 14, 2011
Thanks, HLA. Yes, the golden syrup has that almost buttery taste. I've been fiddling with this recipe for years, trying to find a good alternative to the corn syrup, which helps a lot with the structure of the filling. The Lyle's is best by far. ;o)