Craig & Kathleen Claiborne's Mississippi Pecan Pie

October 29, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

This is Craig’s mother's recipe, shared in an early New York Times cookbook. It’s sweet but not too sweet, and has a less jiggly filling than most. In short, it’s perfect. Recipe adapted from the New York Times Cookbook recipe. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • For the crust
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons shortening, well chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 to 8 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  1. For the crust
  2. Using a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, and salt together to sift.
  3. Add the well-chilled butter and shortening. Use short rapid pulses until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal and no pieces of butter larger than a pea remain.
  4. Add half of the water (approximately 3 tablespoons) and pulse 5 or 6 times. The dough will be crumbly, but should begin to hold together when a small amount is picked up and pressed together. Sprinkle on more water, a teaspoon (or 2, if doubling to make the two crusts) at a time, with 2 to 3 quick pulses after each addition, adding just enough water for the dough to hold together easily when pressed into a ball.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press together into a ball, then flatten into a disk about 6 inches in diameter (make two disks if doubling). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  1. For the filling
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  3. Roll pastry into a 10-inch pie plate, cover with waxed paper and pie weights.
  4. Reduce heat to 375° F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and bake 2 to 3 more minutes until crust is golden brown.
  5. Remove pie crust and reduce heat to 350° F.
  6. Brush pie shell with egg white.
  7. In a small saucepan, mix corn syrup and brown sugar. Boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  8. Beat eggs and add syrup. Then add melted butter, chopped pecans, and vanilla. Pour into shell, and arrange pecan halves on top.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center is set. (Cover with foil if pie starts to brown before the center is set.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hannah
  • Megan C
    Megan C
  • TKM Cooks
    TKM Cooks
  • Donna Vitalone
    Donna Vitalone
  • Donna Hayes
    Donna Hayes

9 Reviews

Hannah October 11, 2021
This is the recipe my mother has made for Thanksgiving year after year. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful classic on Food 52.
Megan C. December 20, 2020
Made this year (2020) for Thanksgiving. Only changed to “salted” butter. Wonderful.
TKM C. November 21, 2018
Lovely! When it cools, it sets. Dont make a crust, buy it and use the filling!
Patty J. December 30, 2017
This pie was amazing. I grew up in Texas and we always used light Caro Syrup so I used that instead of dark. Truly amazing.
cooking44 December 18, 2017
I've made this pie for years. The filling is Claiborne's, the pie crust is not. Everyone loves this pie.
Susan P. December 8, 2017
I'm from Mississippi. Always put pecans on top of bottom crust, then pour in filling. The pecans float to the top covered in the syrupy goodness and the pecans don't burn. The pie will be jiggly when done. It sets up as it cools. Remember it is sugar! Sugar turns to liquid when boiling hot!
Donna V. November 22, 2017
I just pulled the pie out of the oven for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast. It is beautiful. Added 5 minutes to the cooking time covered the crust for the last 15minutes of cooking time and covered the top of the pie for the last 10 minutes. Followed the filling recipe and I added 1.5 TBS bourbon 90 proof and 1 tsp champagne vinegar. Will circle back with feedback on the adjustments made.
Donna H. November 6, 2016
16 tablespoons = 1 cup. Don't measure 16 tablespoons, what a complete waste of time.
Courtney C. November 26, 2015
This just came out of the oven and it looks delicious (I'll follow up to let you know how it tastes). However, I had some difficulty with the instructions - some of the timing seemed off. For example, I had to bake my crust much longer than was suggested. The pie itself also took longer to bake than was noted. I had to take the pie out before the custard was set as well (after 50 minuted in the oven though), as the pecans on top were beginning to burn. I checked another version of this recipe and it notes that the pie should be taken out when the filling is still jiggly, which differs from the instructions above. I'll let you know tomorrow if it set properly. I'm excited to try it!