Southern Pecan Pie

Needless to say, Southern pecan pie is a specialty around here. This classic is one of the favorite desserts throughout the South, especially for holidays. I have updated my pecan pie filling recipe just in time for Thanksgiving dinner — see details below. This version of the recipe appears in my new cookbook, Love Language of the South.

whole pecan pie in front of two cups of coffee in white china cups

Every fall, for as long as I can remember, I have spent many hours underneath the pecan trees collecting nuts. After the harvest, the family gathers around the table, and with the noise of a thousand starving squirrels, shells the pecans.

Pecans are an important staple in our home. In fact, we struggle to have enough pecans after feasting on them throughout the holidays with dishes from Thanksgiving’s sweet potato casserole to Christmas’ classic pecan pies.

To meet this growing demand, this winter we will add another half-dozen trees to the orchard. We will include some new varieties, such as Gafford, Excel, and Ellis, for this area that are designed for the small-scale farmer. These varieties have better form, and more important, they are more resistant to pests. It will be six or eight years before we see a harvest, but it is well worth the wait. It is amazing how fast those years pass by.

freshly baked Southern pecan pie on table with coffee cups and a pumpkin pie
Who doesn’t love a Southern Pecan Pie?

A Classic Southern Pecan Pie Recipe

Though pecans add something to every meal, nothing glorifies pecans like pecan pie. Many people have praised this as the best pecan pie recipe. I’ve made one important update.

Originally, this recipe called for Alaga syrup, an ingredient made locally here in Montgomery, Alabama, and available thoughout the South. (As a side note, the bricks from the original 1906 Alaga plant support my family’s home.) The syrup’s mix of cane and corn syrup bring great flavor and texture to pecan pie, but folks outside the South had a hard time finding it. So I’ve updated my recipe to call for regular corn syrup: half light and half dark. Trust me, it’s still decadently delicious!

Top pecan pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate holiday dessert.

slice of pecan pie with vanilla ice cream on a wooden tray with a cup of coffee and a red-and-blue paisley floral napkin

Stacy Lyn’s Pecan Pie Making Tips

I have a few tips for making the best Southern pecan pie around. 

  • Use fresh pecans. Use the best ingredients to get the best pie! 
  • Roast your pecans before using them in your pie. Roasting brings out that desired nutty flavor.
  • Use chopped pecans in the pie filling because they give the best texture to the final pie. The pecan pieces have much more surface area than pecan halves, leading to much more candied and sticky goodness. 
  • Arrange whole pecans decoratively over the top of the pie.
  • Finally, use plenty of pecans. I just hate it when a pecan pie has more nougat than nuts!

Click here for my No Fail Homemade Pie Crust recipe

More Holiday Desserts

whole pecan pie in front of two cups of coffee in white china cups

Southern Pecan Pie

There are a few tips to making the best Southern Pecan Pie around. The most important tip is to use fresh pecans.
5 from 5 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8 servings


  • cup chopped pecans plus extra whole pecans for decorating
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter plus extra for brushing
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 unbaked pie shell


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake until roasted, about 5-7 minutes. Check frequently as pecans can burn very quickly.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the dark corn syrup, light corn syrup, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt and mix until incorporated and fully melted.
  • Remove from heat, allow to cool for about 5 minutes, and whisk in eggs and stir in chopped pecans. Pour pecan mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Arrange whole pecans over the top of the pie.
  • Brush butter on the edges of the pie crust and transfer in a preheated oven. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the filling barely moves when shaken. If the pie is browning too quickly, place foil over the top of the pie until done.
  • Allow pie to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
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  1. Can I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of Alaga Cane Syrup?

    1. Susan, I have never used Lyle’s Golden Syrup, but from what I have read, it is a derivative of cane syrup just as Alaga Syrup is. My gut says, yes, you could use it, but without having used it, I’m not sure. It is worth a try. If all else fails, have a pecan cobbler with ice cream and chocolate sauce and call it a wonderful day!


    can you please tell me what pie dish or pan you used to make this pie in the pictures? i like the way it looks. Any tips and suggestions would be appreciated.

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