Southern Pecan Pie

| April 7, 2014 | 8 Comments

Southern Pecan Pie Recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for making one of the South’s favorite desserts – Pecan Pie.  We’re using an old recipe that calls for Brown Sugar and just a little Karo Corn Syrup. Wait, did I mention it also has a little bit of Corn Meal?  We’re using a made-from-scratch pie crust, but you could certainly use one ready made.  See just how easy it is to make a great pie.  Printable recipe included.


Southern Pecan Pie recipe, slider.
Southern Pecan Pie Recipe:

Here in the South, any church social, family gathering, or big holiday, will undoubtedly find a Pecan Pie somewhere on the table.  More than likely, you’ll find several of them on the dessert table, and in various configurations.  Over the years, folks have taken the basic recipe, and fancied it up with things like chocolate, molasses, honey, and even some of that devil juice stuff.  There’s just all kinds of ways to make a Pecan Pie it seems.

Pick up any bottle of Karo Syrup® in the grocery store, and you’ll find the recipe for Pecan Pie on the back.  No doubt, the company is well known for it’s contribution to making the pie, and most recipes use it as a major part.  It’s been a favorite for ages, and I still remember those big cans of syrup sitting in mama’s Hoosier cabinet, right next to the flour bin.  I still dream of having one of those cabinets, sitting next to a wood cook stove, in a log cabin by a lake.  One should never stop dreaming.

This particular recipe is adapted from the one included in the 1950 “Charleston Receipts” collection, published by the Junior League of Charleston. With thanks to our sister state, I like this recipe because it’s not as sweet as the one from the back of the Karo Syrup bottle.  It still uses a little of the syrup, but most of the sweetness comes from brown sugar.  And, it just intrigues me that it also calls for some corn meal. Couldn’t resist that.  Traced back to around 1886, I suspect Pecan Pie will remain a favorite on Southern tables and elsewhere, for a long time to come.

I do hope you’ll try at least once to make your own pie crust from scratch.  But, either way, I think you’re really going to like this recipe.  I’ll be looking to hear from you if you decide to try it.  Ready to get some flour on your face?  Alright then, Let’s Get Cooking!


Pecan Pie, you'll need these ingredients.
Pecan Pie:  You’ll need these ingredients.

You’ll also need a pie crust.  We can show you how to make one with our Basic Pie Crust Recipe. Just click the link.  If you’re in a hurry, feel free to use one of the ready-made-crusts, or pie dough, in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. We’ll be using an unbaked crust for this recipe, no pre-baking needed.


Pecan Pie, measure the brown sugar.
Let’s start by measuring out the Brown Sugar.  Remember, you will need to pack the sugar down in your measuring cup to get the proper amount.  Just add the sugar, press it down good, add more to fill your measuring cup, then place it in a large mixing bowl.


Pecan Pie, spray your measuring cup.
Here’s a quick tip for you.  Spray the inside of your measuring cup with cooking spray before adding the next ingredient.  It will make it much easier to clean up afterwards.  Let’s see why.


Pecan Pie, add the Karo corn syrup.
Measure out the Karo Corn Syrup in the measuring cup, after you’ve sprayed it with the cooking spray. This will help the syrup to release and make it much easier to clean the cup.  Cool huh?


Pecan Pie, add the milk.
Add the Milk.


Pecan Pie, add the corn meal.
Add the Corn Meal.  This will help thicken it all up.


Pecan Pie, add the beaten eggs.
Break the Eggs into a small bowl, then whisk them with a fork.  Add those to the mixture.  It’s always good to crack eggs into a separate dish, so you can easily find any egg shell that might have fallen in. You don’t want that in your pie filling.


Pecan Pie, add a dash of salt.
Now, add a dash of Salt.  Just a little will do.


Pecan Pie, add the melted butter.
Add the melted Butter.  I like to place the butter in the microwave for just about 10 seconds.  Very easy to melt it down that way.


Pecan Pie, whole pecans.
You could add whole Pecans if you like, or you can add pecan pieces.  I picked these up at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh just a few days ago.  They’re fresh and local, unlike those you find in the big mart stores. Pecans just weren’t as plentiful this year as in the past.  I paid $10.00 for a one pound bag this year, they were $9.00 last year.


Pecan Pie, chopped pecans.
I decided to chop them up a bit.  Its just a personal preference, do whichever way you prefer.


Pecan Pie, add the vanilla extract.
Add the Vanilla Extract.  I prefer the Southern Flavoring Happy Home brand from up in Virginia.  They’ve been around for a very long time and make some great flavorings.  It’s been sold by churches as a fund raiser for years and they still do it today.  You’ll find it available from some of the inside vendors at the State Farmers Market.


Pecan Pie, add the pecans.
Add the Pecans.


Pecan Pie, stir it up really good.
Stir everything up really good.


Pecan Pie, prepare the crust.
You’ll need to prepare your crust next.  We’re using one made from scratch, but as mentioned, you could easily use a ready-made pie crust.  We’ll use it as is, no pre-baking is needed.


Pecan Pie, add the filling.
Add the filling to the pie crust.  This is just enough for one 9 inch pie.


Pecan Pie,
To be safe, place the filled pie on a baking sheet.  This is in case the pie were to bubble over once it starts baking.  Just makes cleanup quick and easy, and keeps you from having to scrub down the bottom of the oven for awhile.  You can thank me later.


Pecan Pie, baking time and temp.
Place the baking sheet, with the pie, in your oven that has been pre-heated to 350ºF.  The pie will need to bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until it tests done.  You will need to bake it until it reaches an internal temperature of 200ºF, or by testing it with a wooden toothpick.  Place the toothpick in the center of the baked pie and pull it out.  If the toothpick comes out clean, the pie is done.


Pecan Pie, test and cool.
The center of the pie should spring back a bit when pressed in the middle.  That is, if it’s done.  When it’s fully baked, remove the pie from the oven and sit it on a wire cooling rack.


Pecan Pie, firm slice.
Let the pie cool completely, for about 3 hours, prior to slicing and serving.  It firms up over time and should be easy to slice if given time. Because it uses less Karo Syrup, it’s a bit more firm than most Pecan Pies.  I do hope you’ll try it.


Pecan Pie, enjoy.


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Pecan Pie Recipe, as seen on Taste of

Southern Pecan Pie

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for making one of the South’s favorite desserts – Pecan Pie. We’re using an old recipe that calls for Brown Sugar and just a little Karo Corn Syrup. Wait, did I mention it also has a little bit of Corn Meal? We’re using a made-from-scratch pie crust, but you could certainly use one ready made. See just how easy it is to make a great pie.



  • 2/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Karo Corn Syrup, light or dark
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon Corn Meal
  • 2 Eggs
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Pecan meats, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons melted Butter


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the following.
  2. Add brown sugar.
  3. Add corn syrup.
  4. Add milk.
  5. Add corn meal.
  6. Add the beaten eggs.
  7. Add salt.
  8. Mix all ingredients well, making sure the eggs are fully incorporated and smooth.
  9. Add vanilla extract.
  10. Add pecans.
  11. Add melted butter.
  12. Stir well.
  13. Dust the pastry in the pie plate with a mixture of one teaspoon sugar and one teaspoon flour, to prevent the bottom crust from getting soggy.
  14. Pour the filling into the pie plate, being careful not to overfill.
  15. Place the pie on a baking sheet before placing in oven.
  16. Bake at 350º for 30 to 40 minutes, or until pie reaches internal temp of 200ºF.
  17. If the edges of the crust begin to burn, cover edges with aluminum foil or a pie shield.
  18. Tap the center of the pie lightly, it should spring back if done.
  19. A wooden toothpick inserted into the center will pull out clean if the pie is done.
  20. Remove pie from oven when done, sit on a cooling rack and let cool for several hours.
  21. Slice when cool, serve and Enjoy!


TIP: For easy cleanup, spray measuring cup with cooking spray before adding corn syrup.

Keywords: Southern Pecan Pie Recipe, made from scratch, kayo syrup, southern recipes


Your Comments:  Are you a fan of Pecan Pie?  Do you make your own crust from scratch?  I’d love to hear your comments on our Southern Pecan Pie Recipe.  Perhaps you’ve only baked the one that’s listed on the bottles of Karo Syrup, think you will try this one?  It will only take a few minutes for you to share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.  Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and every one before it’s approved for our family friendly home here on the Internet.  I also reply to as many comments as possible, so be sure to check back in a few days for that.  Your comment will not appear immediately, but I’ll get it up just as soon as possible.  Thank you in advance.

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Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (8)

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  1. Mary says:

    Thanks for this recipe. I have an old Southern cook book that uses corn meal for pumpkin pie. At Thanksgiving, I made both pumpkin and pecan. The pumpkin set up well, while the pecan pie was a bit loose. Thanks to you, I now have the recipe to make sure both pies will be successful.

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Steve!

    I made this pie for Christmas. Very easy recipe! My husband and I are not big sweet eaters. We loved it! You are right, it is not as sweet as the Karo recipe. It is also not as moist, but if anyone wants more moisture, I’m sure they can substitute corn starch for the corn meal. I like it the way it is. I make my crust from scratch. I add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of sugar to the dough, just like Grandma always did. The sweet cinnamon crust and the perfectly sweetened pecan fie filling made a very tasty Christmas dessert.

  3. Annie says:

    Thanks for the pie recipe. I think I will try it, for my baby brother turns 50 next month and that’s his favorite kind. It would shock him for me to make it. Wonder how birthday candle wax would taste in the middle. JK. Hope your day and week goes well.

    Thanks again,


    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Annie, I do hope you’ll surprise your brother with the Southern Pecan Pie. I’m sure he’d appreciate at least the effort if you’ll bake one for him. I’ll be waiting to hear how it turns out for you and how he likes it. I suspect you’re actually a much better cook than you would have me believe despite the comment about adding a little wax to the pie. Of course, with 50 candles, you might need to be careful and watch those candle drips.

      Either way, you’ve got one lucky brother to have you for a sister. Thank you for your comments and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Sylvia Watson says:

    Sounds good. Have not seen Pecan Pie recipe with corn meal. Will cook. Thanks.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sylvia, The pie really is good, I hope you’ll try it. It’s a little drier than most pecan pies I think, or at least this one was.

      I appreciate your visit and hope that you’ll come back and let me know how you like the recipe. Be sure to visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Erva says:

    I just want you to know how much I enjoy looking at your website and all your recipes. The pictures showing how to do it makes me want to make each one. My problem is then I want to eat it and I really shouldn’t. LOL 🙂 I love Pecan pie so maybe I will have to try it sometime and just have a small piece and share with the neighbors. Thanks

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Erva, I have the same problem, I cook it, then I eat it.

      I really appreciate your comments and I’m thankful that you found Taste of Southern. If you try the recipe, be sure to come back and let me know how you liked it. Thank you for your visit and I do hope that you’ll continue to visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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