American Pecan Pie Recipe

Forage for pecans to create a traditional american pecan pie with a hardened chewy center packed with flavor.

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Photo by Roger Phillips
Use vanilla extract or rum to add to this pecan pie’s delicious flavor.
One 9-inch pie SERVINGS


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or butter and shortening
  • 2–3 teaspoons cold water


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt together. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with two knives, or rub it in with your fingers, until the mixture is in pieces the size of large bread crumbs. Add the water, a few drops at a time, and toss the mixture with a fork to combine the ingredients evenly. The dough should not be wet but just moist enough to hold together in a ball. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling out. Grease a deep 9-inch pie tin, line it with the pastry, and crimp the edges.
  • Then make the filling. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl and stir in the syrup, sugar, flavoring, and salt. Arrange half the pecans in a pattern on the pastry, pressing them into the dough slightly. Pour the filling mixture gently over the nuts, then arrange the rest of the pecans in patterns on the top. Dot with the butter and bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees F and bake until the filling is almost firm to the center — about 30 minutes.
  • Allow the pie to cool in the pan for a couple of hours before serving so that the filling has time to harden and get deliciously chewy. If you are using a shallow, loose-bottomed tart pan, halve the filling quantities.

This is adapted from a recipe in James Beard’s American Cookery (1972).

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This recipe has been reprinted with permission from The Wild Food Cookbook, by Roger Phillips, and published by The Countryman Press, 2014.