I’m trying to nail down this year’s Thanksgiving menu and finding it difficult to choose between two favorite pecan pies. The two favorites are this one (in the recipe card below) which I call Best Pecan Pie Yet and the one I’ve been making since I was 14, the One Stick of Butter Pecan Pie.
Browning Butter with Pecans
At least I’ve narrowed it down to two, so it's safe to say these are my two favorite pecan pies. What both recipes have in common is brown butter. And for both pies I use one particular step which not everyone does. I stir-fry the pecans in butter so that the pecans toast and absorb some of the butter as it browns. This step gives every bite a burst of flavor.
Difference Between Two Favorite Pies
So back to the two pies and the task of picking just one!
The first pie (the recipe below) is great for people who like pecans but don’t care for traditional pecan pie's strong dark corn syrup flavor. It has milder flavor and always sets up nicely. Instead of a full stick of butter, it calls for half a stick plus some cream. The cream tones down the sugar, so don't try to leave that out or the pie might be sweeter than you like.
The second pie is a richer pecan pie with a stronger dark corn syrup flavor. I call it One Stick of Butter Pecan Pie, and it has its own page. Hopefully that clarifies things a little bit.
More Favorite Pecan Pie Recipes
So those are my top 2, but there are just so many others! Every pecan pie has a different flavor profile and texture. You may think you don't like pecan pie until you try a certain one. Check the archives for ideas, and feel free to leave a comment if you have a question. I will answer your directly unless it's something helpful for other readers.
Best Pecan Pie Yet
- 1 9-inch deep dish unbaked pie shell
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves
- 4 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter (56 grams)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup light corn syrup both work equally well
- ¾ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place pecans in a large skillet or saute pan and turn heat to medium high. Cook pecans for 2 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium, add butter to skillet with pecans, and "stir-fry" butter and pecans until butter melts and just barely starts to brown - take care not to burn. This should only take about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, cream, vanilla and salt. Remember just to whisk -- don't beat or add too much air to the mixture. Stir in melted butter/pecan mixture then pour filling into unbaked crust.
- To catch any drippings, set a rimmed cookie sheet on the lower rack of the oven. Set the pie on the middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes or until top is golden brown and appears set. The pie should still be slightly jiggly in center. Let cool completely at room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator to chill. I make it a day ahead, chill overnight, then bring to room temperature and slice.
- This pie also freezes quite well.