Amish Pecan Pie Recipe
Amish pecan pie is a classic sweet dessert that finds its way to our Thanksgiving table every year. After stuffing myself with turkey and all the sides, I still always find room for a slice of pecan pie with a cup of coffee. It's the final touch to a perfect meal, and it wouldn't feel quite complete without it.
This creamy pecan pie is very easy to make, and it's the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and creamy custard with crunchy pecans on the top. It is melt-in-your-mouth amazing!
Not So Sweet Pecan Pie
I absolutely love pecan pie, but some recipes are simply too sweet for my taste. However, this is a less sweet pecan pie and the only recipe I ever use.
A lot of pecan pie recipes are simply sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter, and pecans. But this holiday pecan pie recipe has less sugar and syrup, with added cream, which helps to make it less sweet.
What is America's Favorite Pie?
What's your favorite kind of pie? I honestly cannot remember ever eating any pie that I didn't like because pies are just that amazing! However, I have to say that Amish pecan pie is among my top favorites.
If I had to choose one favorite, it would be a close battle between Pumpkin Custard (recipe here), Dutch Apple Pie, Rhubarb Custard, and this creamy pecan pie. Although, there are just so many other pies that I absolutely love as well, such as peanut butter cream pie and so many more.
I think pecan pie is probably one of the most popular holiday pies in the USA, along with apple, and pumpkin, for Thanksgiving. It appears in the top ten favorites. But, according to votes taken, apple pie has won the number one spot for being Americans' favorite pie.
Grandma's Pecan Pie
Thinking about grandma's pecan pie takes me back to family Christmases around her table. She always made Amish pecan pies for Christmas, and they were quite delicious.
My grandparents were with the Old Order Amish church in the Lancaster County, PA area. And we lived in the same house with them (they lived in the dauddy end - a small addition added to the main house for the grandparents, which is very common among the Amish).
My grandpa passed at age sixty-nine when I was only eight years old. So I don't have a lot of memories of my grandpa. Due to having diabetes, he had one leg amputated. And one memory I have is seeing him out watering flowers on his little stool with wheels. He loved flowers and always kept them beautiful.
But I spent a lot of time with my grandma, and I have fond memories of many Christmas dinners in her kitchen.
- Eggs provide structure and help the pie filling set as it bakes. They also contribute to the custard-like texture of the filling and add moisture.
- Karo syrup is a key ingredient in pecan pie. It provides sweetness and helps create the characteristic gooey, sticky texture of the pie filling. The syrup also contributes to the pie's signature flavor.
- Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the pie, providing a pleasant and aromatic background note to complement the sweetness of the pecan filling.
- Sugar and Brown Sugar add sweetness to the pie. Granulated sugar contributes to the smooth texture of the filling, while brown sugar can provide a hint of molasses flavor and moisture.
- All-purpose flour serves as a thickening agent, helping the filling set and giving it structure. It prevents the filling from being too runny.
- Salt enhances the overall flavor of the pie by balancing the sweetness. It adds depth to the taste of the pecan filling.
- Heavy cream contributes to the creaminess of the filling, giving it a luscious and smooth texture. It adds richness and a slight dairy flavor while also breaking down the overall level of sweetness in the pie.
- Butter adds a buttery richness to the filling and enhances the overall flavor. It also contributes to the smooth texture.
- Pecans are the star of the show, providing a nutty flavor and a delightful crunch. They are the defining ingredient that makes it a pecan pie.
- Unbaked 9" Pie Crust - The pie shell serves as the vessel for the filling. It provides a buttery, flaky crust that contrasts with the sweet and gooey pecan filling. It's both a structural and textural component of the pie.
When combined, these ingredients create a classic pecan pie, known for its rich, sweet, and nutty flavor, as well as its gooey, caramel custard-like filling. The balance of sweetness, creaminess, and nuttiness is what makes this pecan pie a beloved dessert.
Can I Bake Holiday Pecan Pies Ahead of Time?
When you are doing a lot of cooking for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is nice to be able to prepare as much of the food as possible a day or two in advance. And I usually bake my pies the day before I want to serve them.
Pies are the best when they are fresh. But I also like to have them chilled, unless it's a pie that I want to serve warm with ice cream. So it works great to bake them a day ahead.
But this Amish pie can easily be made at least two days before your event. They will still taste great. Refrigerate your pecan pie, loosely covered with a tea towel as the crust will get soggy if it is tightly covered.
Can I Freeze Creamy Pecan Pie?
Pecan pies made with a cream-based filling can generally be frozen, but there are some considerations to keep in mind to ensure the best results:
- Cool: Allow the pecan pie to cool completely at room temperature before freezing. This will help prevent condensation and ice crystals from forming when you freeze it.
- Protect: Wrap the pie securely in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to minimize exposure to air, which can cause freezer burn. You can also place the wrapped pie in a resealable plastic freezer bag for an extra layer of protection.
- Label and Date: It's a good practice to label the package with the date of freezing so you can keep track of how long it has been in the freezer.
- Freeze Quickly: Place the wrapped pie in the freezer as soon as it has cooled to room temperature. The quicker you freeze it, the better it will preserve its quality.
- Thawing: The day before you're ready to serve the pie, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw, loosely covered, in the refrigerator overnight. This slow thawing process will help maintain the pie's texture and flavor.
While freezing pecan pies with cream-based fillings is possible, I recommend serving them fresh.
However, while the texture of the filling might change slightly after freezing and thawing, I'd rather freeze my pecan pie for a later date than have to throw it out.
Tip for Baking Pies
To make sure your bottom pie crust bakes well without the top getting too dark, place your pies in the oven just below the middle position. Adjust one of your oven racks to this level for the best baking results.
Pie Crust Recipe to Use for Amish Pecan Pie
Buying pre-made crusts is always a quick and easy option. However, it doesn't take very long to create a flaky pie crust from scratch either.
Use my easy recipe for Amish Never-fail Flaky Pie Crust.
Items You May Need...
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Amish Pecan Pie Recipe
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 c. Karo syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. melted butter
- 1 1/2 c. pecans
- 1 unbaked 9" pie shell
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Whisk the sugars, salt, and flour in a bowl.1/2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- Add the beaten eggs, Karo, and vanilla. Mix well.3 eggs, beaten, 3/4 c. Karo syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Add the cream and melted butter and mix to combine.1/2 c. heavy cream, 2 Tbs. melted butter
- Place pecans into the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. You can use halved pecans or chopped, whichever you prefer.1 1/2 c. pecans, 1 unbaked 9" pie shell
- Pour the cream mixture over top of the pecans.
- Bake immediately, at 400° for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 350°, and bake for an additional 25 - 35 minutes. It's ok if the center has a little jiggle, but it should seem stable, and the outer edges of the pie should be puffed up a bit.
- Cool at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator lightly covered.