Old-Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie

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Editor's Note: Pecan pie is a Southern staple, and this charming dessert is just like the one grandma used to make. Don't let the basic nature of the ingredients fool you — these simple things come together to create an out-of-this-world flavor that will take your taste buds right to the Deep South! The next time you crave a slice of old-fashioned pecan pie, keep this recipe in mind. Rich and decadent as can be, this recipe for Old-Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie can be served at the holidays, for special occasions, or really any time you just want a slice of pie. Consider serving each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream for a truly delicious treat.

Almost too good to be true.


Cooking MethodBaking


Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together

Recipe CourseDessert


Taste and TextureCrunchy, Nutty, Rich, Sweet

Type of DishPie


  • 1¼ cups sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard, chilled
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 one-pound box light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup melted butter or margarine


  1. Make the pastry: Place flour and salt in a shallow mixing bowl and cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water over surface, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix in lightly and quickly with a fork, just until pastry holds together.

  2. Shape gently into a ball on a lightly floured pastry cloth, then flatten into a circle about 1 inch thick, evening up rough edges. Using a lightly floured, stockinette-covered rolling pin and short, firm strokes, roll into a circle about 3 inches larger than the pan you plan to use.

  3. To transfer pastry to pan, lay rolling pin across center of pastry circle, fold half of pastry over pin and ease into pan; press lightly. Seal any cracks or holes by pressing dampened scraps of pastry on top. Trim pastry so it hangs evenly 1 inch over rim, roll overhang under even with rim and crimp or flute.

  4. Make pastry as directed and fit into a 9-inch piepan; do not bake. Arrange pecans in concentric rings over bottom of pastry.

  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  6. Blend sugar, flour, and salt, then mix in milk and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, using a wire whisk or rotary beater; mix in butter, a little at a time. Pour filling over pecans.

  7. Bake pie 1 hour and 15 minutes or until filling is puffy and crust golden. Serve at room temperature. And cut the pieces small — the pie is rich.

Pastry Variation: Processor Pastry

  1. Place flour and salt in work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and snap motor on and off once or twice to blend. 

  2. Cut 3 tablespoons very cold butter and 2 tablespoons very cold vegetable shortening into small pieces and scatter over surface of flour mixture; cut in using 4-5 one-second churnings of the motor (mixture should be the texture of coarse meal). 

  3. Sprinkle 1½ tablespoons water over surface of fat-flour mixture and mix in by snapping motor on and off twice; repeat with another 1½ tablespoons water, then repeat a third time, working in remaining 1 tablespoon water. Mixture will be crumbly, but do not mix further because you will toughen the pastry. 

  4. Transfer pastry to a piece of plastic food wrap, shape into a pone about 5 inches across, patting stray crumbs firmly into place. Wrap and chill 30-40 minutes before rolling. 

  5. Note: Do not double this recipe for a two-crust pie (it’s impossible to make tender pastry in quantity). Instead, make two batches of this recipe.

To Bake an Unfilled Pie Shell

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

  2. Prick bottom and sides of pastry well with a fork. To minimize shrinkage, lay a large square of wax paper over crust and fill with uncooked rice or dried beans (experienced cooks keep a jar on hand, using beans or rice over and over). 

  3. Bake pastry 10 to 12 minutes, just until tan. Lift out paper of rice. Cool before filling unless recipes direct otherwise.

To Bake a Filled Pie Shell

Follow directions given in individual recipes.


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I have been making this pie for probably 25 years now. My sister gave me the double day cook book one year, and I've been making this pecan pie ever since. Well my oldest daughter doesn't care for pecans so she used to always pick them out because she loved the filling, so about ten years ago we decided to try making one with just the filling and no pecans, yes it still turned out great and of course delicious, so now on the holidays we make one with pecans and one without. Thanks Jean for a wonderful pie recipe.

I had made this pie for years; then I moved and couldn't find my Doubleday cookbook. (Still packed). So this year I took a highly rated recipe from Tasty but buy no means the equal of the Old Fashioned Southern Pecan Pie. Of course it didn't occur to me until after baking to type Doubleday Cookbook Pecan Pie into my browser. Yagh!

Pecan pie is my husband's favorite so I've made many for him over the years. I've always used the standard recipe with corn syrup which is quick, easy and fool-proof. This recipe beats them all. It was easy to make, very, very rich and absolutely delicious. My husband and dinner guests raved about it. This is now my default pecan pie recipe; I'll never go back to the old way. Definitely 5 stars!


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