The Never-Fail Way to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup

This post: The healthier pecan pie recipe: gluten-free + no corn syrup.

Every November, it happens. Our pecan trees (all fifteen of them!) produce an abundant harvest. My pecan-pie-loving husband begins leaving subtle hints (and pounds of shelled pecans) here + there.

Being the discerning wife that I am, I usually take the hint. 

Behold, the results of a little tweaking and a lot of practice in the kitchen.

And a lot of pecans. 

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup | Kristy's Cottage blog
I call this, The Healthier Pecan Pie.

This no-corn-syrup pecan pie, with homemade gluten-free crust, first debuted at our Christmas dinner years ago… and it’s been showing up ever since!

If you’re looking for a healthier version of old-fashioned pecan pie, I think this recipe will be worth pinning and printing. (hint, hint)

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup

Just in case you’re still tweaking the pie-making thing, here’s a step-by-step tutorial, with pictures.

Enjoy!

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup | Kristy's Cottage blog
All the good stuff.

Ingredients:

1 C sugar (this is my favorite brand)

½ C agave nectar or maple syrup (both are delicious!)

1/3 C butter

4 eggs, beaten

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt

1 ¼ C pecan halves or pieces

1 Favorite Gluten-free Pie Crust

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog
See those yummy pecans?

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter, sugar cane, and honey or agave over medium-low heat until butter melts.

Note: I generally opt for agave nectar or maple syrup over honey, simply because I have gotten some rather strong-tasting results when using honey ( especially if it’s local, raw honey).

Agave nectar yields a mild, pleasant flavor to the pie.

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog
My sweet Emily loves to bake! 

The key to creating your own syrup Heat butter mixture just until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and foams.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog

Stir in eggs (after the mixture has cooled a little, or they will “cook”!), vanilla, sea salt, and half the pecans; stir well to combine.  Pour mixture into pie shell and top with remaining pecans.

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog
Here’s how the “syrup” should look as it cooks.
How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog
And after you add those pecans.

Bake at 325-degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and pie filling is “set”.

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I generally have to experiment slightly with the baking time; my oven tends to cook hot, so I set the timer for about 45 minutes and check the pie; if the filling is not “set”, I continue baking in increments of 5 to 7 minutes until the pie is done.

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog
Even the little people like to help in the kitchen.

The filling will “puff” up a little once it starts to set.

Once the pie is removed from the oven and starts to cool, the filling will constrict to normal size and should be moist but not gooey when you insert a butter knife into the center.

Here’s what your pecan pie should look like when it’s ready to take out of the oven. 

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog

And a peek at the pie when it’s ready to serve:

How to Make a Pecan Pie {without corn syrup}

A few markers to watch for:

  • a nicely browned (but not over-baked crust)
  • the edges of the pie are starting to brown and look toasty
  • the pie filling should be bubbly for a while, and then “set”
  • the center of the pie will bubble just a bit and not “jiggle” when you gently move the pie dish

About that Gluten-Free Pie Crust

I’m not a baking guru, so you won’t find a winning gluten-free pie crust recipe on my site. (Sorry.)

But I absolutely can give you some never-fail resources for getting a gluten-free pie on the table!

My go to hack is to buy one. I can generally find gluten-free pie crusts at super markets like Natural Grocers or Krogers.

If I’m going to make a pie crust at home, I use gfJules gluten-free flour. I’ve been using this brand of flour since 2018 (after trying many, many brands + recipes) and highly recommend it.

gfJules has some fantastic ready-made mixes, but unfortunately no pie crust mixes (yet). So I rely on their flour + recipe.

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Here are some links to check out before you attempt to make a gluten-free pie crust. (Trust me, you don’t want to just dive in unless you happen to be an expert with gluten-free flours.)

How to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup {and with a gluten-free crust} | picture tutorial at Kristy's Cottage blog

Your turn.

Ever tried your hand at pecan pie? Or a gluten-free crust? Throw your tips or question at me!

6 thoughts on “The Never-Fail Way to Make a Pecan Pie Without Corn Syrup”

  1. We made this for Christmas and it was a big hit with our family! Today, as we are researching foods from Louisiana (the state we are learning about this week), we are excited to learn that Pecan pie is a favorite among the Cajuns! Guess what’s for dessert at our Cajun dinner? 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. This Christmas a friend of mine shared with me her own Pecan pie with maple syrup. It wasn’t good… It was heavenly delicious!!! I can ask her to share the recipe, if you’re interesting…

    Reply
  3. This looks scrumptious!!! I wonder if I could use coconut oil instead of butter…

    Reply
    • Sabrina, I haven’t tried this recipe, or any of my other corn-syrup-free recipes, using coconut oil instead of butter. Let me know if you decide to give it a try!

      Reply
  4. I’ve been waiting for this recipe! It looks delicious ~ can’t wait to try it. I have to say I like this recipe better than the other one I was eying. Pinned! 🙂

    Reply

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