Texas pecan pie

Texas pecan pie DSC3013

My grandmother makes the best pies. Of course, everyone’s grandmother makes the best pies, but I’m not kidding when I say my grandmother’s pies are divine. Everyone in my family has their favorite: some like the peach, some like the sweet potato, some like the chocolate. But from my grandmother’s pie-making repertoire, there is one pie that we all agree is top notch: her pecan pie.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of her pies is how fresh they are. She and my grandpa live on a farm, where small groves of pecan and peach trees grow and where there is always an ample crop of sweet potatoes. So her pies are made with the fruit of the land, making them very, very tasty. My grandparents are pragmatic people, and as they’re getting older, they always ask what we want willed to us. In yet another testament to her pies, the one thing we all fight over is my grandmother’s rolling pin that she was given in the 1940s and has used ever since. Forget the land, the houses or the antiques–we all want that magical tool that has rolled out so many delicious crusts.

Family skirmishes aside, I’m fortunate that even though I live a thousand miles away, she always sends me a pecan pie for my birthday. This year I opted to freeze a slice for a time when I was most in need of a fix, and a couple of days ago when I was feeling very homesick, having the chance to eat a slice of her pecan pie filled me with great peace. I don’t know if it’s the freshness of the pecans or the love she puts into each pie, but they are delicious and always bring me back home. She has graciously given me her recipe, which she learned from her mother. Here it is:

Texas pecan pie | Homesick Texan

Texas pecan pie DSC3013
5 from 26 votes

Pecan pie

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup white corn syrup
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together the sugar, the corn syrup, the eggs, and the vanilla. Stir in the milk, flour, melted butter, and pecans.

  3. Pour the filling into the piecrust. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.

  1. How surprised I was to see your comment at The Amateur Gourmet re: Le Cirque!


    Patsy’d NEVER eat there! She’d have left, gone home and fried up some bacon and eggs! She’d have told them off, too.

    The pecan pie looks GREAT.

    Still Patsified!,

  2. melissa mcgee

    what a sweet, heartwarming post lisa. your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful, warm, loving woman, with a head and heart filled with stories, memories, and delicious, homemade comfort food.

    just like my grandmother.

  3. Danielle

    I’ve been wanting a good and tested recipe for pecan pie for a while now. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Lisa Fain

    Adam, thanks for stopping by!

    Melissa, grandmothers are the best, are they not?

    Danielle, if you bake it, let me know how it turns out!

  5. It is so great that you are sharing your grandmother’s pie recipe. The crust ingredients are quite different than what I am used to. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks again. And I hope you get to keep the rolling pin!

  6. finally! a unique pecan-pie recipe (my grandmother lived in Texas) and this will be the one I try to make today

    [born in Texas, haven’t lived there for 50 years]

  7. ps: Grandmother used to have a pecan tree in her backyard .. now I understand

  8. Anonymous

    I know this is really random, and I don’t know if you’ll see this comment, but…

    I’m doing a project for a natural history class and I decided to bake something…Next week I’m going to pick some pecans and today I was Googling for a real recipe, not something out of a magazine. I stumbled across this and I’m so excited to make it. I just thought you might be happy to know that one more person is very thankful for you and your grandma sharing this recipe. I’m sure it will be wonderful!

  9. Thank you for a wonderful recipe, and for giving me an excuse to spend Thanksgiving afternoon with my big brother baking a pie together, catching up and acting like little kids again! Since each of us has moved away from home, we try to make the most of the time we have together. Thanks again- it was definitely time well spent.

  10. Anonymous

    This is an amazing pie recipe! My mother and I made it for thanksgiving tomorrow, can’t wait to see how it is going to turn out!

    p.s I live in Houston,TX born and raised.

  11. My beau made this for Thanksgiving and it came out amazing. We were scared about the oil crust, but it worked!

    (Austin, TX)

  12. Anonymous

    Hi there Lisa
    I’m an Australian who loves “Tex Mex” albeit not true to form as you describe, and I am over the moon that I have found your blog! I’d love to give this pie a go, however I don’t want to use Karo, is there anything else that is similar that I could use instead?
    Thanks for the great flour tortilla recipe too! Beats buying them when they are AWESOME fresh!

  13. Annie in Austin

    Hi Lisa – it's almost three years since you wrote this post, September 9, 2009, but I just found it.

    You mentioned the loss of your grandmother on twitter – this post about her is so lovely! And it was interesting to see that your grandmother made her piecrust with oil & milk, something I learned as a newlywed 40 years ago. (also started with corn oil, then switched to canola). My recipe comes from the 11th edition of the Fannie Farmer cookbook – wonder if your grandmother read Fannie?

    In 2007 our trees bore nuts, but between drought and squirrels guess I'll have to buy pecans for pie this year.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  14. My husband loves pecan pie and for some reason I've never attempted one. He tried once and it was totally soupy, great over vanilla ice cream, but not pie. Now that I've lived in TX over a year, I'm fixin' to make us a pecan pie. Thanks!

  15. Just returned to Germany from a rare trip home to Austin. My German beau and i had pecan pie on our last night. I was filled with nostalgia and D with happy discovery so I've already promised to make it for him with the pecans we brought back. Was very glad to find your recipe, which looks authentic.

  16. Stephanie

    Thanks, Lisa, for sharing stories of your grandmother and her recipes. My sweet Memaw passed away in May and she was a wonderful cook and loved to bake. Hearing your stories, brings to mind wonderful memories I shared with mine. Thank you so much!

  17. Anonymous

    I made this pecan pie. I love you and your grandmother! The very best pecan pie recipe in the world. I would know, I've tried a million. Thank you for posting.

  18. I enjoyed this pecan pie over every pie I had ever had in my life,and trust me I've lived in the south but this pie is the GREATEST!!! I recommend this pie to everyone for the holidays..

  19. The Good Taste Guide

    I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was TO DIE FOR. I absolutely adored it, a good pecan pie is hard to come by up in Connecticut, as I'm sure you know.

  20. ~Barbara~

    I have been searching for a pie like this. It turned out just as good as everyone has said. I will never make the old syrupy one again!! Thanks so much to you and your gramma's recipe.

  21. oregoncoastgirl

    This pie is in my oven right now. In the interest of full disclosure, I've never had pecan pie, nor made one, so my fingers are crossed! Thank you for the recipe!

  22. Heidi in DF

    I have now made this pie two years in a row to rave reviews. My grandmother made date loaf instead of pecan pie, so I never had a family recipe to use. Thanks for sharing your family recipes and stories with homesick Texans everywhere.

  23. Monica Minnitt

    I am always eager to improve the things I cook, and I am intrigued by this manner of making a crust. Nonetheless, I must ask if Grandma does anything else to her ingredients other than just mix them? Does she chill the flour? The dough? Does she let it rest, or does she just mix, roll, and bake? I ask because this morning I began this recipe with chilled ingredients and as I began to roll out the crust it drew back up every time I would give it a roll and so I decided to let it rest… Signed a Curious Monica

  24. Lisa Fain

    Monica–She just mixes and rolls. It's important to use whole milk, though, so it will have enough fat.

  25. charlene-o.

    Would love to see a picture of the famed rolling pin your grandma uses! 🙂

  26. Anonymous

    I am having trouble finding the recipe for the pie crust…could you please pooint me in the right direction. I cannot wait to make this in a few weeks for Thanksgiving! Thank you so much! A Brit living in San Antonio, Texas 🙂

  27. Lisa Fain

    Brit in SA–I've added a link to the pie crust recipe in the ingredient list. Happy cooking!

  28. My grandmother's recipe that I make uses white corn syrup and white sugar too and no one believes me. And everyone thinks mine are the best but they won't get off the dark karo!
    I love your site, Texan cook living in SC

  29. Leah King

    Lisa, glad the box arrived from Texas! Enjoy reading. And your notes above about your grandmother’s pecan pie, makes me smile. We, too, live in the midst of a pecan grove in the Colorado River bottomland, and I’ve learned a lot about what happens to pecans once they are harvested, how the market fluctuates, and would not buy one off a store shelf for anything. A young friend has just opened a “pecan house” nearby where he buys, sorts, cleans, cracks, sells natives and grafted. Quite an operation. We have family Christmas on the 31st. (Church musicians are grateful that Christmas lasts til Jan. 6!) Your carnitas, ensalada de noche buena and grandmother’s pecan pie are on the menu.

    • Lisa Fain

      Hi Leah–I’m enjoying the books very much. Thank you again! Does your friend sell his native pecans online? Merry Christmas and enjoy your Christmas feast!

      • Lisa, I am late for this reply!! by 2 years!! Let me ask Phillip if he sells online. Would you want shelled? And then there are his other options… large, small, halves, pieces? Or better yet, you just make a road trip to Colorado County. You can stay here at the house.

  30. Wanda Kitchens

    Hi Lisa,
    Just saw this recipe. It brought back a memory of my childish hands carefully holding the jar of white Karo syrup as I carried it to Mama so she could make her pecan pie. There was a great debate at that time about the difference in taste that white or dark Karo Syrup produced. Thanks for bringing the memory pop up.

    • Lisa Fain

      Wanda–So glad my grandma’s pecan pie recipe helped you recall such a sweet memory!

  31. GaleBarnett

    Do you have Grandmother’s recipe cards (copied) and mounted in your kitchen with Grandma’s rolling pin mounted above her recipes? I got Granny’s Flour Sifter that she used to make wonderful rolls.
    Can you use Sorghum syrup instead of corn syrup?

    • Lisa Fain

      Gale–She’s still alive so she has her rolling pin in her own kitchen, but I’ve given family members framed prints of her recipe cards. I’ve never made this recipe with sorghum syrup but I bet it would be good!

  32. Mark Taylor

    Add one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips — pour into the pie crust then add the mixture on top. The chips will melt and add a chocolate later at the bottom. . Oh — and add about 3 T of bourbon to the mixture for a great taste. At least that’s how we like it here in Austin

    • Lisa Fain

      Mark–Your additions sound fantastic! I will be trying it your way!

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