Southern Pecan Pie with a Kick

My neighbor Omma is a writer, poet, gardener, friend and great baker. We were talking about what makes a great pecan pie recently and she shared with me her family recipe and given permission for me to share with you. Hope you enjoy it!


Omma Says: My Dad’s sister gave me this recipe – they were born and raised down South, and used freshly gathered pecans from the trees in the woods surrounding their old farmhouse.  Often times the sweetener she used was wild honey sugared on top of the smokehouse – not an easy commodity to find these days.  Commercial dark brown sugar works just fine it its place.

Use your favorite.  Kate’s pie crust is closest to what Aunt Agnes made.  For tarts, you don’t need special pans – you can use generous-sized muffin tins.  I like to cut squares of dough big enough to fill the muffin cups, with the points arranged neatly out of the cups on top of the surrounding tin.  It looks more festive to me, less structured.  Roll out any trimming scraps for cinnamon-sugar or cheese sticks later.

(9” pie – double it for larger pie plate or two pies.  I like my old Pyrex pie plates best.)

3 lg. eggs (best from free-range chickens)
1 C. dark brown sugar (I like Hawaiian cane)
½ C. dark corn syrup and/or pure maple syrup (depends on end taste you want)
¼ t. salt
1 t. vanilla
4 T good Kentucky bourbon, dark rum, OR 1 T. rum flavoring
2 T good Kentucky bourbon or dark rum in the whipped topping (optional)
¼ C. salted butter, melted (Note from Kate: I love Kerry Gold Irish Butter)
At least 2 C. shelled pecans, broken or chopped in pieces (More if you like lots of nuts, like I do.)
Note: Reserve additional attractive unbroken halves for garnish. Buy the freshest nuts you can find.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk eggs in good-sized bowl until they are light-colored and fluffy.  Add brown sugar, syrup, salt, vanilla and four tablespoons of rum or bourbon (or rum flavoring); stir with big wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Stir in melted butter and pecans.  Pour into pie shell and garnish with pecan halves.  Bake on a lower-middle oven rack for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

Serve topped with whipped cream, to which you have added sugar, vanilla (and the remaining two tablespoons of liquor, if desired).  Or flavor whipped cream with orange essence or Cointreau (easy on that).   French Vanilla ice cream is lovely to top it.  A plain sliver of it is great for a midnight snack, too.

Decadent, easy to make –

Y’all enjoy, hear?!

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  1. says

    Good pecan pie recipe but is there any substitute for corn syrup and maple syrup i don’t want the taste of corn syrup and i’m allergic to maples, what if i will use honey, do you think it would work? i want it to be sure so that my money won’t go in to waste. thank you.. :)

  2. Omma says

    Hi Patty – I haven’t tried hickory nuts with this recipe, but they should be delicious. They have their own special flavor “zing”, and would add a new subtle dimension to the finished pie. I’d love to hear how it turns out – please let us know! Thanks.

  3. Patty Kovach says

    This sounds delicious! I grew up in Kentucky and my Uncle has hickory nuts this year on his trees. They make a wonderful pie, so I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks so much.

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