Pecan Pie, Corn Syrup Free

by Eddy Van Damme on October 25, 2009

pecan pie without corn syrup

Pecan Pie, corn syrup free

It was not until I arrived in America that I became familiar with pecan pies. In Belgium they simply are not known. Pecan pies have now become one of my favorite desserts and when I visit my family in Europe, it is one of the pies they always request I make.

For many years I made pecan pies but I felt that they were really never as good as they possibly could be. I would add chocolate to cut the tooth achingly sweetness which did made it better, but then you have pecan pie purist, who believe a good pecan pie contains absolutely no chocolate! Oh no.

The biggest recipe request I consistently have (Another one is a moist white cake from scratch) is for a pecan pie which is not overly sweet. Clearly it was time for me to get in the kitchen and get serious about replacing corn syrup in pecan pies. From lots of experience I have discovered that substituting is, well, usually just a substitute. Has anyone out there ever had a diet version of something, which was actually better than the original? Me neither. But is replacing corn syrup in a pecan pie actually a substitute? Were the first pecan pies made by French settlers in Louisiana actually not made with pure sugar? With this bit of history knowledge I decided to check out original pecan pie versions and I began to work on pecan pie recipes the way they used to be made, smooth and custardy with delicious caramel flavor and made with real sugar.

pecan pie without corn syrup

Some people like to toast pecans destined for pecan pies which certainly adds another dimension to the flavor profile. It really is up to you if you prefer toasted pecans or not. A touch of Brandy or Rum will make the pie just a touch more special. This pecan pie does not contain flour for a couple of reasons. Flour takes away from the creamy smoothness and makes the pecan filling somewhat chunky. Pecan pie filling is essentially a type of custard which should be velvety and nicely flavored. Flour containing custards tend to create a cloudy coating on our tongue, which inhibits full flavor revealing.

Getting it all together!

You can easily make your pie dough, roll it out and line your pie shells and then freeze for up to a week or two. Similar like the ones you would buy in the freezer section of your grocery store. Take out the freezer the day when needed and make the filling. If you like the flavor of toasted pecans, place the pecans in a 350°F (175°C) oven until they are fragrant. Time will depend on the size of the pecan pieces.

Pecan pie, without corn syrup

Yield: 1- 9 inch pie

3 (3) Large eggs 3
¾ Cup (6 oz) Water 180 g
1 ¾  Cup, well packed (14 oz) Medium brown sugar 420 g
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Salt 2.5 g
½ Stick (2 oz) Unsalted butter 60 g
1 Tablespoon (0.5 oz) Brandy or Rum (optional) 15 ml
2 teaspoon (2 tsp) Vanilla extract 10 ml
2 Cups (8 oz) Pecan pieces 240 g
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Whisk together the eggs and water until very well blended. Add the brown sugar and salt. Melt the butter and add to the mixture. Add the Brandy and vanilla extract.
  3. Place the pecans in the pie shell and pour the custard filling over the pecans, the pecans will automatically float to the surface. Since nine inch pie shells vary in depth and thus volume, not all the custard filling may fit.  By not mixing the pecans into the custard filling you will possibly prevent throwing away extra custard filling containing pecans.
  4. Place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 325°F (160°C) and bake until the center of the pie is set and no longer trembles when touched, about 65 minutes.

117 comments on “Pecan Pie, Corn Syrup Free

  1. Kellie on said:

    Thank you so much for the restaurant suggestions! I live about 15 minutes from Gent and will be sure to tell my fiance, he is a Belgian so I am sure we will find them. Now I will also have to make another trip to Antwerp, I do love Italian!

    Thanks again :D

  2. Hind on said:

    Thank you for this recipe, i’m from Belgium and i was looking for a pecan pie recipe without corn syrop (i’m not sur to find such a thing here) so i’m going to try your recipe.

  3. Niyah Richardson on said:

    Great pecan pie, I made a few weeks ago. My family enjoyed it. I followed the recipe exactly.

  4. Yvonne Davis on said:

    Chef if you omit the Brandy will you still have a good pie?

  5. Yvonne Davis on said:

    I tried it an I use the Brandy it was wonderful…Thanks Chef

  6. Richard Martinez on said:

    This is an awesome recipe, I tried it at home and loved it. Pecan pie has always been one of my favorites but this puts it over the top.

  7. I know this defeats the purpose of this recipe, but for the corn syrup/sweetness thing, I found replacing a 1/4 cup of the C.S. with real agave honey helps to balance out the sweetness.
    Real agave honey can only be obtained in Mexico from the agave farmers themselves or local markets. It has a strong flavor, like molasses. The dark version of agave on the grocery store shelves is pretty much the same thing.

  8. Stela on said:

    I just finished making this recipe and i am in love! It came out perfect, and the rum gave the pie an extra touch. I even added a little scoop of vanilla ice cream to add to it!

  9. Gisela Quincy on said:

    I am going to make this pie, but I am diabetic and I will substitue the baking splenda for this recipe hope it works

  10. What kind of store bought crust do you suggest for this? In France we have sablé, feuilleté or brisé…

  11. I’ve used this recipe for the last three years and everyone raves about it. Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Debbie Cadis on said:

    Thank you for the Pecan pie recipe without corn syrup. it looks even better then the one with blackstrap molasses. do you think I could use a nut crust instead of flour crust? I am trying to be wheat and gluten free.

  13. mona robinson` on said:

    We made this pecan pie in Chef Anna’s class. It turned out delicious. Look forward to making it again. Chef Eddy do you have a recipe for pecan and sweet potato together?

  14. Liorah on said:

    For some reason the custard didn’t cohere. I don’t know if it needed a few more minutes of baking time, or if the eggs were too frothy? It was disappointing but I may try again, since others have had such success.

  15. Nhu Ta on said:

    I love this recipe chef! I haven’t try making this yet, but I have noticed that most of the pies I eat, to me it is extremely sweet. If I were to try this what is the least amount of sugar do you suggest I use and the pie would still taste good?

  16. Twyana Jackson on said:

    This is another pie that I have made for years. I am always looking for lighter ways of eating. Yes pecan pie is rich but any recipes that may be lighter and the taste is not lost I’m up for it. I will give this a try.

  17. Jessica on said:

    My husband loves this recipe! My husband cannot find a store bought pie that can remind him of what his mother used to make him. He is simple and has two requests when he asks for a pecan pie. 1)NO corn syrup 2) lots of pecans! This recipe fulfills his requests. Thank you!

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