Few dishes hold a special place in the heart of Americans like pecan pie, a classic dessert that rarely leaves you disappointed. The buttery, nutty crunch of the pecans perfectly complements the smooth and sweet filling.

At Knight Pecan Farms, we believe that the secret to the most exceptional pecan pies lies in the use of fresh, high-quality pecans. From the cherished classic pecan pie passed down from Grandma Martha to a twist on the Derby Pie, take a look at some of our family's favorite pecan pie recipes.

1. Grandma Martha's Classic Pecan Pie

Close up photo of a pecan pie

There aren’t many things that stir up cherished memories quite like Grandma's recipes. Just one bite and it’ll take you back to a special place in time when life was a little more simple and calories didn’t count. This classic pecan pie recipe comes from the back of a Karo Syrup bottle but with a surprising twist. Grandma Martha put her own spin on this American classic by adding a bit of vinegar to cut the sweetness. Here's what you'll need:


  • 1 cup Karo® Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 cups pecan pieces (for the best taste, toast the pecans)
  • 1 9" pre-made pie crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the pre-made pie crust in a pie dish and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Stir in the pecans. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
  5. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra deliciousness.

2. Kentucky Derby Museum Pie

photo of an old recipe card with the original Kentucky Derby Museum Pie recipe on it

Inspired by the renowned Kentucky Derby Museum's famous Derby Pie, this recipe elevates the pecan pie recipe and experience. Amy Knight’s mom uses this recipe every year for family gatherings. She first came across the pie after having an amazing slice at a church potluck and the baker was nice enough to share the recipe! While a bit different from a classic pecan pie, we can all agree that everything is better with some chocolate and bourbon. (Don’t worry, you can swap the bourbon for vanilla if you’d prefer.) This pie is a showstopper and a delightful twist on a beloved classic. Let's get started:


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Kentucky bourbon (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 9" pie shell


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and prepare the pie shell in a pie dish.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add beaten eggs, flour, salt, and bourbon (or vanilla). Mix until well combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Stir well.
  5. Pour into pie shell and bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set.
  6. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before serving. The flavors will intensify as it cools, resulting in a rich and delicious dessert.

3. Maple Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup

For those who prefer an alternative to traditional pecan pie recipes without compromising on taste or a smooth filling, this corn syrup-free maple pecan pie recipe is a great choice. Shared by Borrowed Bites, it incorporates maple syrup and a hint of molasses to give the same great flavor with an extra bit of goodness and slightly less sweetness. To top it off, using real maple syrup is a much healthier option than corn syrup. Let's gather the ingredients:


  • 1½ cups fresh pecans
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 4 tablespoon butter cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 9" pie crust store-bought or homemade


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and prepare the pie shell in a pie dish.
  2. Placing the oven rack at the lowest position, add pecans to a sheet pan and toast for 3-5 minutes. Remove and rough chop until desired sizes.
  3. Increase the temperature to 475ºF (245ºC)
  4. Using a medium saucepan, combine maple syrup, brown sugar, heavy cream, and molasses. Cook over medium heat and stir often until all the sugar is dissolved. (This should take 3-4 minutes.)
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Whisk in butter and salt to the sugar mixture. Once that is combined, add egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
  7. Spread the chopped pecans evenly over the pie shell and then pour the filling over the pecans.
  8. Place the pie in the oven on the lowest rack onto the sheet pan used to toast the pecans. Immediately reduce the temperature from 475ºF to 325ºF (160ºC).
  9. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center (center should jiggle just slightly).
  10. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, followed by 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  11. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Whether you're a fan of the classic pecan pie, crave the sophistication of the Kentucky Derby Museum variation, or are looking for an alternative pecan pie without corn syrup, these pecan pie recipes are sure to go above and beyond your expectations. By using fresh pecans directly from the farm, the flavors and quality of your pies will even surprise Grandma.

Treat yourself and your loved ones to an incredible homemade pecan pie, and taste the difference that farm-fresh nuts can make. No need for a special occasion to enjoy these delightful recipes—gather the ingredients today and get started baking!