This Gooey Apple-Pecan Pie Recipe Is the Ultimate Fall Dessert
Get the best of both worlds with this Southern twist on a sweet classic.
Even though apple pie is a timeless classic, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a slight upgrade. You truly haven’t lived until you’ve had apple-pecan pie. The nuttiness from the pecans blends seamlessly into the sweetness of the apples, creating the perfect balance of flavors.
I was born and raised in the South, so I often use Georgia pecans when I'm cooking or baking my favorite desserts. I'm probably not the only one, either. Georgia pecans just so happen to account for a third of U.S. pecan production! While apple pies are a staple on many Americans' Thanksgiving tables, they're less common on dessert menus and dinner tables in my corner of the South.
To honor the pecans I know and love, and find new ways to incorporate them in baking projects, I reached out to Shellane Brown and her mother, Veronica Pickett, co-owners of Apple Butter Bakery in Stone Mountain, Georgia. They graciously agreed to share their apple-pecan pie recipe with me.
When the bakery first opened in 2013, Brown and her sister, Erica Houston-Pickett developed the menu using Veronica’s handwritten recipes she’d collected over the years, including this pecan apple pie recipe.
"My mom will use recipes that she’s had for like 20 or 30 years as a base and then experiment with combining different flavors to try to improve it or just make it something different that nobody has had,” Brown says.
When she was growing up, her mother never made apple pie, Brown says. However, seeing as how their business is named Apple Butter Bakery, they knew they had to find a way to incorporate apples into their desserts. They landed on this hybrid creation.
“It’s like a pecan pie but instead of so much of the ooey gooey, the apples kind of absorb that and it just makes it a really good surprise,” Brown says. “And so though we don't have a traditional apple pie, we can say that we do use apples in a lot of our products. It comes from an old classic Southern pecan pie. And then, mixing in what people wanted, which was some kind of apple form, and that's how we got that pie.”
Saving time on the crust
I’ll be the first to admit I am an extremely novice “from-scratch” baker, so I was relieved when Brown divulged a shortcut to quality pie crust. As it turns out, some store-bought pie crusts can be your friends.
I used a 9-inch pie crust from Whole Foods and followed Veronica’s instructions to pre-bake it to perfection. Before I put it in the oven, I used a fork to poke a few holes on the sides and bottom to keep it from bubbling or shrinking as it cooked. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400°F degrees, and bake the empty pie shell for five to ten minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Making the filling
Brown's recipe for the apple-pecan pie filling has a fairly short ingredient list, meaning you can spend less time shopping for them and more time devouring the finished product. However, if you’re using a deep dish crust, she suggests doubling your pie filling mixture to make sure you fill the entire pie.
To get started, gather the components of your apple pie mixture. These include light corn syrup, eggs, brown sugar, butter, salt, vanilla extract and, of course, apples. Brown recommends using tart Granny Smith apples, and thinly slicing them. Be sure to mix all ingredients by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon, and not in a mixer. You want the texture to remain chunky.
While some people use lemon extract to flavor their pie filling and keep their apples looking and tasting fresh, Brown prefers vanilla extract. Either way works, she says. The choice is yours.
After you’re done mixing the apple pie filling, pour your cup of whole or roughly chopped pecans into the bottom of the pie crust before adding the mixture on top. Don’t worry if your pecans look like they're buried underneath the apple goodness. The nuts will rise once you pour in the apple pie mixture.
Then, all that's left to do is pop this pie into the oven, let it bake, and set it aside to cool before you dish it out—and maybe top it with your favorite ice cream.
Apple-Pecan Pie Recipe
- 1 cup of Karo light corn syrup
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of melted butter
- A pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of pecans
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1 nine-inch pie shell
1. Stir brown sugar, corn syrup, salt melted butter in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add two lightly beaten eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture and continue to stir.
3. Thinly slice two Granny Smith apples and add the slices to the mixture.
4. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the bottom of your pie crust. Then brown it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 400°F.
5. Pour a cup of pecans into the bottom of the pie crust and pour the filling mixture over them.
6. Bake for 35 minutes at 350°F.
7. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Eat as is, or serve with vanilla ice cream.
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