I absolutely love pie and will gladly enjoy it year round. With us just entering the fall season, I thought it would be a great time to make a Caramel Pecan Pie that is not only absolutely delicious, but so simple to make you’ll be enjoying it year round. What what makes this pie stand above the rest? For me, it’s the great flavor without the excessive sweetness that you find with most pecan pies. The filling is made with brown sugar and caramel bits that give it a smooth texture without that sickly sweetness that you get from corn syrup. Add that to a flaky crust and you have an amazing pie that everyone will want seconds of.
For this pie, I recommend making your own pie crust. While store bought can save a little time, the results aren’t nearly as good because store dough lacks in flavor and won’t produce that light flaky texture that a homemade pie crust will. Most use store bought because they think the crust is overly complicated but it only take 5 simple ingredients and a few minutes to make your own and the flavor can not be beat. Check out our Homemade Pie Dough Recipe to see how easy it really is. Plus, if you are feeding a crowd or prepping for the holidays, you can make the pie dough the day before, wrap it in plastic wrap, and leave it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Here are a few simple tips to making the perfect pie that will make everyone think you are a pro:
- Keep it cold: Make sure all your ingredients are cold, this is the key to a flaky crust. I would even go so far as chilling your equipment to help keep the ingredients cold.
- Work the dough as little as possible, you don’t want the butter or shortening to melt into the flour until it starts baking, again the key to flaky crust.
- Use as little water as possible, just enough so that when you pinch the dough it comes together.
- Add a splash of vinegar (apple cider or white) to your crust. That helps prevent a tough dough by preventing the gluten from forming.
- Let the dough rest in the refrigerator before rolling it out. This will help the gluten in the flour to relax and for the butter/shortening to solidify, giving you an amazing light and flaky crust.
- Once dough is rolled out, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. This will help reduce the dough from shrinking when it’s baking, which is extremely important to avoid on one crust pies like this one or pumpkin pie. It’s heartbreaking to make a pie and see the crust fell into the filling in the oven.
- Brush the dough with egg wash prior to adding the filling (I do this when I roll it out before I put it in the refrigerator) as this will act like a seal, preventing the dough from getting soggy while giving your crust that nice golden brown color.
Pecan Pie Filling
- 1 cup caramel
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 whole eggs room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cup pecan halves
- Roll out your pie dough and transfer to your standard sized pie pan, crimping the edges. Whisk together 2 tsp water and 1 egg in a small bowl. Lightly brush mixture on the pie dough, including the bottom and sides where the filling will go. This will help seal the dough so it doesn't get soggy during baking. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes while you are making the filling.
Pecan Pie Filling
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-6 minutes until the pecans are lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
- In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk, then stir frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt together until it's about doubled in size. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture (make sure mixture has slightly cooled, about 5 minutes, so you aren't cooking the eggs). Stir in pecans and pour filling into prepared pie crust.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and the filling has set. Allow to cool until filling is firm.