Recipe: Healthier Pecan Pie (and no corn syrup!)

This pecan pie was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. With a perfect ratio of nuts to filling and filling to crust, the pie was a crowd-pleaser for sure in our house. And by that, I mean it disappeared within two days.

I guess we just can’t shut our pie holes. Open-mouthed smile


When I first entertained the idea of making a pie (a rare occurrence considering I don’t much care for pie), I had a hard time deciding which flavor.

Fruit? Ewwwwww. I am not a fan of gloppy, cooked fruit.

Pumpkin? I wouldn’t mind, but I knew everyone else would think it out of season.

Banana or Coconut Cream? Again, not my thing whatsoever. Blake would probably love a banana cream pie though.

Eschewing the weirder flavors (mincemeat…), I decided on pecan. My whole family likes it, and I was not adverse. (Especially considering my love for nuts and nut butters!)

Pecan it was!

photo 3 (3)

Of course, I had a few requirements.

1) No corn syrup – Whether or not corn syrup is truly bad for you, I don’t know. However, being that it is still considered controversial in the food world, I decided to steer clear. When pecan pie was invented, corn syrup wasn’t involved, so I knew it was do-able.

2) Healthier than the average pie – True to the nature of my love for health/nutrition (and this blog!), I wanted to make this pie a little healthier without sacrificing taste. I made the following adjustments:

  • no lard in the pie crust
  • nonfat sour cream instead of regular
  • unbleached flour
  • no corn syrup in the filling
  • whole wheat flour in the filling
  • molasses in the filling for a boost of flavor + minerals

I also used almond milk in the filling because I figured the subtle smooth nuttiness would compliment the pecan flavor well.


Summer Pecan Pie

I’m not generally a pie person, but this pie is good stuff. An intricately flavored molasses filling and warm, toasty pecans add a wonderful depth to the pie, while the flaky crust serves as a great canvas. Sweet and buttery without being too rich, the pie is perfect for a night at home or a summer gathering. Even better, there is no corn syrup or other icky additives!


Crust 2 cups flour 1/2 cup butter, very cold and cubed in small pieces 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream, heaping 1/4 tsp salt

Filling 1 cup brown sugar 2 tbsp white sugar 2 tbsp molasses 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 2 eggs 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour 1 tbsp almond milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup pecans, chopped extra pecans (for garnish), optional



  1. Before you begin, make sure you’re butter is very cold. Cut butter into flour with a knife, fork, or pastry cutter. Continue incorporating butter into flour, working quickly until a coarse sand-like texture is formed. (Note: Do NOT melt butter into the flour mixture.)
  2. Place mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove bowl from freezer and pour contents onto a wooden cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll the butter into the flour—beginning to form a dough with the flattened butter.
  4. Then, add the sour cream and continue rolling to form a ball. The dough ball should be moist but not wet. If necessary, you can add a little bit more flour, until this consistency is reached.
  5. Return the dough to the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Take the dough out of the freezer, and roll out into a circle, roughly 10 inches in diameter (to fit your pie pan).
  7. Take circle and fit it in a greased pie pan, crimping the edges if desired.
  8. At this point, you can return the dough to the freezer and save for later use or proceed with the recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until foamy. Stir in melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Whisk again until even mixture is formed.
  3. Add the milk, flour, and pecans. Again, stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour filling mixture into unbaked 9 –inch pie shell. Garnish with extra pecans, if desired.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go shut my pie hole, so I can a) go do hot yoga and b) you can go make this. Smile 

Happy Memorial Day!