Pecan pie is a Thanksgiving tradition in my household, and I was on a quest to create the ultimate version—the best pecan pie recipe. I think this might be it! —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
Dough for single-crust pie
1/2 cup butter
2-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon, optional
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: Whipped cream and ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim crust to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans; cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and pecans start to brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove pecans with a slotted spoon, reserving butter in pan. Stir in brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into eggs; return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Stir whiskey, optional, and vanilla into brown sugar mixture; stir in pecans. Pour into crust.
Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Cover edges with foil during the last 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Refrigerate leftovers.
1 piece: 695 calories, 49g fat (17g saturated fat), 130mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 4g fiber), 8g protein.