3 Simple Pecan Pie Recipes You Can't Mess Up

by Chelsey Grasso

Pecan pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert. In fact, it would almost feel wrong not to have it at the table come November 27th this year. Don't let your Thanksgiving feast befall this fate — learn how to make pecan pie. Believe it or not, it's actually a pretty simple task, especially if you enlist the help of a store-bought pie crust (work smarter, not harder). Provided below are three pecan pie recipes that range from traditional to... well... not so traditional. While they may all vary in tastes and textures, I can assure you of one thing: they are all, without a doubt, jaw-droppingly delicious.

For starters, I've provided a recipe for traditional pecan pie, because it's always good to be able to go back to the basics. Following that recipe, you'll see one for a pecan brownie pie. Yeah, I know, right!? And finally, to wrap everything up, I've enlisted a pecan cheesecake recipe. I know what you're thinking right now, and my resolve is this: make them all.

So let's get to it. Grab your apron and throw on your baker's hat. (What do you mean you don't have a baker's hat? Get on that stat!) Let's make some pies guys.

For the Classic Lovers: Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie

If something's not broken, don't fix it, right? That's mostly how I feel about pecan pie (though, I have found some exceptional exceptions below). The Kitchn's traditional recipe nails it on the head, keeping things simple, classic, and delectable.

What You Need:

1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)

1 cup cane sugar syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups halved pecans

How to Make It:

1. Heat the cane sugar syrup until it is at a pourable consistency (microwave or stovetop), then combine it with the sugar, eggs, salt, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Once the filling is smooth, add in the pecans.

2. Fill the pie crust with your mixture, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. (Once the crust begins turning a golden-brown, it's ready.)

3. Enjoy!

For the Chocolate Lovers: Brownie Pecan Pie

What goes well with nuts? Chocolate!!! The lovely ladies over at A Beautiful Mess have the right idea with this sweetly layered dessert. That's right, it's a brownie pecan pie. The culinary world is filled with such beautiful things. This is one of them.

Things You'll Need:

1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)

1 box of brownie mix (and the ingredients it requires)

1 cup chopped pecans

1-2 cups whole pecans

2 eggs

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 up light corn syrup

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make It:

1. Mix together the brownie mix with the ingredients listed on its box, and then pour the batter into your prepared crust.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together your eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and chopped pecans. Once this concoction is thoroughly stirred, pour it on top of the brownie mix in the pie crust.

3. Cover the top of the pie with whole pecans. Get creative with this step if you want and make a pretty design.

4. Cover the pie with foil, poke a small hole at the top, and then bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake the pie for another 30 to 40 minutes.

5. Enjoy!

For the Cheese Lovers: Pecan Cheesecake Pie

You guys, you know how I asked you what goes well with nuts earlier in this article, and then answered my own question with the response of "Chocolate!!!"? I have to retract that statement... and respond instead with CHEESE!!! Here's a mouth-watering recipe from The Merry Thought that looks heavenly. Let's try this one on for size.

What You Need:

1 pie crust (The Merry Thought shows you how to make your own, if you're feeling brave)

8 oz. softened cream cheese

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups pecans, whole or chopped

1 cup light corn syrup

How to Make It:

1. Make your filling. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until the filling appears smooth. Then pour this filling into your pie crust. Next, sprinkle pecans over the cheesecake, or use whole pecans to create a nice design on top of the pie. Baker's choice.

2. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Once it's baked, you can serve it immediately (it will be warm!), or chill it for a day or two.

3. Enjoy!

For full recipes for each of these pies, check out The Kitchn, A Beautiful Mess, and The Merry Thought. Not in the mood for pie? One of these other alternative Thanksgiving desserts ought to do the trick.

Images: Sandi/Flickr, The Kitchn, The Merry Thought, A Beautiful Mess