David Guas' Pecan Pie Recipe

David Guas' Pecan Pie Recipe
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

I’ve probably been eating pecan pie since I was in diapers. Nut allergies? Please. Southerners are weaned from the bottle with pecan pie, celebrate marriage with pecan pie, and say goodbye to their loved ones with pecan pie. When I was in my teens, I’d go to the Camellia Grill on Carrollton Avenue and sit at the counter for a burger, dressed (in New Orleans-ese that means with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo), cheese fries, and pecan pie, grilled on the flat top on both sides and then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

That said, like most Louisianans, I ate the bulk of my pecan pie at the kitchen table surrounded by relatives and relations. Below is my recipe for pecan pie from my cookbook. I’m particularly loyal to Louisiana-grown ingredients, which is why in addition to Louisiana pecans I like to sweeten my pecan pie with cane syrup rather than corn syrup or molasses. Cane syrup gives this pie the earthiness of molasses minus its bitter qualities and is a whole lot more interesting, flavor-wise, than corn syrup.  — Chef David Guas

Click here for other chefs' holiday culinary traditions.

Adapted from "Dam Good Sweet, Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style" by David Guas.


For the crust:

Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the smallest pieces are about the size of corn kernels, 10-12 pulses. Add 5 tablespoons of water and pulse until the dough is no longer dry (when squeezed in your hand, it should form a ball and hold its shape), 4-6 times (if the dough is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of ice water). Turn the dough out onto your work surface and form it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 1 month; defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using).

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (let it sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften). Flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, 1⁄8-inch thick. Fold the dough into quarters and transfer to a 9 ½-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough and fit it into the pie plate, then trim off all but ¼ inch of the overhang. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the edge of the dough together to form a granny crimp. Chill while you make the filling.

For the filling:

Whisk the egg and the egg yolks together in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the cane syrup, sugar, cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the butter and  melt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, continue to cook the mixture until it is hot but not bubbling, about 1 minute. Whisk the sugar mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time, just until the bottom of the bowl is warm to the touch, and then add the remaining sugar mixture. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.

Take the pie plate out of the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pecan pieces into the piecrust and pour the filling on top. Bake until the center has a little resistance, like a soft-setting custard, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Here's an interesting variation, Bourbon-Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie. Follow the recipe, but add 2 tablespoons of bourbon along with the vanilla to the hot egg-sugar base. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and place it in an ice-water bath to chill for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place 1 ¼ cups of pecans into the pie shell and top with an even layer of ½ cup of semisweet chocolate chips (or roughly chopped semisweet chocolate). Pour the slightly cooled filling into the shell and bake according to the recipe.


Calories per serving:

1,642 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Daily value:



  • Fat 53g 81%
  • Carbs 304g 101%
  • Saturated 24g 121%
  • Fiber 3g 10%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 283g
  • Monounsaturated 19g
  • Polyunsaturated 6g
  • Protein 8g 15%
  • Cholesterol 235mg 78%
  • Sodium 396mg 17%
  • Calcium 194mg 19%
  • Magnesium 65mg 16%
  • Potassium 457mg 13%
  • Iron 10mg 56%
  • Zinc 2mg 13%
  • Phosphorus 175mg 25%
  • Vitamin A 355µg 39%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 1%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 40%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 22%
  • Niacin (B3) 2mg 10%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 8%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 69µg 17%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 6%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 2mg 8%
  • Vitamin K 4µg 5%
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