Easy As Pie

Fresh out of the oven, one Chocolate Pecan Rum Pie and one Chocolate Pecan No-rum Pie, both gluten-free. EVERYONE GETS PIE.

Pecan Pie is a wonderful thing. You mix up a bunch of stuff—in one bowl—pour it into a crust, bake, and people are impressed. Pretend you worked hard. Don’t tell them how easy it was.

The hardest part is the crust, and you have options. If gluten isn’t a problem, and you enjoy making traditional crusts, knock yourself out. If gluten isn’t a problem, and you don’t enjoy (or fear) making piecrust, use a Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pie Crust or something similar. They’re not bad. I put them past my grandmother—the woman who taught me to make piecrust—for years before she found out, and she only found out because I confessed. Near the end of her baking years, she used them herself.

If gluten is an issue, you’ll need to do a little more work but not much. I highly recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix. It’s easily available in most grocery stores, not hard to make, and it’s delicious.

The gluten-free version did not suck. EVERYONE HAD PIE.

I made the two pies pictured in honor of a visiting cousin. She has Celiac Disease and loves pie (because who doesn’t love pie?). You know That Person at family gatherings? The one who as soon as they hear gluten-free lifts their eyebrows and acts skeptical, sure they’re missing out on something even though they went decades before they ever heard of gluten? That Person went back for seconds. Maybe thirds.

Traditional Pecan Pie, which usually contains both some sort of syrup and sugar is really sweet. Some say too sweet. My grandmother came up with the following recipe for Not-So-Sweet Pecan pie. When I take it places, people rave. They go back for seconds, often saying, “I usually can’t eat two pieces of Pecan Pie. I WANT THREE.” Less sweet also makes it perfect for adding chocolate. Or booze. Or BOTH.

In honor of the new year, I give you my grandmother’s Pecan Pie recipe, with my variations.

Happy New Year. May it be filled with pie.

Grandma Fischer's Pecan Pie


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1½ cups dark corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups pecans
  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust, traditional or gluten-free


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Beat eggs.
  3. Fold in other ingredients, adding pecans last.
  4. Pour into unbaked 9-inch pie shell.
  5. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn oven to 350° and bake for 40 minutes or until done.


  • Chocolate Pecan Pie: Prepare through step three. Before pouring filling into shell, cover the bottom of the pie shell with 1 to 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks. Continue as directed.
  • Tipsy Pecan Pie: Add 3 tablespoons to ¼ cup of bourbon or dark rum to filling, in step 3. (Rum is the safer gluten-free option as some bourbon may contain traces of gluten.)
  • Better Yet: Add both the chocolate and the bourbon or rum!


  • Pecan halves make for a pretty but hard to slice pie. I either use half pecan bits and pieces and half pecan halves or break up about half of the pecan halves. Pretty pecan halves float to the top, and the pie is easier to slice.
  • For gluten-free, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix. The texture is more like a cookie-crust than a traditional crust, but it is delicious.

Recipe by Patricia Lillie: https://patricialillie.com/2015/01/01/easy-as-pie/