• Yield: Serves 8

Back in the day, home cooks used to clip recipes from women's auxiliary books and the Sunday papers, or they'd find them on the label of a trusted brand. My mom made her pecan pie from the recipe on the back of the Karo corn syrup bottle. She even called it "Karo pie." Our version of this classic pie is rich and buttery and features plenty of crunchy Georgia pecans and a shot of Kentucky bourbon.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 

  • 1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup 

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour 

  • 3 large eggs 

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon 

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

  • 1 3/4 cups pecan halves 

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional) 

  • 1 recipe Shortcut Piecrust made with brown sugar, unbaked


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together both sugars, the corn syrup, salt, flour, and eggs, mixing until completely combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, bourbon, and butter until well combined. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips, if using.

Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the pie is firm around the edges and just a bit loose in the center.

Remove the pie from the oven and cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack before slicing. It's best served the same day, but it can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

Excerpted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Squire Fox.