Pecan pie is a staple at many Thanksgiving tables and a solid dessert option throughout the holiday season. The most traditional pecan pies are made with a lot of corn syrup and a lot of pecans, leading to a pie that has a sticky sweet base and a nutty, crunchy topping. Pecan pies are not difficult to make, but they are difficult to make well and when I noticed that Trader Joe’s was selling Pecan Pie Filling in a Jar this holiday season, I wanted to give it a try to see how well it streamlined the pie-making process – and to see how tasty the filling was!
The filling is contained in a large mason jar and is made with no corn syrup. The ingredients are cane sugar, water, pecans, brown sugar, bourbon, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cream of tartar, salt and citric acid. That’s it. To make the pie, simply combine the jarred filling with four eggs and some melted butter, then pour into a prebaked pie crust and bake until set.
The pie couldn’t have been easier to put together, but it did require a bit of extra baking time in my oven (typical of Trader Joe’s items, I’ve found). If your pie isn’t set at the end of the recommended baking time, simply leave it in the oven until the filling no longer jiggles and is set. The pie had an excellent flavor, more than most pecan pies, because you could really taste the molasses-y brown sugar and bourbon in every bite. I also found that there were plenty of pecans in this pie and that, for about $7, this filling might actually be less expensive than baking a pecan pie from scratch (especially if you bake your own crust). I did find that the custard portion of the pie was slightly more wet than some pecan pies, though my technique for slicing pecan pie allowed me to slice it neatly and it didn’t bother anyone who tasted it. I think that could have been solved with an extra couple of minutes in the oven, too.
I’d definitely recommend this filling and will keep a jar in my pantry for pecan pie emergencies. You can also use the filling straight out of the jar for topping off ice cream and cakes because the flavorful syrup is quite tasty on its own.