Dairy Farmers of Canada

Easy Lemon Pecan Pie

This recipe is taken from the 2009 Milk Calendar. A glistening topping of pecans on a lemony filling makes this pie dazzling, yet no one will guess how easy it was to make.

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
  • Refrigeration: 3 h
Yields 6 - 8 servings
easy lemon pecan pie
It will be impossible to resist the fabulous pie presented in this video. The delicate taste of its luscious lemony filling blends perfectly with toasted glazed pecans. You’ll amaze your guests during the holidays with this truly elegant dessert.


  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • Grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (155 mL) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 mL) pecan halves
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) water
  • 9 inch (23 cm) graham cracker or shortbread crumb pie crust
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In a saucepan, heat milk and lemon zest over medium heat until steaming; remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar and cornstarch; whisk in eggs. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture in a thin, steady stream.

Return to saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 8 min or until thickened to pudding consistency. Transfer to a clean, shallow bowl; stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface and let cool. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast pecans, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 4 to 7 min or until toasted and fragrant; transfer to a bowl and set aside. Quickly add remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar and water to pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and starting to brown. Add 3/4 of the pecans back to skillet; remove from heat and stir until pecans are glazed. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Let cool. Finely chop the unglazed pecans; sprinkle in bottom of pie crust. Set glazed nuts aside.

Up to 8 hours before serving, spread chilled lemon filling in pie crust over chopped pecans, smoothing top. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, arrange glazed pecans, rounded side up, on top of filling.


Zest the lemons on a fine side of a cheese grater or with a microplane-style grater. Then, squeeze out the juice and refrigerate or freeze any extra in an airtight container for another use.

For the Adventurous: Substitute Meyer lemons for the regular or add zest of 1 lime for a lemon-lime version. Top each serving with sweetened whipped cream.

Healthy Eating Tip: Don't fret over your waistline during the holiday season; keep active doing errands, lifting parcels and shovelling snow so you can savour a slice of this fabulous pie.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 369 Calories
Protein: 7 g
Carbohydrate: 44 g
Fat: 18 g
Fibre: 2 g
Sodium: 198 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 8 % / 92 mg
Riboflavin: 13 %
Vitamin B12: 16 %
Vitamin D: 15 %
Zinc: 13 %