side view of chocolate coconut pie

Corn syrup isn’t just used in pecan pie as a sweetener. It also creates a super smooth texture in the filling by preventing sugar crystallization during baking (no one want a grainy pie!), and it helps retain moisture so the pie doesn’t dry out. It has a neutral flavor, so the flavors of brown sugar, vanilla and pecan really stand out.

Can you use a substitute such as honey, pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup for light corn syrup? Yes, you can use one of these substitutes in pecan pie, typically 1:1. However, they will each alter the flavor of the pie and since they have a thinner consistency than light corn syrup, the pie filling will be more soft after baking. If you really want to use one of these ingredients, consider finding a recipe specifically developed with the one you’d like to use.