Just this morning I pulled out an index card and wrote MY THANKSGIVING CONTRIBUTIONS over a list of the things I’m in charge of this year. Brussels Sprouts Salad, for one. Pumpkin Pie for the traditionalists. And this- Bourbon Pecan Pie. It’s been the star of the Thanksgiving dessert show for three years running, and I’m pretty sure there would be an uprising if I didn’t make it.
I wanted to share the recipe last year, but how lame is that to share a Thanksgiving recipe after Thanksgiving? So I snapped a couple of photos for next year, which is now 3 days away. I may reshoot the pie this year and update the pictures, but for now, you should have this recipe. I hope it finds its way to your table on Thursday.
Unfortunately, this crust is not gluten free. But you could totally use your favorite gf pie crust in conjunction with the rest of this recipe, which is gluten free! I’ve recently been experimenting with organic ap flour and find I don’t feel sick if I eat it in moderation, but you know your own body. Do what you need to do :)
for the crust:
3½ ounces pecan halves
6 ounces all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons very cold butter, cubed
2 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons bourbon, chilled
for the filling:
3 large eggs
3½ ounces sugar
6 ounces corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces spiced pecans, divided
for the spiced pecans:
1 pound pecan halves
4 tablespoons butter
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
First, get the pecans ready. Place them in a large skillet and toast over medium heat. Stir frequently. Once the nuts are lightly browned, add the butter to the pan and toss to coat the pecans and melt the butter. Sprinkle the salt and cinnamon over the nuts; toss to coat. Finally, add the brown sugars and the water and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. The mixture will bubble and thicken. Spread the pecans in an even layer on a piece of parchment paper and allow them to cool completely.
Next, make the crust. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse them into a fine meal. Add the flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse to create a mealy texture. Pour in the water and bourbon and pulse until just combined. When squeezed, the dough should hold together easily.
Place the dough in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Form the dough into a ball, then flatten slightly into a thick disk. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make the filling. Whisk all of the filling ingredients except the pecans together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Lightly coat a standard 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Cut down both sides of the bag containing the dough and lay the bag open. Sprinkle each side of the dough lightly with flour, then lay the bag closed and roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Gently lay the dough over the pie pan and ease it into sides. Roll and/or crimp the dough around the top.
Chop 6 ounces of the spiced pecans and distribute evenly over the bottom of the pie. Gently pour the filling over the pecans. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and lay the remaining 2 ounces of pecans around the edge of the pie to form a border. Return the pie to the oven, bake for 10 more minutes (a toothpick will come out clean), then allow the pie to cool completely before serving (about 4 hours).
Note: I bake this the afternoon before Thanksgiving… it always works perfectly and makes life easier.