When it comes to desserts, VinePair readers may already know that bourbon goes with everything. That feels especially true when it comes to an essential Thanksgiving sweet: pecan pie. With its warm, nutty, maple-vanilla essence, bourbon truly shines when it mingles with pecans and ooey-gooey goodness.
While corn syrup is a staple in every pecan pie, this recipe incorporates brown sugar to impart a caramel sweetness that’s a perfect pairing for the spirit. It also includes a touch of vanilla extract and a sprinkling of cinnamon for good measure.
This recipe adds bourbon to the pie’s filling, as well as soaking whole pecans in the whiskey for a boozy experience that’s sure to make this a Thanksgiving to remember. And while bourbon is undeniably the star spirit here, behind the scenes vodka adds a flakiness to the pie’s crust — complementing the treat’s irresistible texture.
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Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe
- 2 ½ cups pastry flour (preferred) or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup vegetable shortening cut into 4 pieces
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ¼-inch cubes (keep in freezer after cubing)
- ¼ cup cold vodka (80 proof)
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 egg, whisked
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup corn syrup (light, dark, or a mix of both)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons bourbon plus 3 tablespoons for soaking pecans
- ½ cup whole pecans plus 1½ cups chopped pecans
- In a small bowl, soak the ½ cup of whole pecans in 3 tablespoons of bourbon. Set aside.
- For the crust, combine flour, salt, sugar, and shortening in a food processor until the mixture has a mealy texture.
- Add butter, and pulse until pea-sized pieces form.
- Add vodka and water, and pulse until mixture begins to stick together.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and form into a ball.
- Cut dough in half, and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Roll out into a large disk, and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- While the dough chills, begin making the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, combine eggs, corn syrup, both sugars, salt, cinnamon, butter, bourbon, and vanilla until well mixed.
- Place chilled dough onto a 9×2 inch pie dish. Poke the sides and bottom of the crust with a fork.
- Spread chopped pecans on the bottom of the crust, then pour egg mixture over the top.
- Strain the bourbon off the whole pecans and spread them on top of the pie.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 2-3 hours or overnight.