Recipe

Cooking from the Bar Cart: Bourbon-Spiked Pecan Pie Two Ways

Because spirited holiday tables often demand spirited takes on the classics, here are two versions of bourbon pecan pie—one with dark chocolate and one that layers in silky pumpkin

Slices of pie on white plates with a cup of coffee

photo: KATHERINE COBBS / BLUELINE CREATIVE GROUP


When it comes to cooking with liquor, sometimes it’s really all about flavor. A spoonful or two of bourbon in the filling, drizzled on the surface, or embellishing billows of whipped cream gives the components spirited distinction in these dueling versions of bourbon pecan pie. 

In the first recipe, bourbon’s boozy bite tempers the sweet nuttiness of traditional pecan filling accented with dark chocolate. The second version lets bourbon’s vanilla and caramel notes harmonize with layers of pecan and the warm spice of creamy pumpkin custard. If you can’t decide whether pumpkin or pecan should grace your holiday table, let this mashup be your plan. Get both recipes below.

See other recipes in our Cooking from the Bar Cart series.


Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Yield: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

A pie with pecans on top and next to it

Ingredients

    • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust, chilled

    • 4 large eggs

    • ½ cup dark corn syrup

    • ½ cup sugar

    • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

    • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

    • 2 to 3 tbsp. bourbon, divided

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    • ½ tsp. kosher salt

    • 2 cups toasted pecan halves, divided

    • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate morsels

    • Bourbon whipped cream, optional (recipe follows below)


Preparation

  1. Par-bake the crust: Place oven rack in bottom third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Do not prick chilled crust. Line the crust with a double layer of foil. Bake 10 minutes. Remove foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Return crust to oven to bake 5 minutes more, or until edges are lightly golden and bottom is dry. Remove crust and set aside while you prepare the filling. 

     

  2. Make the filling: Whisk together eggs, corn syrup, sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, 2 tablespoons bourbon, vanilla extract, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside ¾-cup toasted pecan halves and coarsely chop the rest. Scatter the chopped pecans and chocolate on bottom of par-baked pie crust. Add reserved pecan halves for contrasting textures, or save them to garnish the top of the baked pie. Pour egg mixture on top of pecans and chocolate. 

  3. Place pie on a baking sheet in oven. Bake at 350°F, until filling is puffed and set and crust is golden brown, about 1 hour, rotating pie about halfway through. Transfer pie to a baking rack and sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon bourbon over surface, if desired. Arrange reserved pecan halves, if using, on top of the pie. Let pie cool completely, at least 2 hours. Filling will set further as pie cools. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours before serving. (Once cool, the baked pie can be covered and chilled up to 3 days or wrapped tightly and frozen up to 1 month.) Bring to room temperature, or warm slightly, to serve. Top with bourbon whipped cream (recipe follows below), if desired.


Bourbon Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Yield: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

A slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on a plate

Ingredients

    • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust, chilled

  • For the pumpkin layer

    • 1 cup pumpkin puree

    • ½ cup packed brown sugar

    • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

    • 3 eggs

    • ¼ cup heavy cream

    • 1 tbsp. bourbon

  • For the pecan layer

    • 2 eggs

    • ¼ cup dark corn syrup

    • ¼ cup sugar

    • 1 tbsp. maple syrup

    • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

    • 1 tbsp. bourbon

    • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

    • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans

  • Bourbon whipped cream

    • 1 ¼ cup chilled heavy cream

    • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar

    • 1 tbsp. bourbon


Preparation

  1. Par-bake the crust: Place oven rack in bottom third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Do not prick chilled crust. Line the crust with a double layer of foil. Bake 10 minutes. Remove foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Return crust to oven to bake 5 minutes more, or until edges are lightly golden and bottom is dry. Remove crust and set aside while you prepare the filling.

  2. Make the pumpkin layer: Stir together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pie spice, eggs, cream, and bourbon in a mixing bowl. Pour pumpkin filling into par-baked shell and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

  3. Make the pecan layer: Combine eggs, corn syrup, sugar, maple syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla extract, salt, and chopped pecans in a mixing bowl. Gently spoon on top of pumpkin layer and continue to bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until top layer is puffed up, set, and crust is golden brown.

  4. Let pie cool completely, at least 2 hours. Filling will set further as pie cools. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours before serving. (Once cool, the baked pie can be covered and chilled up to 3 days or wrapped tightly and frozen up to 1 month.) Bring to room temperature, or warm slightly, to serve. Top with bourbon whipped cream (recipe follows), if desired.

  5. Bourbon whipped cream: Beat the cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed to soft peaks; add the bourbon. Beat to stiff peaks.

  6. Tip: If crust begins to brown before the pie has set, cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil during the last half of baking.

Katherine Cobbs is a cookbook author and editor. Her most recent books are Pantry Cocktails (2021) and Tequila & Tacos (2020) published by Simon & Schuster. She also developed recipes for Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook – Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories.

Garden & Gun has an affiliate partnership with bookshop.org and may receive a portion of sales when a reader clicks to buy a book. All books are independently selected by the G&G editorial team.

 


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