Food & Drink

Sorghum-Bourbon Pecan Pie

Serves 8

Your new favorite holiday dessert

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

What’s better than fresh pecan pie? Fresh pecan pie with bourbon. What’s better than that? Fresh pecan pie with bourbon and sorghum, which adds a distinctive touch—the warmth of brown sugar crossed with honey’s floral sweetness. Still, the real stars of this show are the pecans, one of fall’s most anticipated treats (and the South’s  only cultivated indigenous nut). In this recipe they perform double duty: crushed pecan cookies for the crust, chopped nuts for the filling.


  • For the crust

    • 15 shortbread pecan sandies

    • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the pie plate

  • For the filling

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

    • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar

    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

    • ¾ cup sorghum syrup

    • 3 tablespoons bourbon

    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

    • 3 large eggs

    • 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) toasted and chopped pecans


  1. For the crust

  2. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Butter a nine-inch plate.

  3. In a food processor, pulse the cookies and flour together until pulverized. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie plate. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

  4. For the filling

  5. Put the butter, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the syrup, bourbon, and vanilla. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together. Temper the egg mixture: slowly whisk ½ cup of the warm butter-sugar mixture into the eggs. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the butter-sugar mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is glossy, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.

  6. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until the center feels set yet soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack; this will take about 4 hours. Serve at room temperature.

  7. Tip: In the unlikely event of leftovers, wrap the pie plate tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Recipe from Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Handbook.