Y’all. This. Pie.
Pecan pie is not something I ever ate before moving. French Silk? Yep. Especially if my mom took the trouble to defrost if fresh for us that day. Apple? Only if it was my grandma’s or from the Amish bakery an hour away. Banana Cream? Truly, this may be where my love affair with pie began, thanks to Back In The Day Bakery.
But, you know what they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when in the South, put bacon fat in your piecrust and bourbon in your pecan pie.
Yes, bourbon. The good stuff. A few tablespoons (which will leave you enough to make a nice drink to enjoy during dinner) makes this seemingly normal pecan pie into something special. It’s also special because there’s no corn syrup in the pie! Yes. Subtracting the corn syrup may be more important that adding the bourbon…maybe…probably not…but it does make a huge difference! Gone is the sickly sweet, tooth-achingly sugary pecan pie you know and in its place is this. Toasted nuts, bacon fat crust, and brown sugar. Sweet, yes, but there’s a complexity to it, layers of flavor.
We have bourbon to thank for that, right?
Bourbon Pecan Pie
(fills one-9 inch pie crust, adapted from AllRecipes)
8 TBSP (1 stick) melted butter, cooled
1 ½ cups brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP whole milk
2 TBSP bourbon (or a little more, who am I to judge?)
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
To toast pecans: place in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally and cooking until oils start to release and nuts become fragrant. (Don’t wander away while you’re toasting nuts, or you’ll come back to burnt nuts.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the butter, sugar and eggs until light in color and thick. Whisk in the salt, vanilla, flour, milk and bourbon. Stir in nuts.
Pour into prepared piecrust. If you’d like, add a little egg wash to the crust to get it golden brown and shiny.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, until edges are set and center barely wiggles (the pie will continue to cook as it cools). *You may need to cover the edges of the crust with foil or a pie ring halfway through the cooking process to keep them from burning. That’s ok, you’re doing great!
Cool completely on rack before serving.
If baking ahead of time, simply wrap pie tightly in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove from fridge one hour before serving, or even pop it back in a 300 degree over for 10 minutes to crisp back up!