During the holiday season, there's no question as to what pie my family will be making: bourbon pecan pie.
Imagine crème brulée taking an excursion to the dirty South. The glimmering top of the pie is a caramel shell that clings to the pecan pieces. With a few taps of a spoon, the shell cracks and yields to a fluffy custard. It's only when you hit the crust that you're reminded this is, in fact, a pie, and it will compel you to say a quick thank you to the universe that butter exists in the world.
Just remember to follow this very important rule: avoid eating the pie directly from the pie dish, or you'll find yourself unintentionally dipping into half a pie. No one is ever sure how it happens so fast, but consider yourself warned. To slow down the consumption rate, take the time to pull out plates like a civilized member of society, cut small slivers, and invite several friends over to help you share this sweet burden.
Reserve any excess pie crust and filling to make a cobbler that can bake alongside the two pecan pies.
- For dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
- For filling:
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1-1/3 cups light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
- 3 ounces (2 shots) bourbon, such as Maker's Mark
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon, zested
- 4 cups pecan halves, toasted and chopped
- To make pie dough: Blend flours, sugar, and salt in processor (or by hand with a pastry cutter). Add butter, and pulse or chop until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add lemon juice and ice water, and process or chop until moist, shaggy clumps form. Add more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is too dry. Divide dough in half. Press each half into a ball, then flatten into a rough disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Get out 2 9-inch-diameter glass or ceramic pie dishes. Roll out first disk on floured surface into a 1/8-inch-thick, 14-inch-round piece. Transfer dough to pie dish. Trim excess dough, and crimp dough if desired. Repeat with other disk. Poke holes around the bottom of the pie dough (this will release steam later as it cooks). Refrigerate both pie dishes.
- To make pie filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, and then whisk in brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, butter, bourbon, salt, and lemon zest. Stir in pecans. Remove pie dishes from fridge, and fill each crust, leaving 1-inch of space (the filling will expand as it bakes).
- Bake pies until filling is set in center and puffs up, about 55 minutes. (Pies may slightly crack; this is OK.) Serve warm, or at room temperature along honey-whipped cream.
- Desserts, Pies/Tarts
- North American
- Makes 2 pies; each pie will serve 6-8