If you’re a fan of the rich, buttery sweetness of pecan pie and the warm, comforting notes of bourbon, you’re in for a treat. This Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe encapsulates the essence of indulgence and hospitality, perfect for Thanksgiving.
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Recipe for Bourbon Pecan Pie with Brown Butter
Pecan pie, a quintessential American dessert, has its roots deep in the South, where pecan trees flourish. This dessert first graced our tables in the late 19th century, and its blend of crunchy pecans, sugary filling, and a flaky crust soon won over hearts nationwide. Whether as a Thanksgiving staple or a year-round treat, pecan pie has a special place in our hearts.
Regional variations abound, with some recipes using molasses, while others favor corn syrup. Additionally, traditions like the “derby pie” in Kentucky and the “Texas pecan pie” showcase the adaptability of pecan pie to local tastes.
In this variation we are adding in bourbon and brown butter for a flavorful twist on this classic dessert.
Why Bourbon Goes Well in Pecan Pie
Now, let’s discuss the star of the show: bourbon. The smoky, oaky, and slightly sweet notes of bourbon complement pecan pie like a symphony. Bourbon not only enhances the sweetness of the filling but also adds a depth and complexity that takes this classic dessert to new heights. The alcohol’s warmth infuses the pecan pie with a touch of Southern charm, making it a true delicacy for the senses.
Bourbon can contain many profiles but due to the nature of corn being the number one ingredient, bourbon often contains sweet notes perfect for pairng with pecan.
There is something about the combination of bourbon and pecan pie that can elevate any gathering. The rich, slightly boozy filling adds an adult twist to a beloved classic. And don’t worry; the alcohol bakes off during cooking, leaving behind only the essence of bourbon!
- Pie Shell/Pie Dough Recipe – Your choice to go with an easy to use store bought pie shell or a homemade pie dough. If you are wanting to go homemade may I suggest my recipe for All Butter Pie Crust.
- Light Brown Sugar – You may use dark brown sugar if that is what you have, I used light dark brown sugar to help it avoid getting too dark.
- Dark Corn Syrup
- Light Corn Syrup
- Bourbon – For Bourbon use your favorite budget bourbon, no need to use the good stuff here because we are baking with it!
- Butter – Unsalted
- Salt – Just a pinch
- Vanilla Extract – For added flavor
- Pecan Halves – Whole pecans, they will most likely be called pecan halves on the packaging.
Prepare the Pie Crust
Start by preheating the oven to 350º F.
Place pie shell into a 9 inch pie plate and shape crust if preferred. I like to usually fold under any extra dough and then crimp the crust with my fingers for a decorative touch.
Brown the Butter
Don’t forget to add that extra flavor to your butter. Add the butter to a skillet, bring over medium heat. Let melt and brown, stirring until you see the brown bits. Remove from heat to cool until needed.
Prepare the Bourbon Pecan Filling
Now make the filling, in a large bowl add eggs and beat together.
Add brown sugar, dark and light corn syrups. Whisk together.
Add the brown butter, bourbon, and vanilla to the egg mixture. Beat mixture until combined. Add the pecans and stir.
Assemble the Pie
Pour the filling mixture carefully and evenly into the pie shell. The pecans will float to the top.
Bake and Serve
Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. The center of the pie will jiggle when done but should not be soupy. Let pie cool completely before eating, pie is best after it has been in the refrigerator overnight. Serve with vanilla ice cream for an extra touch!
tips, tricks and questions
Can I use a store-bought crust, or should I make my own?
Absolutely, you can use a store-bought pie crust for convenience. However, making your own can add a delightful homemade touch!
What type of bourbon works best in this recipe?
You can use your favorite bourbon! Since we are baking with it I would not recommend using a ‘nice’ bourbon, I used Maker’s Mark in this recipe.
Is it possible to make this pie without alcohol for non-drinkers or kids?
Yes, you can omit the bourbon entirely. Although the alcohol does cook off, if you feel uncomfortable using it just omit it. The pie will still be delicious, with a traditional pecan pie flavor.
Can I make this pie in advance, and if so, how should I store it?
You can make the pie a day ahead and store in the refrigerator, covered. For serving remove from the fridge and let sit for a bit to take the chill off before serving.
- 1 9-inch pie shell/pie dough recipe
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Place pie shell/rolled out dough into a 9 inch pie plate and shape crust if preferred. (Or use a store bought pie shell!)
- Add butter to a skillet, bring over medium heat. Let melt and brown, stirring until you see the brown bits. Remove from heat to cool until needed.
- Now make the filling, in a large bowl add eggs and beat together.
- Add brown sugar, dark and light corn syrups. Whisk together. Add brown butter, bourbon, and vanilla to egg mixture. Beat mixture until combined. Add the pecans and stir.
- Pour the filling mixture carefully and evenly into the pie shell. The pecans will float to the top.
- Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The center of the pie will jiggle when done but should not be soupy. Let pie cool completely before eating, pie is best after it has been in the refrigerator overnight.
Pecan pie is not meant to be served warm out of the oven, you will want to make sure it cools all the way down before serving.
If the pie is starting to look too dark before it is done loosely cover with aluminum foil to slow down the browning.
Serving Size:1/8th the pie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 3gSugar: 41gProtein: 6g
Nutritional data is automated and might not be 100% accurate, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.