Happy Pie Day everyone. I love pie. I have featured a coconut cream, rhubarb- peach, rustic apple and chocolate cream pie and now- I give you Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie. Oh yes, my darlings. Pee-can Pie.
Hunky Hubbie and I were on our annual trip across the country from Florida to Montana and decided to make a pit stop off I-75 in rural Georgia to pick up a little lunch and a few bags of fresh Georgia Pecans for pie baking. My husband’s family is from Georgia and he attended law school in Macon, so this is a much beloved pilgrimage.
We stopped at Lane Southern Orchards which is a perfect stop for its’ charm, ambiance and the huge pecan groves so our Golden Retirever could run around and wear himself out a bit. We stoped in the cafe and picked up several bags of Lane’s gorgeous fragrant pecans.
I wanted to make a pie that honors my husband’s Southern roots in Georgia. I created a pie that is not too sweet and has a touch of Bourbon- because, well, Hunky Hubbie loves his bourbon.
I statrted with my husband’s grandmother’s pie recipe that is as classic as they come:
3 medium eggs
1 cup dark Karo Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
4 TBSP butter
1 TBSP vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
It is baked in a pastry shell and is as perfect as you can get. Delicious.
But, I can never things well enough alone.
I remembered a Garden & Gun recipe from their cookbook: The Southerner’s Cookbook which had a shortbread cookie crust and a sourghum- bourbon filing. Okay- now we’re talking. But that recipe proved to be a tad too sweet for me and sourgham is not readily available everywhere.
So- third try.
No sorghum, but molasses, way less Karo syrup, lots more pecans and a touch of sea salt. Bam! The molasses has a slightly smokey flavor and mixed with the soft floral notes of the bourbon- pie heaven! Oh me- Oh my!
Serve with unsweetened whipped cream unless you have a wicked sweet tooth and want to add a pinch of sugar.
Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie
- for the crust:
16 shortbread pecan sandies
6 TBSP all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 TBSP unsalted butter
- for the filling:
1 1/2 cup pecans, (6 oz) chopped and lightly toasted
6 TBSP unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup dark Karo syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten well
3 TBSP bourbon
butter for the pie plate
heavy cream- for topping
Method- baking: 45 minutes. Cooling time: 4 hours
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter very liberally a 9″ pie plate
- For the crust:
In a food processor, process the shortbread cookies and the flour until well combined. Add in the salt & butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour the crumb mixture into the buttered pie plate. With the back of a 1 cup measuring cup, press the pie crust into shape and up the sides of the dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove, set on a wire rack and let cool completely.
- For the filling:
Put the 6 TBSP of butter, light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt into a saucepan and cook over medium low heat until melted and fully combined. Whisking, add in the Karo syrup, molasses and bourbon.
Beat eggs in a small bowl. Off heat, add 1/8 of a cup of the bourbon-sugar mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly to temper them so they do not scramble. Add in a small amount of the bourbon mixture three to four more times to the eggs. Then pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook until glossy- about 2-3 more minutes. Off heat, pour in the vanilla. Fold in the toasted pecans.
- Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees until the pie is set.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack.
- Serve with unsweetened freshly whipped heavy cream. The pie will keep up to two days in the fridge if well wrapped with plastic .