Thursday, November 24, 2011

Alton Brown's Bourbon Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my favorite parts of the meal is pecan pie.  This year, I was on a mission to make it in a totally new way.  When Good Eats: Countdown to T-Day came on Food Network a few days ago, I knew I had found my muse.

I was so excited that I drove 20 miles to the nearest really good cookware store and bought the 10-inch x 2-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  I also walked next door to get the $13 dollar bottle of bourbon.  I even searched three different grocery stores for Lyle's Golden Syrup, which was on sale at Harris Teeter for $4.59.  Whew.

Was it worth it?  I'll find out later today when everyone takes a bite!  I had a blast making it.  Alton's recipe calls for his spiced pecans, which are seasoned with cayenne and cumin.  This pie will be served to traditionalists and kids, so I used plain pecan halves instead.  I toasted them in a cake pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 7 minutes.

I've never used golden syrup, so I had to take a taste.  Amazing!  It has a roasty, toasty caramel flavor.  Don't cheat and use corn syrup!!

From Food

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2011
Prep Time:
40 min
Inactive Prep Time:
4 hr 30 min
Cook Time:
50 min
1 pie; 8 servings



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 1/2 ounces pecan halves or pieces
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, chilled


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 6 ounces golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces Spiced Pecans, recipe follows, coarsely chop 6 ounces and leave the remaining 2 ounces whole


To make the crust: Chill the butter in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Pulse the pecans 6 to 7 times in a food processor or until finely ground. Add the flour and salt, and pulse an additional 4 to 5 times. Add the butter and pulse 6 to 7 times, until the texture looks mealy. Remove the lid of the food processor, add the water and bourbon, and pulse 5 to 6 times until the mixture holds together when squeezed and feels like dough. Transfer the dough to a gallon-sized zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, then press into a rounded disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To assemble and bake the pie: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk the eggs, sugar, golden syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla and salt together until combined. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut along two sides of the zip-top bag, open the bag to expose the dough and sprinkle both sides very lightly with flour. Cover with the bag and roll out with a rolling pin to an 11-inch circle. Open the bag again, and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Place the dough into a 9 1/2 to 10-inch tart pan that is 2 inches deep. Gently press the dough into the sides of the pan, crimping and trimming the edges as necessary.
Evenly sprinkle the 6 ounces of chopped pecans in the crust and pour the filling on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Place the remaining 2 ounces of whole pecans in a border on the edge of the filling. Bake 10 minutes, until the center of the pie should reach 200 degrees F, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack to room temperature before serving, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

(Kim's note:  On the show, Alton said to wrap the pie in plastic wrap after the cooling period and to stash it in the freezer for a minimum of eight hours and up to two weeks.  Remove the bottom of the pan with a serrated bread knife, place the pie on a cutting board and slice it into eight wedges while frozen.  Transfer the sliced pie to another vessel, refrigerate until serving day and bring to room temperate before serving.  I may even heat mine up a little in the oven before serving.)

Spiced Pecans:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage. Can be stored for up to 3 weeks. Yield: 1 pound.
Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails
A smiling face is half the meal. (Latvian proverb)