Bourbon adds some oomph and balance to this Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe. Forget cloying and one-note; instead you get deeply caramelized flavor with a surprising complexity that will have you reaching for a second slice. (Go for it—at least a sliver!)
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Why You’ll Love This Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe
- The Best Pie Made Better. If it wasn’t clear from my Pecan Pie Bars, Pumpkin Pecan Pie, and Chocolate Pecan Pie, I’m a big fan of pecan pie. Gooey filling, crunchy topping—what’s not to love? My one complaint is that it can lean too sweet and that’s where bourbon comes into play—it adds instant balance and lots of depth.
- Seriously Easy. No custard that needs tempering, no lattice crust to carefully weave, this bourbon pecan pie is really just a matter of making the crust, stirring together the filling, and arranging the pecans on top. (You can use a store-bought pie crust to make it even easier.)
- No Corn Syrup. I’m particularly proud of the fact that I’ve developed this bourbon pecan pie recipe without using any corn syrup. Instead, it uses maple syrup, which adds another layer of fabulous flavor to this already fantastic dessert. (Maple fans will also love these Maple Bourbon Bars.)
- Sure to Be a Hit. Like my Sweet Potato Pie Recipe and Buttermilk Pie, this bourbon pecan pie offers a modern spin on a Southern classic, which means people are going to love it.
How to Make Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Pecan Halves. Pecan halves make for a pretty—and traditional—presentation. That said, you can also use pecan pieces, which are less expensive and what I use in my Pecan Pie Cobbler.
- Unbaked Pie Crust. Use store-bought, Oil Pie Crust, or Darn Good Whole Wheat Pie Crust.
- Unsalted Butter. Melt the butter, then let it cool a bit. This will keep it from cooking your eggs!
- Eggs. Set these on the counter so they’re room temperature by the time you start the recipe.
- Pure Maple Syrup. Not pancake syrup! The good stuff.
- Light Brown Sugar. Dark brown sugar has a stronger flavor, so I prefer using light brown sugar here to let the bourbon take center stage. Either works though!
- Bourbon. What’s the best bourbon for pecan pie? Use a variety you like to drink (or use for Bourbon Balls), but don’t pay a premium.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. Vanilla will help amplify that bourbon flavor.
- Kosher Salt. Another ingredient that adds balance.
- All-Purpose Flour. To thicken the filling.
- Flaky Salt. Such as Maldon or fleur de sel. This keeps the pie from being cloying.
- Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream. These are optional, but are they really?
- Make the Crust. Chill for 30 minutes, and then add a layer of parchment paper and pie weights.
- Toast the Pecans. This makes for the best bourbon pecan pie!
- Bake the Crust. Par-bake in a 375 degree F oven until lightly golden.
- Make the Filling. Whisk everything together until smooth.
- Add the Pecans. Save the halves for the top.
- Assemble. Pour the filling into the crust.
- Bake. Arrange the pecan halves on top and sprinkle with the flaky salt. Bake bourbon pecan pie ffor 35 to 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving with whipped cream or ice cream. ENJOY!
- Swap in Other Nuts. While pecan halves make for a striking presentation on top, you can use walnuts, or a combination of nuts, in the filling for twist on the classic Kentucky bourbon pecan pie.
- Add Cinnamon. A generous pinch of ground cinnamon adds some cozy flavor to this pie.
- Brown the Butter. For some extra depth and nutty flavor, brown the butter (follow the directions from my Brown Butter Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies) and add it, along with any browned bits you can scrape from the bottom of the pan, to your bourbon pecan pie.
- To Store. Cover the pie in the pan or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. You can serve bourbon pecan pie chilled or set it on the counter and let it come to room temperature.
- To Freeze. Wrap the pie tightly with plastic wrap and then foil, or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Meal Prep Tip
To get a head start on this recipe, roll out the pie crust, press it into the pan, and crimp the edges. Wrap it in the pan and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What to Serve with Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Southern Dinner Staples. Start with Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast, Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, and Drop Biscuits, then end your meal with this maple bourbon pecan pie.
- More Pies. If your family likes to set out a selection of pies for holidays, serve your bourbon pecan pie alongside other favorites like apple pie (use my Apple Pie Filling), Brownie Pie, and Crustless Pumpkin Pie.
- Other Crowd-Pleasing Desserts. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake, Cookie Cake, and Gluten Free Apple Crisp are all excellent options for a party.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant-Read Thermometer. No more wondering just how jiggly that center should be! A thermometer eliminates the guesswork.
- Pie Shield. You can use foil to protect the crust, but a pie shield is a lot easier.
- Pie Plate. I love this classic white pie plate because it will never go out of style.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use Room Temperature Eggs. They’ll mix more evenly into the filling and hold more air when beaten, which gives your bourbon pecan pie filling just the right texture.
- Keep Careful Watch Over the Pecans. It’s very easy to burn them! As soon as you notice they’re fragrant, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a bowl. (Don’t leave them on the pan, as they’ll continue to darken from the residual heat.)
- Use an Instant-Read Thermometer. The pie should be a bit jiggly in the middle when it’s done, but it can be hard to judge—that’s where a thermometer comes in handy. Stick it into the center and if it reads 200 degrees F, you can pull the pie out of the oven.
- Keep the Crust and Top from Burning. If the pecans are browning too quickly, tent the entire pie loosely with aluminum foil. If the pecans are fine, but the crust is over-baking, cover it with strips of foil or a pie shield.
Bourbon Pecan Pie
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- 2 cups pecan halves about 8 ounces, divided
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Flaky salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream optional for serving
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle—to roll, always start in the center of the dough and work outward. Transfer to a regular (not deep dish) 9-inch pie plate. Tuck any overhang under itself and flute the edges as desired (or keep it simple and press the crust all the way around with the tines of a fork. Poke holes in the crust's bottom and sides with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pecan halves onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until they smelly deliciously toasty, about 10 minutes, stirring partway through. Transfer to a cutting board. Set aside 1 cup for topping the pie, then roughly chop the rest.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the crust and fill it with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 25 minutes, until just set. Carefully remove pie weights and return the crust to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes, until lightly golden. (At this point, you cannot cook the beans, but you can save them for a future pie). Set the crust aside to cool
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted and cooled butter, the eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and kosher salt, until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Stir in the flour. Once it’s evenly incorporated, stir in the chopped portion of the pecans.
- Gently pour the filling into the crust, then arrange the reserved pecan halves on top in a concentric circle. Lightly press the pecans into the filling. Sprinkle with a good pinch of flaky salt.
- Bake bourbon pecan pie until the crust is golden brown and the filling is just set and a tiny bit jiggly in the very center, about 35 to 45 minutes—an easy way to check is with an instant read thermometer; when pecan pie filling registers 200°F, it’s done. If the top starts browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking time. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.
- TO STORE: Cover the pie in the pan or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: You can serve bourbon pecan pie chilled or set it on the counter and let it come to room temperature.
- TO FREEZE: Wrap the pie tightly with plastic wrap and then foil, or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
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