Every Thanksgiving dessert spread worth its weight in gold (or in bourbon and chocolate) must include a pecan pie. Yes, there should probably be a pumpkin one—and an apple one, too—but pecan needs to be front and center, particularly if it is of the bourbon and chocolate variety. Pecan pie is a textural delight, due to the crunchy nuttiness from the deeply toasted pecans and the gooey, sticky, caramel-flavored filling of eggs, dark brown sugar, and dark corn syrup. Moreover, if you add bourbon to the mix—which cuts the sweetness of the filling and marries so beautifully with a traditional pecan pie filling—you are in for a real treat. Chocolate, too, deserves a place in your pecan pie. Not only because a pecan pie is often the only dessert in which chocolate is on offer on Thanksgiving, but more importantly because it is just so lovely with pecans.
Pecan pies get a slightly bad rap due to the inclusion of corn syrup in the filling—and to this we say "everything in moderation." If once a year a dessert goes a little heavy on the corn syrup, so be it. Pecan pies also sometimes get a little flack due to their finicky filling, as some struggle with when exactly a pecan pie is set and should be pulled from the oven. Luckily, this recipe is truly foolproof and offers up all the signs you will be looking for to ensure your pie bakes up perfectly every single time.
- For the Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese (chilled and cubed)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water
- For the Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- For the Filling:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 yolk
- 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 3 tablespoons bourbon (or to taste)
- 1 1/2 cups whole toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Gather the ingredients.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process briefly to combine.
Add the cream cheese and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Drizzle the water over the dough and gently use your fingers or a flexible spatula to toss the dough around in order to hydrate the flour.
Once a bit of dough can be pinched together between two fingers and hold its shape, bring the dough together into a disc.
Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a circle, an inch or two larger than a 9-inch glass pie plate.
Place the dough in the plate and decoratively crimp the edges. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights.
To make the egg wash, whisk together the egg and salt in a small bowl. Brush the crimped edges with the egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes until the crimped edges are brown. When you gently lift the parchment paper, the bottom of the crust should look dry.
Remove the paper and weights, and return the crust to the oven until the bottom is nicely browned, about 10 minutes more.
Set aside to cool and reduce the heat to 350 F. Make the pie filling. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and yolk.
Add the corn syrup, sugars, and salt and whisk again.
Add the melted butter, vanilla, and bourbon and whisk to combine.
Coarsely chop one cup of the pecans.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans and the chocolate chips on the bottom of the pie crust.
Pour the filling over the chopped nuts and chips.
Decorate the pie with the remaining 1/2 cup of whole pecans, gently nestling them on top of the filling in a pattern.
Bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until the filling is puffy and set around the edges, but the center still jiggles slightly when you carefully nudge the pie plate.
Let the pie come to room temperature before serving, at least 4 hours.
- Toast the nuts for about 20 minutes on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for the most flavor.
- Use a glass pie plate when you bake your pie, so you can see when the bottom is lightly browned and thus avoid the dreaded soggy bottom.
- You can use rice or beans as your pie weights and reuse them over and over. Just store them in a designated "pie weight" jar.
- How the filling looks is more important in determining doneness than how long the pie has been in the oven.
- If your pie is soupy after you have pulled it from the oven and let it cool to room temp, then you pulled it from the oven too early.
- If you don't want to parbake the pie crust, you don't have to, but it will be more tender and flavorful and flakier if you do.
- Light corn syrup or light brown sugar can be used instead of dark corn syrup or brown sugar, but the dark adds a lovely depth of flavor.
- You can omit the bourbon or make some lightly whipped cream and flavor it with the booze instead.
- If you enjoy an ultra boozy pecan pie, add 3 tablespoons of bourbon.
- If you do not want to chop the nuts, you can make the filling with whole pecans. You also do not have to toast them, but the flavor is improved if you do so.
- You can use bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet, or you can omit the chocolate altogether.
How to Store Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
This pie keeps covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3 days.