It’s hard to beat a homemade pecan pie, unless you add bourbon. And chocolate. Then you have what I feel is the best pecan pie, ever.
Pecan pie is a tradition in the South, where the tree nut is native and harvest season begins in the fall. For that reason, pecan pie has become a holiday pie, although after I tasted this recipe, I could eat it everyday. Bourbon and chocolate heighten the flavor intensity and give it a deep richness. When both are added, some refer to this as “Derby Pie”. Whatever you call it, on Thanksgiving your guests will surely call it delicious.
When our taste panel at Hamilton Beach tried this, one person commented they would chop the pecans a little smaller. Another suggested dark chocolate chips. Both would work and I suggest making one before the holiday, eat it all and then decide on variations. It’s that good.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, well chilled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups whole pecans, divided
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Whipped cream
- In food processor bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and chilled butter pieces.
- Pulse the mixture several times JUST until the butter is processed into pea-sized pieces. Do not over-process.
- Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, sprinkle ice water through food chute and process JUST until dough begins to come together. Add additional ice water if necessary. Small butter pieces should still be visible in dough.
- Remove dough from bowl. Form dough into a disc about one inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
- Sprinkle pastry cloth or parchment paper and rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll dough from center outward into a 13-inch diameter.
- Grease pie pan lightly with butter to hold pastry in place and help with browning.
- Transfer pastry to pie plate without stretching dough. Press pastry to bottom and sides of pan. Trim pastry to about 1 inch beyond edge of pan. Turn edge of pastry under and press with thumb and pointer finger to crimp around the edge forming a pattern.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Chop 1 1/2 cups pecans; set aside. Place corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, bourbon, vanilla extract, salt and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
- With electric mixer, beat on medium for about 3 minutes. Stir in chopped pecans and chocolate. Pour into prepared crust. Gently arrange remaining 1/2 cup whole pecans around top of pie.
- Bake on middle rack of oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Center will not be set. Cool several hours. Serve with whipped cream.
More holiday desserts: