Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
My fiance and I once took a roadtrip through Arizona. In addition to hitting up all 3 of Arizona’s national parks, we spent a lot of time exploring the food scenes in Phoenix and Tuscon. My foodie self was in heaven. We had some of the best sushi, Cuban sandwiches, and pizza I’ve ever had.
Yes you heard that right, that I’ve ever had. Arizona blew me away. And amongst all that great food, we had some of the best pie we’ve ever had. So good, that we went back there twice during the 1 1/2 days we were in Phoenix. It was a diner called Welcome Diner. We got chocolate chess pie and chocolate bourbon pecan pie. The chocolate bourbon pecan pie was jaw-droppingly good. I don’t know if I will ever be able to get it as good as theirs, but this recipe is a good start.
Tips for Perfect Pie Crust
Let me just say this now: you will fail the first time you make crust. You actually might fail the first 10 times you make crust. Or get it perfect the first or second time but the third and fourth are a disaster. It’s OK. Crust (and any type of dough) take a lot of practice and patience to master.
Tip Keep things cold
The number 1 rule is to make sure everything is cold. I go so far as to toss my bowl in the freezer in between preparing other steps. While I’m measuring out the butter or preparing the ice water, the bowl of dry ingredients is in the freezer. Keeping your ingredients cold will keep the butter from melting. Butter contains moisture, and as it evaporates it releases steam while it bakes, creating little pockets. If you have lots of little pockets, you have a flakey crust.
Tip Cutting the fat into the flour
The next thing you need to keep in mind is how to properly cut your butter into the flour. I use a pastry cutter for this, but you can just a fork or a food processor. I don’t recommend using your hands unless you have naturally cold hands. You want the butter to be cold so it stays in nice little chunks. How large your butter chunks are will affect the crust texture. As a default, cut your butter until the largest chunks are the size of small peas. Right when it starts to get to this point I like to put my pastry cutter aside and use my fingers to quickly sift through for some larger pieces that aren’t quite small enough yet and flatten them out with my fingers.
Tip Adding the water
The next tricky part is adding in the water. The best way to tackle this is to add in water one tablespoon at a time. Mix the dough in a food processor or with a fork. When the dough starts to come together, grab a small palmful and gently squeeze. If it stays in a ball, it’s ready. If it crumbles, it needs some more water. It’s ok if some pieces of your dough seem a little crumbly while other spots seem perfectly hydrated. As the dough rests, the moisture will be absorbed throughout the dough.
Other than getting the crust right, this pie is pretty easy! Just stir everything together and pour it into the crust. I do recommend toasting the pecans though. It brings out their nuttiness. Baking them in the filling won’t do that. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve just noticed that toasting it dry brings out the nutty flavor.
Bake until the center is puffed and slightly jiggly! Don’t bake for too much longer than that. The pie will continue to set as it cools.
- Apple pie
- Cherry berry pie
- Blueberry pie
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
- 1 1/2 cups (188 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, cold
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped*
- 2 cups whole pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
Prepare the Crust
- Mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or food processor, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the largest chunks of fat are no larger than small peas.
- Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the flour mixture just starts to come together. Once you're able to gently squeeze a small amount of dough in your fist and it doesn't crumble, you've added enough water. Gather the rest of the dough into a 1" thick disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2 hours.
- Remove the dough disc and lightly flour a work surface and your rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it's about 1/8" thick. Place in a standard 9" pie pan, making sure to ease the dough into the pan rather than stretching it into the corners.
- Using shears or a paring knife, trim the edges of the dough so that it extends 1/2″ from the edge. Fold the dough under itself to create a thicker edge. Crimp using your fingers or a fork. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to fill it. There is no need to blind bake.
Prepare the Filling
- Prehat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans on an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until pecans are browned slightly and smell nutty. Stir the nuts halfway through cooking. Roughly chop and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, bourbon, salt, and vanilla until combined. Stir in chocolate and pecans. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until center is puffed and slightly jiggly.
- Let cool completely, about 3 hours. Overnight is even better. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
- Chocolate: I like to use Baker’s brand chocolate bars, but you can also use chocolate chips.