Brown Sugar, Brown Butter and Bourbon. I worry I’m becoming a bit obsessed with these ingredients. I’m running through an alarming amount of bourbon – and brown sugar – this fall. (I’ve been running through alarming amounts of butter my entire life – I’ve just recently discovered the magic of browning it.)
Is it bad that the bourbon bottle is now left out on the counter constantly? (please don’t answer that.) Really, it’s just for cooking. Mostly. I promise.
We had some Australian friends for dinner last night, and I felt a need to make a typically American fall dessert. When I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit that included all three of my obsessions, I knew I had a winner. Especially as M loves pecans… really loves pecans. He’s like a squirrel rummaging around in the pantry, eating handfuls here and there until all I find are empty bags with salted bits at the bottom. But I digress.
You might ask: But shouldn’t pecan pie be reserved for Thanksgiving? Not a chance, my friends. This pie deserves a spot on your dessert table several times a year. I tweaked the original recipe a tiny bit… more bourbon (shockingly), and I added salt. Really, the original recipe didn’t have any salt… How could you possibly not salt pecans? Oh, and I cheated with the crust. Reviews on the Bon Appetit website reported the original crust recipe was a bit of a mess, so I reached into the freezer for one of my ever-present Trader Joe’s pie crusts. Very handy.
The pie was served up with Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream (of course), and won raves all around.
It might be time to find a few new ingredients to obsess about… or not.
Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Brown Butter
Adapted (just barely) from Bon Appetit
- One good quality frozen pie crust (such as Trader Joe’s)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup dark corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups pecans, chopped
Place the pie crust in a pie dish and crimp the edges. Place in the freezer until you are ready to fill it.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, then browns, 5–8 minutes. (Watch it carefully, as it quickly turns from brown to burned. Pour the lovely browned butter into a large bowl; let cool slightly. Whisk in eggs, brown sugar, honey, dark corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon until smooth; fold in pecans. Scrape filling into pie crust. Place a few extra unchopped nuts in a decorative pattern around the edges (see the photograph above).
Bake pie 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and filling jiggles only slightly in the center, 40–45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours.