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.

Any suggestions?


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.

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34 Responses to "Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Brown Butter"
  1. Jess says:

    There is no specific time when pecan pie is not a perfect idea. It’s always the best. This looks great, thank you 🙂

  2. Rebecca says:

    I make a similar pie, I will have to try yours.. Yum

  3. Hilda says:

    I’m sure your guests were impressed with that beautiful pecan pie.

  4. Tracy says:

    No such thing as an alarming amount of bourbon when it comes to baking ! 😉

  5. Ginger says:

    I love the pattern of the pecans – I’m wondering if you could still see it, with all those bourbon fumes …

  6. Yum, this pie sounds amazing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having favourite ingredients – or maybe I’m just saying that because I put cinnamon in everything! But when you make yummy things like this, who cares if you have an obsession!

  7. cindysithi says:

    Wow, your pecan pie looks perfect! I didn’t know Trader Joe’s had frozen pie crusts but now I’ll definitely have to pick one up next time I go shopping. 🙂

  8. Loretta says:

    My kind of pie 🙂

  9. Lily says:

    What a perfect looking pecan pie, nice touch with the bourbon:)

  10. Actually, I don’t think there is a problem with brown sugar and bourbon unless it starts showing up in a shot glass at breakfast? I think this recipe looks delicious and with enough bourbon, the relatives at Thanksgiving will be tolerable. 🙂

  11. That is an incredible pecan pie and perfect for this weeks birthday bash for Angie. Thank you so much for bringing this delicious pie.

  12. I love pecan pies and this sounds delicious with bourbon added to it! I’m pinning so I can try it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  13. Jolena says:

    I am swooning over this. It looks delicious!

  14. Fiona says:

    It tasted even better than it looks if that is possible! This will of course be our Thanksgiving dessert in 2014 and I suspect for many years to come. Thank you MB.

  15. Gosh no, one shouldn’t limit pecan pie eating to only Thanksgiving. What a waste.
    I had to read this post. I wasn’t disappointed. Wonderful amount of pecans. I would eat them by the handfuls too, if they were not so expensive both dollar and calorie wise. I am trying to develop my palate for bourbon. So the other night at someone’s house and I was not the driver, I was served a bourbon and water with good bourbon. I had a wonderful cocktail this summer called a Kentucky Kiss that was bourbon based that was wonderful. Your friends were lucky with the pie and the special ice cream

  16. In my opinion, pecan pie is perfect for any time of year, especially in the fall. And then you add in bourbon, and you sold me COMPLETELY. I mean… how could this not be amazing? (Answer: It can’t not be amazing.)

    This was one of my favorite links from last week’s #thatsfreshfriday link-up! I’ll be sharing it on my blog and social media channels starting at 7pm EST Thursday evening and going throughout the weekend! Can’t wait to see what you bring to the party this week. Keep up the great work!

  17. Beautiful, stunning, incredible! I wish Pecan Pie was more popular over here in the UK – I love the idea of a tot of Bourbon too! Thanks so much for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek again x

  18. I’ve never tried an actual pecan pie before, they aren’t very common in the UK, this one looks and sounds so good! This has been featured as the most viewed link over at Sweet and Savoury Sunday. Stop by, grab a button and link up again with us this week. Have a great weekend. Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

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