I don’t know why I love so much that this pie requires neither corn syrup or Lyle’s golden syrup, but I do. Flavored with bourbon and maple syrup, this pecan pie is the ideal finale (along with this one and this one) to a fall feast. A dollop of salted whipped cream, for me, is essential.
As with all the pies, galettes, and tarts, I make, this one calls for a simple, foolproof pie dough made in the food processor. I do not blind bake it, but I do stick in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking.
This dough recipe is adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe, and it employs a tea towel-technique for shaping I learned from a French woman years ago. Details below:
How to Make Foolproof Pie Dough
- Make the dough.
- First pulse the flour, sugar and salt together.
- Add the butter and pulse 10 times (about).
- The butter should be the size of peas (about).
- Add ice water.
- Pulse again about 10 to 15 times or until the dough is still crumbly, but holds together when pinched.
- Divide dough between two clean tea towels. I love these tea towels by Now Designs.
- Gather towel into a beggar’s purse, and squeeze to form a round.
- Transfer one to the freezer for a future use.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining round into a circle about 12- to 13-inches in diameter.
- Fold dough into quarters to easily transfer to a pie plate. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
For the pecan pie: toast the pecans till lightly golden and fragrant.
Adapted from this David Lebovitz recipe.
If you want to make a double batch of pie dough, follow this recipe (also included below this recipe). I’ve written the pie dough as a single recipe should you only want to make a single pie.
I don’t blind-bake the crust because I never find it to be worth the effort. I have a couple of Emile Henry pie plates (similar to this one) with clay bottoms, and the crust always turns out nice and crispy.
UPDATE: This pie has become a Thanksgiving staple.
For the pie dough:
- 1 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon table or kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (4 oz | 114g) cold, cubed butter, salted or unsalted
- 1/4 C. + 1 T. (71 g) ice water
For the pecan pie:
- 1 cup (215g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (225g) pecans, lightly toasted (I do this in a skillet over medium-high heat, watching closely), very coarsely chopped (I actually like chopping the pecans pretty finely)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- confectioner’s sugar to taste
- flaky sea salt, such as maldon, if you have it, kosher or other salt if you don’t
- Make the pastry: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the food processor. Pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas—should be about 10 quick pulses. Add the ice water and pulse again about 10 times until the mixture is crumbly but holds together when pinched. Lay a clean tea towel on a work surface. Dump the crumbly dough mixture into the center of the towel. Grab the four corners of the towel together and twist to create a beggar’s purse, pressing the dough into a round. Use your hands to pack and flatten the round.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12- or 13-inch round. Use as much flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking, and every few rolls, flip the dough over.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s 12- to 13-inches in diameter. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate or pan. Trim dough that hangs over by a lot — leave at least an inch over hanging; you may not need to trim everywhere. Tuck the overhanging edges under, between the rim of the pie plate and the dough, and crimp the edge of the dough. Chill the dough in the freezer until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- To make the filling, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, melted butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until the center of the pie is seems just about set. It should still jiggle a little. Begin checking it at the 40 minute mark, but it may take 45 to 50 minutes (I find 50 minutes to be about right) to reach that point of doneness. Remove it from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.
- To make the salted whipped cream: Whip heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. (You can do this by hand, too, with a bowl and whisk.) Add confectioner’s sugar — start with 1/4 cup and add more to taste. Add a big pinch of sea salt and the vanilla and beat to combine and until the peaks begin getting firmer. Taste — the mixture should be slightly sweet and the salt should be noticeable, though the whipped cream should not taste salty. You don’t want the whipped cream to taste too sweet because pecan pie is very sweet.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: bourbon, pecan, pie, no, corn, syrup,
This recipe yields two rounds and it definitely can be halved, though I suggest making the full recipe because it’s so nice to have on hand.
- 2½ (320g) cups all-purpose flour
- 2 T. sugar
- ½ tsp. table (or kosher) salt
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons | 8 oz | 227g ) unsalted butter
- ½ C. + 2 T. ice water
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the food processor. Pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas—should be about 10 quick (1-second) pulses. Add the ice water and pulse again about 10 times until the mixture is crumbly but holds together when pinched. See video above for guidance. Lay two clean tea towels on a work surface. Dump half of the crumbly dough mixture into the center of each. Grab the four corners of the towel together and twist to create a beggar’s purse, pressing the dough into a disk. Unwrap the towel and use your hands to pack and pat the disk together. Wrap one (or both) of the rounds in plastic wrap, tuck in a ziplock bag, and store in the fridge for 3 days or freezer for 3 months.
- If baking one immediately, lightly flour a work surface, roll out into a circle an inch or two larger than your pie plate, transfer to pie plate, trim over hanging dough, then crimp dough as desired (see video for guidance). Chill in freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: American/French
Keywords: foolproof, pastry, butter, food processor, easy