I received an expected message from one of my cousins down in Kentucky. In it, he offered his Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe. I was excited to try it. He was open to suggestions - could he improve upon it?
What's great about this pie is that you can change it up as you please. I will offer a few variations.
9" Pie Crust
You can use a frozen one from the supermarket or you can make your own! Here's a recipe in case you don't have one... http://www.marthastewart.com/344292/our-favorite-pie-crust
4 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup*
2 tablespoons Bourbon**
Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
2 cups Pecan
Chocolate Chips, for garnish (up to 4 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350.
Toast the pecans until they become fragrant. About 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then coarsley chop.
If you are making your own pie shell: Once you've made, rolled and lined your pie pan, let the shell refrigerate for a half hour. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with dry beans, rice or pie weights. Cook for 12 minutes. Remove the parchment and filling and cook for an additional 5 - 7 minutes or until the shell begins to brown but is not fully cooked.
If you are using a pre-bought supermarket shell: Remove the shell from the packaging, straight from the freezer. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with dry beans, rice or pie weights. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and filling and cook for an additional 5 - 7 minutes or until the shell begins to brown but is not fully cooked.
When you remove the parchment from the shell, begin working on the filling. Start by melting the butter in a double boiler over gently simmering water. When melted, remove from the heat.
Stir in the sugar and salt and combine. Add the eggs, followed by the golden syrup, bourbon and vanilla seeds (if using.) Stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Return the mixture to the double boiler and stir until the mixture is very warm to the touch, but not hot enough for you to be unable to stick your finger into it.
Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
By now, the pie shell should be finished or almost finished. Remove the shell from the oven and reduce the temperature to 275.
Pour the filling into the still warm pie shell and sprinkle the top with high quality chocolate chips, pressing them into the filling if you'd like.
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center of the pie springs back slightly when you gently press on it.
Allow to cool completely - at least 4 hours.
*You can find Lyle's Golden Syrup with either the honey or maple syrup in most supermarkets. If you can't find it, you can substitute it with corn syrup.
**What is Bourbon? Bourbon is whiskey that was produced in the United States with a grain mix of at least 51% corn. It cannot have any additives other than water (to keep the proof under 160) The high percentage of corn makes it sweeter than other whiskeys. You can substitute with plain old whiskey if need be.
If you'd like to change it up:
Maple Pecan Pie
Omit the Lyle's or Corn Syrup, Bourbon and vanilla.
Use a 1/2 cup granulated sugar as opposed to 1 cup of brown sugar
Add 1 cup maple syrup
Reduce the pecans to 1 1/2 cups. (Or use toasted walnuts instead!)
Honey Walnut Pie
Replace the Lyle's with a boldly flavored honey
Replace the pecans with walnuts