I am going to be honest - I am a relatively new convert to the world of pie lovers. It’s not like I had never enjoyed pie before, I always appreciated a warm apple pie or a delicious banana cream, it was just never my first choice. Growing up I was in love with cake and ice cream. To me, pie was just a second rate dessert. But, I am here to tell you that pie is anything but second rate. During my senior year at college I worked in a bakery called Pie Sisters. Three sisters from Great Falls, VA decided to forget the cupcake craze and go in a different direction. All they sold was pie. Big pies, small pies, sweet pies, savory pies- pie pie pie all the time. With all that pie baking, I quickly learned that a good pie crust is a blank canvas for the ultimate edible masterpiece. The number of things you can use to fill a pie crust is endless. Even though I gained a few pounds working at the pie shop, (I guess that's what happens when you eat pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner) I wouldn't trade my experience with the Pie Sisters for anything. Without them, I may have never become a true member of the pie lovers club.
There are a lot of amazing pies out there, but in honor of Thanksgiving I decided to go with a bourbon chocolate pecan. This pie is a real showstopper. If you want to impress your friends, your boss or your mother-in-law – this is the way to go. It just sounds so sophisticated and fancy, and it is guaranteed to make people ohh and ahh.
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2/3 cup + 1 tbs cold shortening
- 3 tbs. cold water
- 3 tbs. cold milk
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 – 2 tbs bourbon (depends on how strong you want the bourbon flavor to be)
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup halved pecans
for the crust:
- Combine flour, salt and sugar with a light whisk.
- Add the shortening. With a dough blender or your hands, work the shortening into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces.
- Add cold water and milk 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and the dough comes together.
- Gather dough into a ball and then shape it into a flattened round on a floured surface.
- Roll pie crust into a circle 2 inches larger than the upside down pie plate.
- Fold crust into fourths and place into pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate.
- Using kitchen shears, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang and create desired decorative edge (see video)
- Once you have finished the crust, use a fork to poke a few holes into the bottom.
- Use the back of the fork to press the edges of the crust up against the side of the pie plate. (See image below)
Now, there are a few techniques you can use to get your crust to look pretty in the pie plate. Instead of explaining them to you, I have given you this video. It is a quick and easy demonstration.
for the filling:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together butter, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined.
- Once combined, add the eggs. Whisk until they are fully blended with the mixture. (It should be a solid pale yellow color with no specks of dark yellow yolk)
- Add bourbon and whisk until incorporated.
- In the bottom of the crust spread the chocolate chips evenly. Then add the pecans.
- Pour mixture over the chocolate chips and pecans.
- Place pie on a standard cookie sheet and bake for 50-65 minutes. To test if the pie is done, take a knife and poke it into the top of the pie, past the pecans, and into the filling. If it is done the filling will be coagulated and somewhat solid, if it is still runny bake for a few more minutes
- Take pie out and let cool completely before cutting.