As a child at the Thanksgiving table, I would practically scoff when asked whether I wanted a piece of pumpkin or pecan pie. Obviously pumpkin! Oh, and extra whipped cream, please, so that I could spread it on the top and sides of the entire piece. Sounds ingenious, right?
I used to think all the adults were so odd for choosing something other than pumpkin. And honestly, I don’t even remember when I had my first taste of pecan pie. I’m not going to claim it was an epiphany or a life-changing moment… that’s reserved for coffee. Instead, I’d say it was a moment I realized adults were smart for allowing kids to think pumpkin was the best. Ha!
At its core, pecan pie is made with ingredients that almost every pantry has. And pretty much every good Midwesterner always has a bottle of corn syrup. I feel like I now always need a bit of a disclaimer that corn syrup is not high fructose corn syrup. But, yes, I get the hesitation for its use. It’s a processed item, but not used too often. So why even use it? Well, corn syrup helps provide that iconic gooey, custard-like interior of the pie.
Just like pumpkin, pecan pie needs to jiggle slightly when removed from the oven. A slight jiggle in the center actually helps gives that perfect texture when the pie has cooled fully. The gooey interior is prone to lending way to a soggy bottom crust. For years, I had issues with the crust becoming almost wet, soaking in the gooey filling. But once I started par-baking the crust until golden brown, then filling the pie, it came out became every time.
Add in some chocolate
Pecan pie may be one of the most decadent pies, some say even say it’s cloyingly sweet. While chocolate may not seem like a needed addition… and it totally isn’t… it does add a nice offset to the sweet interior. A high-quality dark chocolate balances out the custard center and gives just the right elevation needed.
Deepen the flavor with bourbon
If you want to take it one step further, a little bourbon really finishes the chocolate. Now if you’re worried, rest assured that just the flavor from the bourbon comes through without a strong alcoholic taste. It really works to enhance the filling and chocolate.
Pecan pie is a once-in-a-while treat, but this pecan pie makes the wait always worth it!
Watch how to make this chocolate bourbon pecan pie:
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups pecans (½ cup chopped)
- 8 oz dark chocolate (70% preferable)
- To par-bake the prepared crust, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the chilled pie shell with parchment and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake until the crust is golden, 12-15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and continue baking until the bottom of the crust is golden and dry to the touch, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the sugar, melted butter, eggs, corn syrup, salt, bourbon, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Add in whole pecans and chopped pecans, and stir to combine.
- Place the chocolate in the bottom of the par-baked pie shell. If using a bar of chocolate, roughly chop before placing it in the bottom of the shell. Pour prepared filling over the chocolate and bake in the 375°F oven until the center jiggles slightly, 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 6-8 hours before cutting and serving.