There is no shortage of bourbon or sugar in this filling. The result is a super-nutty pie that’s addictive. I like to serve this slightly warm from the oven.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1⁄4 cup packed plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Scant 1⁄4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
21⁄2 cups pecans, toasted
Basic Pie Crust (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Make the filling: Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Cook the butter until it melts and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, and then immediately pour it into a large bowl to stop the cooking. Whisk in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, bourbon, molasses, corn syrup, vanilla seeds, egg yolks, heavy cream, and pecans. Pour the filling into the pie crust.
Bake the pie: Put the pie pan in the oven and bake until the top browns lightly, 40 to 45 minutes. To test for doneness, gently shake the edge of the pie pan: the filling should be fairly solid. Let the pie cool at least slightly before serving so the filling can finish setting.
BASIC PIE CRUST
MAKES 1 (9-INCH) CRUST
13 tablespoons (11⁄2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄3 cup solid vegetable shortening, cold
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar. Sprinkle the remaining 12 tablespoons cubed butter and small spoonfuls of the shortening over the dry ingredients. Pulse 10 to 12 times to blend. Pour in a scant 1⁄2 cup cold water and pulse just until the ingredients come together to form a dough. Do not overmix.
Roll the dough: Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat round about 101⁄2 inches in diameter and 1⁄4 inch thick. Roll the dough gently around the pin and unroll it over the prepared pie pan. Press the dough against the bottom and sides so it adheres to the pan.
Bake the pie crust: Put a piece of parchment or foil on top of the pie dough and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment, and bake until it is golden brown, another 5 to 8 minutes. Let the pie crust cool completely.
LEMONY PIE CRUST
Add the grated zest of 1 lemon with the sugar.