Can you imagine Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie?
Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie
HOW TO BLIND- BAKE A PASTRY
SHELL FOR THE OLD- FASHIONED PUMPKIN AND KENTUCKY BOURBON PECAN PIES
To ensure a crisp, thoroughly baked crust, we generally blind- bake a single- crust pastry shell even when the pie shell will be baked again after the filling is added. If the filled pie will be baked in a low oven, as with the Sugar Pumpkin Crème Pie, there is no worry of over baking the blind- baked shell. But since the Old- Fashioned Pumpkin Pie and the Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie will be baked, after they are filled, at higher temperatures, we blind- bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes less time than the master recipe directs for blind baking single pie shells. This way the rim of the pie will not come out too dark after the additional baking of the filled pie. For either of these pies, make the Flaky but Tender Pastry Dough quantity for a 9 1⁄2- inch pie pan and line the pie pan with the rolled- out dough and chill as instructed in the recipe. To blind- bake the crust for either of these two pies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Use vegetable spray to spray the piece of parchment paper that you are going to use to hold your pie weights (such as dried beans) and place it sprayed side down in the pastry shell. (This is done because you may be lifting out the paper and beans before the pastry is completely cooked through and you don’t want to tear the pastry.) Fill the parchment- lined shell with dried beans and bake the shell for 50 minutes. Remove the pie pan from the oven and remove the paper and beans. Return the pie pan to the oven and bake 5 minutes more. Then remove the pie pan from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. (The pastry shell will be slightly under baked at this point but will finish baking after you add the filling and return it to the oven.)
Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie
MAKES ONE 9 1⁄2- INCH PIE, SERVES 8 TO 10
Our Kentucky- born- and- raised pastry chef, Stacy Fortner, makes the best- ever pecan pie. Naturally she adds a good slug of her favorite Kentucky bourbon, Knob Creek. If you put the pecans into the shell first, they will rise to the top after you add the filling. The larger than usual amount of eggs gives this pecan pie an almost custardy texture. Toast the pecans until they are lightly browned and fragrant, but don’t let them get too dark as they will darken a little more as the pie bakes. Serve the pie at room temperature with Sweetened Whipped Cream (page 000) or Vanilla Bean or Buttermilk Ice Cream (page 326 or 330). Note that this recipe calls for a slightly larger pie pan than most of the pies in the book.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 9 1⁄2- INCH PIE PAN
1 3 ⁄4 cups (7 ounces/198 grams) pecan halves, toasted and cooled (see “How to Toast and Chop Nuts,” page 13)
One 9 1⁄2- inch blind- baked and cooled single- crust Flaky but Tender Pastry Shell (page 183)
4 large eggs
5 tablespoons (2 1⁄2 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 ⁄3 cup (47⁄8 ounces/140 grams) packed brown sugar
1 cup (12 1⁄2 ounces/350 grams) light corn syrup
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon molasses
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon, preferably Knob Creek
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Put the pecans in the prepared pie shell, taking a moment to turn them right side up, and set aside.
3. Put the eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly to break them up. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, bourbon, and salt, whisking until smooth. Pour the filling into the pastry shell. The pecans will emerge beautifully while the pie is baking.
4. Bake until the pie is cooked through and set, 50 to 55 minutes. To check that the pie is cooked enough, poke the tip of a small knife into the filling, which should look set up and not liquid. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for about 1 hour before slicing and serving.
(* Recipe from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook, 'Sweetness in Seattle' -William Morrow, October 2012- by Tom Douglas with Shelley Lance, photography by Ed Anderson, reproduced with permission from the publisher)