Bourbon Pecan Pie is similar to the classic pie recipe, but with a more nuanced flavor thanks to the addition of smooth bourbon. Serve with bourbon whipped cream for a truly boozy dessert!
Making Pecan Pie with Bourbon
Classic pecan pie gets a sophisticated makeover with the addition of bourbon to the pie filling. My husband, Kevin, thinks this is the best pecan pie recipe.
Just 3 tablespoons of bourbon adds warming undertones of caramel and spice to pecan pie for a more complex flavor without making it taste boozy. Pecan pie is incredibly sweet due to the combination of corn syrup and brown sugar in the filling, and the bourbon cuts through that sweetness without overpowering the dessert.
If you’ve been wanting to switch up your usual Thanksgiving dessert menu but can’t bear to deviate from your tried and true favorites, this bourbon pecan pie recipe is an excellent compromise.
The pecan pie has all of your favorite flavors in it — with a slight twist.
Keep reading for all of my top pie-making tips as well as serving suggestions for enjoying every bite of this (slightly) boozy pecan pie.
Tools Needed to Make Bourbon Pecan Pie
You’ll need a few very specific kitchen tools for preparing the pecan pie recipe with bourbon. Here’s what I recommend having on hand:
- Measuring Cups and Spoons – to measure the ingredients.
- Large Bowl – to combine the pecan pie filling.
- Wire Whisk – to mix the filling ingredients.
- Food Processor – a food processor is helpful when preparing homemade pie crust. A pastry cutter would also work!
- Rolling Pin – you’ll need a rolling pie to roll out the pie dough for the crust.
- 9-inch Pie Plate – you’ll need a standard sized pie dish to bake this pecan bourbon pie.
- Large Cookie Sheet – I like to place my pies on a baking sheet while they bake. It makes it easier to transfer in and out of the oven, and it’s also insurance against any accidental spills!
- Pie Crust Shield – to cover the pie crust edges if they start to brown too quickly. You can also use aluminum foil for this.
Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe Ingredients
Pecan pie is one of the easiest desserts you can make for Thanksgiving. There’s just one crust to deal with, and the filling is a simple whisk-together affair.
Gather the following ingredients to make pecan bourbon pie:
- Pie Crust (store-bought or homemade; if using my homemade recipe, you should halve it since you’ll just need one crust)
- Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Bourbon (see my notes in the recipe card below for specific bourbons we love)
- Vanilla Extract
- Light Corn Syrup
- Dark Corn Syrup
- Pecan Halves
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions holiday season pie recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
How to Make Bourbon Pecan Pie
This is a simple pie recipe that anyone can make. The only extra step in the recipe — that absolutely cannot be skipped! — is blind baking the pie crust.
Blind baking simply means partially baking the pie crust without any filling in it. We need to do this so that the crust of the pecan pie isn’t soggy after being baked.
Below is an overview of the recipe steps:
Step 1: Prepare the Pie Dough
- Prepare the pie dough as instructed in the recipe, if making from scratch.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- After refrigerating the dough, roll into a 12-inch circle. Then, carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate.
- Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
Step 2: Blind Bake the Pie Crust
- Fold a large sheet of heavy duty foil in half, then line the pie shell with it.
- Fill the lined pie shell with 2 cups of pie weights.
- Transfer the pie plate to the preheated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and weights, then return the now unlined pie shell to the oven and bake 4 – 5 more minutes before adding the prepared filling.
Step 3: Make the Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
- While the pie crust bakes, whisk together the pie filling. Add the butter to a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, salt, bourbon, and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
- Pour the brown sugar mixture into a mixing bowl with the eggs. Then, add the corn syrup, beating again until combined.
- Once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and warm over low heat. Cook until the mixture is shiny.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
Step 4: Bake & Serve the Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Pour the filling mixture into the pre-baked pie shell. You’ll want to do this while the crust is still hot!
- Arrange a layer of pecan halves in concentric circles on top of the pecan mixture.
- Bake until done, then let the pie cool on a wire rack on your counter for at least 5 hours before slicing and serving.
The above is simply a quick summary of this family favorite recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
Enjoy your slice of bourbon pecan pie as is, or top it with one or more of the following:
- Homemade whipped cream (add 1 to 2 tablespoons of bourbon to make bourbon whipped cream!)
- Bourbon caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce or Chocolate Ganache (drizzle on top after baking for a chocolate bourbon pecan pie recipe!)
- Scoop of vanilla ice cream
You can either make the recipe beforehand, or you can prepare elements of the recipe ahead of time. Here are your options:
- Entire pie: Can be baked and stored tightly covered in the fridge up to 2 days before serving.
- Pie dough: Can be prepared and refrigerated up to two days before using or frozen for up to 3 months. I have a full tutorial on how to freeze pie dough or unbaked pie shells, should you need instructions on how to do so.
The raw filling can NOT be prepared in advance. However, you can toast the pecans in advance and store in an airtight container until ready to use (it’s an optional step but results in a nuttier tasting pie).
Make Ahead Tip
- If you’re making the pie dough ahead and chilling longer than 1 hour (or freezing the dough), you will need to let frozen pie dough sit at room temperature until malleable before rolling.
Remember that the pie must rest and cool for at least 5 hours before cutting anyways so you might as well make it ahead of time.
The filling will finish cooking during the time and will firm up as it cools, making it easier to cut. I usually like to prepare my Thanksgiving pies the day/night before Thanksgiving for best results.
Tips for the Best Bourbon Pecan Pie
- New to making pie crust? I suggest reading my guide to making homemade pie crust to learn all of my top tips.
- Do NOT use a deep dish pie plate! There will not be enough pecan pie filling to fill it.
- Blind bake the pie crust. Partially baking the pie crust first prevents a soggy crust once the filling is added.
- If you want a stronger pecan flavor, toast the pecans on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring about halfway through, while preheating the oven to 375 degrees for the crust.
- Chop the pecans using a knife rather than a food processor, otherwise the pieces may be too small.
- To easily remove the corn syrup from the measuring cup, lightly wipe the inside of the measuring cup with an oil-coated paper towel before measuring.
- For extra bourbon flavor, use Bourbon Vanilla Extract (homemade or store-bought).
Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe FAQs
Got questions about how to make this recipe? Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments on this post and I’ll respond with answers.
What’s the Best Bourbon for Baking?
Since this pecan pie recipe uses just 3 tablespoons of bourbon, don’t feel like you need to go out and purchase an extra fancy bottle! I suggest using whatever you keep on hand for your favorite cocktails.
Specific brands of bourbon that I recommend include:
- Bulleit Bourbon
- Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey
- Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
- Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
These all have tasting notes of caramel and vanilla – perfect for making pecan pie!
Does the Alcohol Cook Out of the Pecan Pie?
Most of the alcohol will evaporate as the pie bakes, leaving behind the rich flavor of the bourbon without the actual alcohol taste. However, if you’re nursing, pregnant, or are avoiding alcohol for any reason, use your best judgment and omit the bourbon if needed.
Why Should I Use Brown Sugar in Pecan Pie?
One word: FLAVOR!
Granulated sugar has a neutral sweetness, while brown sugar is sweet with nuanced undertones of caramel. Note that you can use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe.
What Are the Best Pecans for Pecan Pie?
You’ll want to use raw pecan halves, not pecan pieces. Your pie will have the best flavor and texture if you use pecan halves.
You’ll be chopping most of the pecan halves to mix in with the gooey pecan filling, while keeping some of them whole to finish off the top of the pie with concentric circles of whole pecan halves. This yields a stunning presentation for your holiday dessert table!
How Can I Tell When Pecan Pie Is Done?
Pecan pie is done baking when the filling looks set but is slightly soft when pressed with the back of a spoon.
How Can I Prevent My Pecan Pie Crust From Being Soggy?
Blind baking the crust (i.e. partially baking the crust while weighted down with pie weights) is the only foolproof way to prevent a soggy crust! I’ve provided detailed instructions on blind baking the pecan pie crust in the recipe card below.
Does Bourbon Pecan Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?
The USDA says yes, since the filling contains egg.
However … we don’t always refrigerate our pecan pies so use your best judgment. We always devour pecan pie within a day or two, so I’ve never had any concern about giving anyone food poisoning.
How to Reheat Pecan Pie
To warm pecan pie, bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 250ºF oven just before serving. You can reheat individual slices or the whole pie in the pie plate.
Try This Pecan Pie Recipe with Bourbon!
Next time you’re looking for a unique pie recipe for Thanksgiving, give this bourbon pecan pie recipe a try!
Did you think it was a great addition to your dessert table? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this twist on the traditional recipe!
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of homemade pecan pie with bourbon!
More Pecan Dessert Recipes:
This Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Topping is our family’s tried and true pumpkin pie recipe that makes it onto the menu year after year. The pecan topping requires minimal effort but takes plain pumpkin pie to the next level!
Pecan Pie Bites feature soft caramel and pecans nestled on top of a gingersnap molasses crust, all drizzled with chocolate and topped with pecans. This would make a great non-traditional Thanksgiving dessert!
This Chocolate Pecan Tart recipe can be used to make one large tart or 6-8 mini tarts. Skip the pecan pie this year, and make a pecan tart instead! These pecan tartlets feature tart shells filled with bittersweet chocolate, pecan halves, and gooey filling.
Cinnamon Pecan Apple Squares are the perfect simple recipe for fall baking. You’ll love how easy this snack cake is to prepare and that it is freezer-friendly!
Switch up your Thanksgiving dessert menu this year by preparing this delicious Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Tart. The pecan topping requires minimal effort but takes classic pumpkin tart to the next level!
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Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
- 3 Large Eggs
- 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3 tablespoons Bourbon
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Light Corn Syrup
- ¼ cup Dark Corn Syrup
- 1 ½ cups Whole Pecan Halves, chopped
- 1 - 2 cups Whole Pecan Halves, unchopped
Preparing the Pie Crust Dough
- Prepare the pie crust dough as instructed in the recipe.
- Then, flatten the dough into a 4 inch round. Place the dough in a resealable plastic bag or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Rolling the Pie Crust Dough
- After refrigerating the dough, remove from the fridge and place the dough between two sheets of parchment.
- Roll the pie crust into a 12-inch circle, then carefully transfer it to a standard sized 9-inch pie plate (not deep dish).
- Fold the overhanging dough and crimp according to preference. Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill for 60 minutes, or until very cold and firm.
Partially Baking the Crust
- Place the oven rack in the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Fold a large sheet of heavy duty foil in half, then line the pie shell with it. Gently fold the edges of the foil over the crimped pie edge.
- Fill the lined pie shell with 2 cups of pie weights. Then, transfer the pie plate to the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. The dough should look dry and light in color.
- After baking, remove the pie plate from the oven. Remove the foil and weights, taking care not to burn yourself on the foil or the pan.
- Return the now unlined pie shell to the oven and bake 4 - 5 more minutes before adding the prepared filling.
Making the Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
- While the pie crust partially bakes, prepare the pie filling.
- Add the 3 eggs to a mixing bowl, then beat with a wire whisk until the yolks and whites are combined. Set aside.
- Add the butter to a large saucepan set over medium low heat. Then, add the brown sugar, salt, bourbon, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined and remove from heat.
- While whisking the eggs, slowly pour the brown sugar mixture into the mixing bowl with the eggs. Then, add the light and dark corn syrup, beating again until combined.
- Once the brown sugar mixture and the corn syrups are fully incorporated with the eggs, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Set the saucepan over low heat and cool, stirring constantly, until the mixture is shiny and approximately 130 degrees F using an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from heat and stir in the pecans.
Assembling the Bourbon Pecan Pie
- When the pie crust is done partially baking, remove it from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 275 degrees F.
- Pour the filling mixture into the hot pie shell. Then arrange a layer of whole pecan halves in concentric circles on top of the pecan mixture.
Baking the Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Transfer the pie to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 50 - 60 minutes. The pie is done when the filling looks set but is slightly soft when pressed with the back of a spoon.
- Cool the pie on a wire baking rack for at least 5 hours before cutting.
- Serve with bourbon whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 707Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 5gSugar: 49gProtein: 8g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.