Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 19: Pumpkin-Pecan Pie with Whiskey Butter Sauce


I'm a light weight. There's no question about it. Other than the sip of wine I have, three times a week, for communion... I drink about two times a year and that drink usually includes an umbrella or a chunk of tropical fruit lounging on the side of the glass for effect... so we're not talking, the hard stuff. In fact, I usually enjoy the tiny umbrella more than the actual drink itself. (Picture reenactments of Gene Kelley's iconic performance from "Singing in the Rain," only with a teeny tiny umbrella. Whew. Funny stuff.)

So, if you're like me, and you consider that box of Merlot in your fridge, sort of over the top, you might find this pie a little... er... strong. I'm pretty sure I was drunk after the first bite. That however, did not stop multiple family members from pouring whiskey straight from the bottle into their plastic SoHo cup "just to try it." Now granted, I did use the best of the best.

(I hand dipped that bottle myself, back in 2000, while at seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. The irony of it all, does not escape me. But I'd like the record to note, that of the group of seminarians -- future ministers of mainline protestant congregations that generally frown upon excessive drinking -- that went to the distillery, I was the only one that still had an unopened bottle left!)

What you'll need:

For the Pumpkin Filling...
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, beaten until frothy
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of ground nutmeg

For the Pecan Syrup...
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 small eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
3/4 cup pecan pieces

For the Good Stuff (otherwise known as Whiskey Butter Sauce)...
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon very hot water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey

Pumpkin Filling... Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.
Pecan Syrup... Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325*. The original recipe in New Tastes from Texas (though "new" is relative... this recipe is from 1993), calls for making your own crust, and baking it in a spring-form pan. That sounded like an awful lot of trouble, so I used a store bought (deep-dish) crust and it worked just find.

Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the pan, spreading evenly to distribute. Gently pour the syrup on top. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cool and serve with Whiskey Butter Sauce.

Whiskey Butter Sauce... Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water. Beat the sugar and egg in a small bowl until blended. Stir the egg mixture into the butter. Add the hot water and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from the double boiler and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the cream and whiskey. I might mention, that glancing at the recipe when adding the whiskey, might not be a bad idea. I didn't... thought I'd wing it. Added half a cup (mind you, at an Aunt's bidding) and need I say... it was a little much. For instance:

Here's a picture of my Dad, getting ready to try his first bite of pie. He's excited!

Here's my Dad, having JUST taken his first bite of pie. In about thirty seconds, the whiskey's gonna hit him.

Here's my Dad, and the whiskey hit him. We found him later, sprawled out back, licking the bowl that the sauce was in. He liked it!

I think the heavy hitters in my family would give it an A. I'd give it a B-... as it turns out, I'm not much of a whiskey fan. And I sort of wish I had my unopened bottle back. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. LOVE the pictures Patricia... thanks. I especially appreciate the last one. I think that was taken just before I hit the floor :^O

  2. Hello, delicious! If the pie isn't enough, that sauce sounds like heaven on a plate..err, pie. Great recipe, fun photos. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Bring back the pumpkin! We miss it. Advent is no excuse!