Allison Kave is the founder of First Prize Pies. Last year she won the Brooklyn Pie Bake-off with this Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie.
I started baking this pie ages ago – I think maybe for a Thanksgiving dinner. I knew I wanted to make a bourbon pecan pie, but with a twist. I’ve always loved ginger and thought it would make a nice complement to the nutty flavor of the pecans and the warm booziness of the bourbon. Over the years I refined the recipe, and last fall (on a whim) I entered it in the 1st Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off. I would up winning the contest, which started me on the road to opening my own pie business, First Prize Pies.
Here is the recipe, I hope everyone enjoys!
Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie
Crust — makes enough for 1 single 9-inch crust:
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2 Tablespoons lard, chilled*
1/2 tsp white vinegar*
1/4 cup very cold water
1 cup light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups pecans, lightly toasted
2-3 Tablespoons good bourbon
a pinch of salt
1 tsp ground dried ginger
approximately 2 tsp (about a 2-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (a microplane is great for this)
approximately 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Tip: If you do not want to use lard (although I recommend it as it makes an amazing crust), just replace it with butter and omit the white vinegar from the recipe. I’m not a fan of shortening, but you could substitute that if you want to. Also, leaf lard is really the best thing for pies, if you can find it. I buy it already rendered from my local farmer’s market, and you can often find it frozen at good food markets.
1. Make the crust. I use a food processor for this, and it turns out wonderfully, but you can cut the fat into the flour by hand if you don’t have one. A pastry cutter or a couple of knives will do the trick.
In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flours, salt, and sugar just to combine. Add the butter and lard, and pulse a few times to cut the fat into the flour. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Combine the vinegar (if using) with the cold water. With the processor running, pour the liquid down the feed tube all at once. As soon as the dough begins to form a ball around the blade, stop the machine. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto it, scraping the bowl and blade with a spatula. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap lightly, and chill for at least an hour before using. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
After the dough has rested, lightly dust a clean work surface with flour, and roll out to a circle approximately 10 inches in diameter, and about 1/8″ thick. Line a buttered pie plate with the dough, and trim the overhang to about 1/2 inch. Do not prick with a fork. Tuck the overhang under the edge between the pie plate and the crust, and make a nice decoration around the edge by pinching the dough between your thumb and forefinger. Return to the fridge to chill for another 20-30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or dried rice, to help the crust hold its shape while baking. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove the weights and foil, and return to the oven for 10 more minutes, until the crust begins to brown lightly. Remove from the oven and cool before filling. If the crust has bubbled up at all on the bottom don’t worry, just lightly press down any bubbles.
3. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. While the crust cools, make the filling. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and the melted butter. Add the maple syrup, eggs, pecans (toast these lightly first for best flavor), bourbon, salt, and gingers, and stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust, brush edges of crust with an egg wash or cream, and bake for approx 25-35 minutes, or until the pie is set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. The pie can be frozen after it has cooled. To do so, wrap it well in plastic and then foil, and leave it out at room temperature for a few hours to defrost.