Food and Drink

It’s the perfect time of year for indulgent, bourbon-spiked chocolate pecan pie

‘Tis the season to indulge, whether in savory comfort foods, sweet treats or cocktails. This tipsy pie ticks all the boxes. Toasted pecans get a boost from bourbon and dark chocolate. Make sure to bake just until puffed and set; you want a nice, slightly gooey/fudgy center. To save time, you can make this one day ahead and store at room temp; gently heat at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes or until just warmed through. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Boozy chocolate pecan pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie

1 recipe pie dough (recipe follows)

For the filling:

3 cups pecans (8 ounces)

4 large eggs

3/4 cup dark brown sugar


2/3 cup light corn syrup or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Optional: Finishing salt, such as Maldon or Alaska Pure flake salt

For the pie crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (about 16)

1 large egg yolk (save the white for the egg wash)

3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold milk (or water)

On a lightly-floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch round. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1/2-inch; fold the edge under itself and crimp using fingers or fork tines. Save dough scraps, if desired, to make decorative shapes, for the edge. Refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toast pecans in oven on a rimmed baking sheet or in a dry skillet on stovetop for 5 to 7 minutes and until lightly toasted; coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon, salt. Stir in toasted, chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake on bottom rack of oven for 40 to 45 minutes. The center should be just set and puffed up; a tester inserted in center should come out mostly clean. If beginning to brown too quickly, tent the crust with aluminum foil. Transfer pie to a cooling rack and sprinkle with finishing salt, if desired. Let cool for at least one hour. Serve with whipped cream.


For the pie crust:

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor (or a large bowl if not using a processor). Add butter and pulse a few times, or mix in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of milk and pour into flour mixture, pulsing or mixing, until dough comes together and just starts to form a ball. If dough is still dry, add up to another tablespoon of milk, but try not to add too much.

Press together with lightly floured hands and form into a flat round; wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes and up to three days. Note: Dough can be frozen and thawed just before using.

Kim Sunée

Kim Sunée is a bestselling author ("Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home," "A Mouthful of Stars," "Everyday Korean: Fresh, Modern Recipes for Home Cooks") and a former magazine food editor. She's based in Anchorage. For more food and travel, visit