Pecan pie just got better! This Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie contains robust maple syrup, a hint of bourbon, and dark chocolate with no corn syrup in sight. It's easy to make, and takes a run-of-the-mill pecan pie to new flavor heights!
Why this recipe works
- An easy pecan pie, with the filling enhanced with pure maple syrup and bourbon
- Dark chocolate on the crust gives a delightful surprise and is a nice counterpoint to the sweet filling
- Make a full-sized pie or scale the pie down for a smaller portion
I like traditions. They’re comforting like a warm blanket and Hot Chocolate on a rainy day.
Altering well-loved recipes can be tampering with tradition, but how else can new versions of a classic come about? Take for instance the aforementioned Pecan Pie. Can we make it differently, and (dare I say it) better? You bet!
Friends, I give you Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie!
(Whoa…that’s a mouthful!)
Maple syrup designations
Before we start with our maple bourbon pecan pie, let's talk a bit about maple syrup itself. There are so many types to choose from now!
Maple syrup is graded by its intensity of color and flavor. Here is the current grading systems used by the USDA and Canada:
- Grade A Light Amber or Canada No. 1 Extra Light: Grade A golden color, delicate taste
- Grade A Medium Amber or Canada No. 1 Light: Grade A amber color, rich taste
- Grade A Dark Amber or Canada No. 1 Medium: Grade A dark color, robust taste (can be closer to the Medium Amber designation...it will depend on the brand)
- Grade B or Canada No. 2 Amber: Grade A dark color, robust taste
Using robust maple syrup lends a deep maple flavor to your baked goods, like in these Maple Walnut Bourbon Blondies.
What you need
A classic pecan pie recipe contains pecans, eggs, corn syrup, flour, and butter.
In updating a that recipe, the idea is to go for more flavor. Here we're replacing the usual corn syrup (which only adds sweetness but no flavor) with a robust maple syrup (which offers both).
Substituting dark brown sugar for granulated sugar adds more deep caramel notes. Adding a layer of melted dark chocolate on the crust gives a delightful surprise and is a nice counterpoint to the sweet filling. You can use semisweet chocolate if you'd prefer a slightly sweeter chocolate.
And adding bourbon (like 4 Roses or Widow Jane) provides a subtle spiciness to the overall pie. You can substitute Apple Brandy or Apple Cider for bourbon for another flavor profile. Either way, the alcohol bakes out, so this pie is G-rated for all age groups, or just leave out the booze altogether.
I like to use my all-butter pie crust recipe for a single crust pie (using a 9 : 6 : 3 recipe ratio of flour : fat : liquid), sweetened with 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. You can, of course, use a store-bought single crust pie shell.
How to make Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
Step 2: Make the chocolate (black bottom) layer
Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Depending on your microwave, this should take between 2 to 3 cycles.
Spread the melted chocolate over the bottom of the crust with a small offset spatula, then chill for an additional 10 minutes or until chocolate is firm (photo 1). After the chocolate has set, fill the shell with as many pecans as you can (photo 2). It is a pecan pie recipe, after all!
Step 3: Make the filling
While the crust is chilling, whisk the dark brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, melted butter, eggs, flour, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps of brown sugar. Pour the filling over the pecans (photo 3).
Add the decorative crust pieces using egg wash as glue, if desired. Brush edges and any decorative pieces with additional egg wash (photo 4). This will lend a nice shine to the pie crust.
Step 4: Bake the pie
Bake the pie at 350°F for 60 to 70 minutes or until the filling is set and slightly puffed (photo 5). Start checking the pie after 45 minutes to make sure the pecans don't get overly browned. If the edges are browning too quickly, cover them with a pie shield or foil after 30 minutes.
Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool completely. Don’t worry if the filling has cracked a bit as it puffs up. It will subside when cooled. Serve the pie chilled or at room temperature.
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions you might have...
Pecan pie filling needs to be fully baked and cooled for the filling to set completely. Make sure your oven is set to 350°F and you're baking the pie until the filling doesn't jiggle and looks puffy, then allow it to cool to room temperature before serving. Chilling the pie will help set the filling even more.
No! The beauty of pie is that it's relatively easy to make them smaller. Perfect for feeding smaller groups, or to have pies to freeze for later.
If you'd prefer to make four 6-inch pies, you only need to make half the filling recipe, still using a single crust pie.
For a small 7-inch pie (enough for 2 to 4 people), half the filling recipe will give you slightly more than you need, but it's the easiest way to adapt this recipe (⅓ the filling recipe may be closer). Use half the single crust pie recipe, or the 6 : 4 : 2 recipe ratio.
Sure! You can make Pecan Pie Bars (minus the melted chocolate). All the goodness of pecan pie in a portion-controlled bar, it's a slab pie that's sure to be a hit!
Pro Tip: Baking with booze
When baking with spirits like Kahlua or bourbon, whether the resulting product will be alcoholic (and therefore unsuitable for children) will depend on when in the process the alcohol is added. If the spirit is going into a batter that will be baked, the alcohol cooks off and only the flavor is left behind. If the spirit is added after baking, then that item will be potent.
For example, my Port Wine Chocolate Cake has port in both the batter and the ganache frosting. The unfrosted cake would be suitable for everyone, but the ganache frosting isn't cooked so it still contains alcohol.
Just be aware of your potential audience when cooking with spirits, and serve your potent products with a disclaimer if necessary.
An improved Pecan Pie recipe
This Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie is excellent. Rich maple caramel goodness with a hint of bourbon spiciness and a layer of dark chocolate all interact and balance each other. It's a homemade pecan pie recipe taken to new flavor heights!
In my family, Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie has now become another of my customary contributions to Thanksgiving dinner. And check out these Thanksgiving dessert inspirations for more out-of-the-norm ideas. Adapt them to suit your needs!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Pies, tarts, and cobblers can be sweet or savory, and there are so many fillings from which to choose. From fruits to nuts and custards, there's bound to be a pie, tart, or cobbler recipe that catches your fancy! Here are a few choices to try.
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Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie (No Corn Syrup)
For the crust
For the filling
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup, robust flavor
- ¼ cup bourbon, see Recipe Notes
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups pecans, or enough to "pack" the pie pan
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Prepare the crust: Prepare and chill a pie crust for a single crust pie (using a 9 : 6 : 3 recipe ratio of flour : fat : liquid sweetened with 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar if desired, or use a store-bought single crust pie dough. For additional ease of release, spray the pie pan with baking spray, then set aside.
- Roll out the pie crust and ease it into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim edges, creating decorative cutouts with trimmings, if desired. Add some decorative crimping or press the edge with a fork. Chill the crust and decorative pieces in the freezer 10 minutes while you melt the chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Depending on your microwave, this should take between 2 to 3 cycles.
- Using a small offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the bottom of the crust, then chill for an additional 10 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Work quickly as the chocolate hardens on the cold crust.
- Make the filling: While crust is chilling, whisk the dark brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, melted butter, eggs, flour, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps of brown sugar. Set aside.
- Press the pecans to the chilled crust (as many as can fit), then pour the sugar mixture over them. Add the decorative crust pieces using egg wash as glue, if desired. Brush edges and any decorative pieces with additional egg wash. This will lend a nice shine to the pie crust.
- Bake the pie for 60 to 70 minutes or until the filling is set and slightly puffed. Start checking the pie after 45 minutes to make sure the pecans don't get overly browned. If the edges are browning too quickly, cover with them with a pie shield or foil after 30 minutes.
- Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool completely. Don’t worry if the filling has cracked a bit as it puffs up. It will subside when cooled.
- Serve the pie chilled or at room temperature.
- Store the pie in the refrigerator, or freeze for longer term storage (thaw in the refrigerator overnight). Pecan pie can be kept at room temperature for up to two hours.