Pecan pie is a classic. Decadent and sweet, it is a perfect dessert for holiday and family gatherings. For being a pie lover, overly sweet desserts can be overwhelming to me, and the classic pecan pie can be a sugar bomb. That is why I am such a fan of this recipe.  Using less sugar than a classic recipe, the sweetness is balanced by the addition of bourbon and spiced pecans.

Before you give this pie a go, a note about my preferred flour—I like to use pastry flour because it makes for a more tender crust.  I use King Arthur, and find it online. I haven’t found a local store that carries pastry flour so this works well for me. If you don’t use pastry flour, this pie will still be amazing and a crowd favorite.

If you do make this pie, let me know how it goes, I would love to chat about your experience!


Bourbon, Spiced Pecan Pie

8-10 servings
Total Time: 4 hours
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
(includes dough chilling)

Bake Time: 40-50 minutes



  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) white pastry flour (intermediate or advanced baker), or use all-purpose flour (5.25 ounces) for those who are getting more comfortable with all-butter crusts. Note: if you can’t get pastry flour, mix all-purpose flour with cake flour (1 part cake flour, 2 parts all-purpose) Here is a short video with some additional info.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-5 tablespoons (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 ounces) ice water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, personal preference)


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) dark corn syrup (you can also use light corn syrup for a more delicate sweet flavor)
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces pecans, 6 ounces coarsely chopped, 2 ounces whole (you don’t have to spice the pecans for this recipe, but I highly recommend that you do. Follow the recipe below for spiced pecans)

Spiced Pecans:

  • 16 ounces pecans (you only need 8 ounces for the pie recipe, but these are really yummy to have around)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon

If you want a full tutorial on how to make a killer all-butter pie crust, check out my full recipe and guide.

In a food processor add flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to incorporate. Add cold, cubed butter and pulse until mealy, lima bean sized pieces (If you do not have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender and a medium size bowl to incorporate ingredients). Once it is the right consistency, move mixture out of the food processor and into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in water, using a fork, one tablespoon at a time. Dough should hold together when you squeeze it, but not be overly moist (too much water aids in gluten development which causes a tough crust, tough crust is my nemesis). Form the dough into a flat, even disk, cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 2 days.

Sprinkle counter and dust a rolling pin and your hands with flour. Place chilled dough disk on the flour covered counter (if your dough warms up and becomes too sticky, even with flour, you can chill it in the fridge for an additional 15-20 minutes). Starting from the center of your disk, apply even, gentle pressure, and roll away from you. Don’t roll back and forth in the same spot—instead roll outward and then turn dough clockwise. If you roll in the same spot you will most likely have uneven dough and gluten will develop. Again, gluten development causes your crust to get tough. Did I mention that tough crust is my nemesis? Continue to roll and then turn dough, using more flour when needed and flipping multiple times along the way, until you have an 11 inch diameter. Place the dough into a 9 inch pie pan. You can fold the dough overhang under and crimp the crust—or my preference— is to cut the overhang and do a braided crust with the excess dough for this pie. Move the pie pan with dough into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This will help the crust keep its shape and size while baking.

Spiced Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spread pecans evenly across. Toast on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes (until slightly toasted and aromatic), and rotate pan halfway through. You can also toast pecans in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cool pecans on wire rack.

While pecans are toasting mix salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside.

Melt butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and bourbon in a medium sauce pan over medium- high heat, whisk constantly. Stir in pecans using a wooden spoon. Continue to stir constantly until all liquid has evaporated and pecans are coated in glaze, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer pecans to spice mix bowl and toss until evenly coated. Move coated pecans to original parchment lined sheet and let cool.  Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan boil brown sugar and corn syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes; set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl lightly beat eggs. Stirring constantly, very slowly pour the mixture into the eggs. If you don’t stir constantly and slowly pour the mixture in you will end up with scrambled eggs. Stir in melted butter, bourbon, vanilla and salt.

At this point you should have already spiced your pecans. I usually do this while my dough is chilling before I make the syrup. Take 6 ounces of spiced pecans and coarsely chop. Remove dough lined pie pan from the freezer and evenly sprinkle pecans on the bottom of pan. Pour filling over them. Bake for 20 minutes.

Position the remaining 2 ounces of whole spiced pecans in a border on the edge of the filling, and make a smaller circle in the center of the pie (see photo above). Bake an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Cool on a cooling rack to room temperature before serving. You want to wait 3-4 hours before serving.


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