Southern Pecan Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Recipe by Nancy Johnson Wine; Commentary by Gary Twining
So sweet and so satisfying, pecan pie is a Southern favorite. You can make your own pie crust or use a packaged pie crust. Spritz the measuring cup with cooking spray before adding the corn syrup so you’ll get every drop. You can make this pie with white sugar and dark corn syrup, but I prefer this version. This recipe calls for pecan halves but you can instead use chopped pecans. A teaspoon of vanilla or bourbon can be added to the egg mixture, if desired.
Pastry for single-crust pie, unbaked
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk eggs slightly. Stir in sugar and salt, whisking until dissolved. Stir in corn syrup and melted butter, mixing well. Arrange pecan halves in the bottom of the pastry. Pour egg mixture over pecans. To prevent over-browning, cover edge of pie crust with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 minutes more, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack before serving. Store leftovers in fridge. Serves 6.
Bourbon Whipped Cream
I tend to over-beat my whipped cream, until the peaks are very stiff. If you beat it too much, though, the buttermilk will separate from the cream. If that happens, don’t panic. Drink the buttermilk and enjoy the sweet butter you’ve just made.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBS white sugar
1 TBS bourbon
Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft mounds form. Beat in sugar until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, fold in bourbon. Excellent on pumpkin pie, too.
Gary: A rich and decadent dessert with nut and caramel overtones. It demands a similarly styled dessert wine with enough sweetness and richness to not pale in comparison. Look for a Bual or Malmsey Madeira, preferably at least a five-year-old. Pedro Ximénez/Montilla/sweet Sherry would be delightful to echo the nuttiness of the pecans, as would a concentrated late harvest wine such as the Australian Rutherglen “stickies” or the Italian passitos. If you are a fan of botrytised, late harvest whites or icewines, they are also entirely marvelous pairings.