Holidays are the time for long cherished traditions. And for trying new things too–how do long cherished traditions get established anyway? And so this year, when my mother barged in and made my traditional Betty Crocker French Apple Pie (alright, I did get the recipe from her…), it was time for a new dessert–a Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart!
Molly, one of my local blogging buddies, had just posted a Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe that had me drooling. Loaded with pecans, I knew it would be filled with nutty goodness, not the uber-sweet where-is-the-pecan variety you sometimes find. Putting it over the top was a good dash of bourbon. One cooking lesson I learned last summer was that even a few tablespoons of alcohol can add a big flavor boost–there is a lot of boozy canned fruit flying off my pantry shelves (recipes next summer I promise) as a testament.
I made the recipe with just a couple of changes. I substituted maple syrup for the original sorghum (not wanting to run any last minute errands) and I made the pie in tart form–with little maple leaves around the outside. If a dish requires coordination to look cute, you can count me out, but I figured I had a shot at cutting pie crust with a leaf shaped cookie cutter.
As the pie baked, the maples leaves seemed to sink into the filling and I began to get worried. But in the end everything settled properly in place. With the pie done, we even had time to start some Christmas decorating!
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 c. light corn syrup
- 1/4 c. dark corn syrup
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 3 tbsp. bourbon
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 c. chopped pecans
- 1 1/3 unbaked pie crust (or 1 crust if you skip the maple leave decoration)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together. Stir in the next 7 ingredients (maple syrup through vanilla). Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the filling into prepared pie crust (I used an 11 inch tart pan). For an optional decorative touch, take a second crust (you use about 1/3 of a recipe/prepared crust*) and cut maple leaves or other decorations with a small cookie cutter. Arrange these around the edge of the crust.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until top is set and crust is golden brown.
- If you roll a prepared refrigerated pie crust slightly larger, it will perfectly fit an 11 inch tart pan (I will occasionally just press it in with my fingers)
- *Refrigerate/freeze the remaining crust for future baking or make pie crust cookies by cutting additional cookies, sprinkling with sugar and cinnamon and baking .