Pumpkin-Pecan Pie with Whiskey Butter Sauce

Yes, you read that title correctly. Not just a pumpkin pie. Not just a pecan pie. Not just whiskey. All three. Combined.

Paula Deen, eat your heart out.

Now this recipe does require a bit of backstory. Around Thanksgiving time, I discovered the *one* store in Oxford that sold canned pumpkin, the necessary ingredient for the time-honored classic of pumpkin pie. Not knowing when I'd find another supply, I immediately bought 4 or 5 cans, thinking surely I'd use it over the course of the year.

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and those cans of pumpkin puree sit unused on my kitchen shelf. Knowing I have a flatmate who has a certain penchant for pumpkin pie, the Super Bowl seemed as good a time as any to pull one out and revisit the wonders of Thanksgiving desserts. But making just a pumpkin pie didn't seem quite right. Not for the Super Bowl. It had to be, well, super.

And so I went recipe trawling. And almost immediately I found a Texan recipe (surprise, surprise) for the gastronomic sugary feast that is the pecan pumpkin pie. Not only did it combine two pies in one, it feature whiskey in the sauce. And not "burn the alcohol off while making this" whiskey. No, no. Straight up "mix it with some cream and serve" whiskey sauce. Eat too much of this pie and you'll not only get diabetes, but you'll get one heck of a hangover. Be warned.

But this pie is delicious. Amazingly delicious. Yes, it's sweet. But not overwhelmingly so. The muted flavors of the pumpkin pie balance out the rich treacle that is the pecan element. Combine that with creamy whiskey, and well, you've got heaven on a plate. Thanks again, Lone Star State.

Yield: Makes on 8-inch pie

Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (113.4 grams)
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Pumpkin Filling
1 cup cooked pumpkin purée
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, beaten until frothy
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pecan Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup (this is almost impossible to find in the UK, I recommend a combination of 1/2 cup golden syrup and 1/4 cup black treacle)
2 small eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (14.18 grams)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
3/4 cup pecan pieces
Whiskey Butter Sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick) (56.7 grams)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon very hot water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey (or Scotch single malt, which is what I had available)


Pie Crust
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and incorporate with your fingertips until the mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle the water over the flour mixture in tablespoon increments, stirring continuously with a fork. Form the dough into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Filling
Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.

Pecan Syrup
Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325°F  (163 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch springform cake pan.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to 3/16 inch. Very lightly flour the top of the dough and fold it into quarters. Carefully place the dough in the greased cake pan. Press firmly in place and trim the edges. Chill for 15 minutes.

Spoon the Pumpkin Filling into the pan, spreading evenly to distribute. Gently pour the Pecan Syrup on top. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cool and serve with Whiskey Butter Sauce.

Whiskey Butter Sauce
Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water.

Beat the sugar and egg in a small bowl until blended. Stir the egg mixture into the butter. Add the hot water and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the double boiler and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the cream and whiskey.