Bourbon, especially wheated bourbon, pairs particularly well with brown sugar and pecans. Save the Pappy Van Winkle for drinking; for cooking and baking, use Maker’s Mark, Redemption Wheated Bourbon or Heaven Hill Larceny. If you don’t want to use bourbon, you can substitute one part vanilla extract plus two parts water for each tablespoon of bourbon in this recipe.
Feels Like Home
Pecan Crunch Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 small to medium
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon table salt
2-3 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
3 tablespoons cane syrup
1 9-inch pie crust, partially baked
Preheat oven to 375F.
Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them until completely cooked through. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the sweet potatoes, but it will take from 30 to 60 minutes.)
Remove cooked sweet potatoes from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Halve each potato crosswise, then insert small spoon between skin and flesh, and scoop flesh into medium bowl; discard skin. Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes; you should have about 2 cups of flesh after removing skin. While potatoes are still hot, add butter and mash with fork or wooden spoon; small lumps of potato should remain.
Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl; stir in bourbon, molasses and vanilla, then whisk in milk. Gradually add egg mixture to sweet potatoes, whisking gently to combine.
Heat partially baked pie crust in oven until warm, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle bottom of pie shell evenly with brown sugar. Pour sweet potato mixture into pie shell over brown sugar layer. Bake for 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, toss chopped pecans with cane syrup until evenly coated; set aside.
Lower temperature to 350F, spread the pecan and cane syrup topping over the top of the pie, then return pie to the oven and continue baking until filling is set around edges but center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 40 minutes.
Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, and serve.