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Bacon and Bourbon Pecan Pie

When I was a kid, I secretly enjoyed having maple syrup flow onto my bacon or sausage. While most people would save their sausages from drowning by moving them to higher ground, I left them in the lowlands, gleefully watching as the creeping syrup engulfed things it wasn’t supposed to. Sometimes, if I was feeling
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Experimental
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Nuts, Pork
Servings 1 pie

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pecans
  • 6 strips bacon medium thickness cut into thirds

for crust

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease frozen
  • 8 tablespoons cultured unsalted butter frozen and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon ice water

for filling

  • 6 tablespoons cultured unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Move the oven rack to the middle position then preheat to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet then roast in the oven for around 10 minutes or until they are fragrant.
  2. Fry the bacon over medium low heat until brown and very crisp then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Measure 2 Tbs of bacon lard into a glass or metal container then allow it to come to room temperature before placing it in the freezer. Put 9 pieces of the fried bacon (3 whole strips) in the freezer as well.
  3. Put the frozen bacon into the work bowl of a food processor and blitz until the bacon is powderized. 

  4. Add the flour and sugar, processing until it's well incorporated into the flour. 

  5. Add the frozen bacon grease, and butter then pulse until there are pebble sized pieces of fat. 

  6. Whisk together 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of ice water. Add 2 tablespoons of this mixture too the food processor and then pulse to combine. Continue to add more of the egg mixture and pulse until the dough is crumbly but just starting to come together (pictured above). You shouldn't need to use all of the egg mixture.

  7. Turn the pebbles of dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press together. Using as few motions as possible, flatten the dough with the palm of your hand then use the plastic wrap to fold the dough over itself. The idea is to flatten the beads of cold butter into layers, which will make the dough flakey. Too much handling though and you will form gluten in the flour which will make the dough tough. Flatten once more, fold over and shape into a puck. Wrap with the plastic and put it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  8. On a floured surface, roll out the dough so it's bigger than a standard pie plate. 

  9. Roll it onto your pin and slide it over your pie plate. Unroll it making sure it's centered. Gently press the dough into the corners of the plate and then use kitchen sheers to trim the dough with 1/2" of overhang. Tuck the overhang under itself then flute the edge with your fingers. Return to the fridge until hard.

  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cover the crust with aluminum foil, pressing the foil against the dough. Use a fork to poke holes through the foil and through the dough. Dump some dried beans or pie weights onto the foil and put the crust into a preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is set. 

  11. Remove the foil with the pie weights and return the crust to the oven until it just starts turning brown 7-10 minutes.

  12. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees.
  13. Setup a double boiler with a metal bowl over a pot filled with water and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Melt the butter, then add the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. 

  14. Once they're dissolved, whisk in the eggs one at a time until combined. Switch to a heatproof spatula and mix in the vanilla and bourbon. Continue stirring, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl until the mixture reaches 130 degrees F. 

  15. Remove it from the heat, add the pecans and pour the mixture into the warm crust.

  16. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is mostly set. Insert the remaining 9 pieces of bacon into the top of the pie while it is still warm. Let it cool completely before cutting.

Notes:

I'm entering this in the Foodbuzz BACONALIA challenge as an entry.