Wednesday, December 15, 2010


We are days away from Christmas people! DAYS. Well, I suppose we are always days away from Christmas but there are usually too many to count to be this excited. 10 to be exact! And just in time here is a post about pies. It's long overdue but who hasn't thought yet this season, "where did the time go?" I have, everyday since a week before Thanksgiving.

I made three kinds of pies for our Thanksgiving dinner. We had so many desserts that with our extra pumpkin pie, we took turns running out to our bus stop to offer to our hard working public transport employees a piece of cheer on their route. I know we appreciate them and all that they put up with on a daily basis. 

The three kinds of pies were: pumpkin, maple-bourbon pumpkin and bourbon pecan.

I'll start with the pumpkin recipe:

Oven at 350

8oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat and yes, no one knew) 
2 cans pumpkin (plain)
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg +
2 egg yolks slightly beaten
1 c. half and half or heavy cream
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) of butter melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 pre-made (deep dish) crust (yes, I said pre-made) 

For maple-bourbon version add:
1 T. Grade B or REAL dark maple syrup
3 T. your favorite bourbon whiskey

This recipe ended up making enough for two pies, (I don't think I got the deep dish pie crusts) so I decided to get creative after pouring the first pie. With the second pie, I added maple and bourbon to it. Because everything is just that much better with maple and/or bourbon. So, to make the maple bourbon version just add 1 T. Maple syrup. And friends, when I say maple syrup, we are NOT talking about your Aunt Jemima. I mean super-awesome grade B, dark maple syrup from Vermont or the like. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Sorry for yelling but it's important. Also, don't forget the bourbon. 3 T. of it. Don't go crazy with the bourbon 3 T. is enough. Anymore and you might need a Breathalyzer before leaving the table. 

Thank you grand dad and thank you Vermont.
Bake your pie crust for about ten minutes. Enough for it to dry out and start to get some color. Pour dry beans or pie weights into the pan before cooking so your crust won't puff up and get all wonky. Sometimes I will just prick the bottom and edges with a fork and that usually prevents it from puffing out too. 

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer Add pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated. Add maple and bourbon if you so desire as well.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. 
All set, as they say up here. 
A word on a crack-less pie. You know what I mean, a pretty pie makes it more delicious, allegedly. Place your pie on the middle rack in the middle. So as to not be too close to the heat so it doesn't develop unsightly cracks on you. Cracks happen so don't be disappointed if they do, your pie is delicious regardless. 
Now for the peeeecan pie. No, I tend to say puh-con, it's true. I make an effort when it's pie to say peeecan and especially since I want to distinguish myself from all these northerners now. 
Pecan pie is so good and so easy to make. 7 or 8 ingredients really and one bowl. You can't get much better than that. 
Between trader Joe, grand dad and grand ma, we've got things covered!
Here's the recipe for the bourbon pecan pie:
Oven at 350

2 c. pecan halves and pieces
3/4 c. (dark, if you can find it) corn syrup
2 T. molasses (I added this because I couldn't find the dark corn syrup)
1/2 c. dark brown sugar (packed) 
4 T. unsalted butter melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
2 to 3 T. bourbon

Again, I used a pre-made crust. It was just easier for timing. I promise to do a homemade crust and post it too. 

Just mix everything in a bowl, nuts last and then pour into the pie crust. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The middle will still jiggle slightly. That's ok. (More of us need to hear that right?) ;)


ready to enjoy.

I hope in this crunch time before your holiday festivities and dinners you are all enjoying the little things and feeling the love that this season is truly about. I know I am thankful for each of you!


  1. My grandmother and I recently decided that it's puhcon because the pee can goes under the bed. Also, the pies look super delicious. :)

  2. Great bourbon pecan pie Recipe guys.

    We would love to feature it on, give us a shout!