The Pie Piper Jack Daniel's No.7 Pecan Pie

The Pie Piper Pecan Pie - with Jack Daniel’s No.7 Whiskey and Salted Caramel
By Danielle Butler from The Pie Piper

Pecan trees are a member of the Hickory family and native to the southern states of the USA and Mexico.  Although known pecan pie recipes were published starting around the 1880's, this pie was certainly being made in the early 1800's.  Sugar and nuts were readily available, and naturally found there way into cooking.

Here's The Pie Piper take on a traditional pecan pie.  My Dad, Bob, loved pecan pie, so it slowly took on a life of its own over the years as we made it for him and family and friends.

Be sure to read further below for our Piper baking tips.  Want to order a pie?  Check our Weekly Menu.

Please note, the competition mentioned in the clip is being run by Jack Daniel's New Zealand and ends 20 Dec 2015.  Please go to the Jack Daniel's Facebook page for more information.

Ingredients

Butter Pastry for a single crust 9-½” pie (24cm)
Filling
⅓ cup (75g) Brown Butter, melted
¾ cup (190g)  Brown Sugar
3 large Eggs 
¾ cup (185g) Corn Syrup
1 teaspoon Heilala Vanilla essence or paste
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup (225g) Roasted pecans, roughly chopped
¼ - ½ cup Jack Daniel’s No.7 to taste
Salted Caramel
1 cup (230g) White Sugar
⅓ cup (75g) Water
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt, plus salt to sprinkle
2 Tablespoons (25g) Butter
¼ - ½ cup Jack Daniel’s No.7 whiskey to taste

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

Use your favorite flakey pastry recipe, roll and line a 9-½” pie pan (24cm).  Put the shell in the freezer to chill and harden.  Approximately 15 minutes.  Meanwhile make the filling.

The Filling

In a large mixing bowl, add your melted brown butter and brown sugar.  Mix together well.  If using a stand mixer, do not over mix – mix until well combined, not fluffy.   Add the eggs and mix well. Then add the corn syrup.  You can use white or dark corn syrup depending on what you like.  Dark corn syrup adds a deeper caramel flavor.  Add Heilala vanilla and sea salt. Lastly, add the Jack Daniel’s No.7 to taste.

Get the pie shell out of the freezer and place it on a baking tray.  Place ⅓ cup of the chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pastry shell.  Add the rest of the pecans to the filling, stir well and then pour the filling into the unbaked pastry shell.

Place your filled pie in the oven on a centre rack and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.   Ideally, the pie is done when the edges of the filling have puffed up and the center of the pie is still a little wobbly.  Let the pie cool for 15-20 minutes before topping it with the Jack Daniel’s Salted Caramel.

Salted Caramel

To make the Jack Daniel’s Salted Caramel, place the sugar, water and sea salt into a small saucepan and place on the stove at a medium-low heat. 

Watch closely.  Using a candy thermometer bring the sugar to 126°C (260°F).  If you don’t have a thermometer, wait until the colour of the sugar will change to a nice golden brown.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.  Be very careful as the hot sugar will foam up.  Once the sugar has settled, stir in the Jack Daniel’s No.7 to taste.

Before pouring the hot salted caramel over the top of the baked Jack Daniel’s Pecan Pie, place a few pecan halves on the top of the pie as decoration.  Pour the salted caramel evenly over the top of the pie.  Sprinkle with more sea salt.

Let the pie completely cool for best slicing results.  But if you can’t wait, you can serve it warm.

Pie Making Tips:

    • Pastry likes the cold. The colder the better for a flakier crust, from start to finish.  The longer the butter layers in your pastry stays solid in the oven in the initial baking, the more flakey the pastry.
    • If you're using an all-purpose flour for your pastry, put a swig of alcohol into the mix.  It'll help retard the gluten and prevent the pastry from being too tough.
    • If you are using a stand mixer, do not over beat the pecan filling at any stage, otherwise you’ll end up with a cake style pie rather than a pie with a gooey center.
    • Roasting pecans before incorporating them into the pie gives them a better flavor.  Roast them gently in the oven for 5-6 minutes, then let them cool before adding them to your pie. 
    • Every oven is different. So be sure to adjust the cooking time to suit your oven.
    • You can cheat on the caramel and use a bottled version from your local market.

Pie and Happiness!

Copyright © 2015. Danielle Butler. All rights reserved.

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