Thursday, December 24, 2015

Salted Pecan Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

It's my first day of Christmas vacation.  It's early in the morning for me to be up and showered - it's 9:30 AM on Christmas Eve.  But how can I sleep when there is so much going on in my head?!  I was awoken earlier by texts from my friend Cathleen - she had her beautiful baby girl!  I had been waiting for these messages, so even though texts don;t usually wake me up, I sprang up immediately.  I got too excited to fall back to sleep.  I showered because I am meeting two wonderful friends for breakfast in an hour. Then I couldn't stop thinking about Christmas Eve, and how it has always been my favorite day of the year.  Last year though?  It was tough.  This Christmas, while definitely not where I expected my life to be, is so much better.  The people in my life want to be here with me.  My friends and my family love me and I love them.  And don't get me started on how much I love my dogs.  I've had a rough year, but I am content with where I am right now.

Tonight I will be heading to Jeff and Heidi's for the annual Haley family Christmas Eve party.  Then I will be spending the night at my mom's house like the good old days :)  The pups and I are kind of excited to have a sleepover and make a nice breakfast to eat with my mom and sisters tomorrow.

One thing on my to do list still: what the heck am I bringing to the party tonight!?  Did today sneak up on anyone else?  I am leaning towards a dip of some sort, or maybe some kind of cake... as you can see, I am all over the place.  But I'm here to give you some help if you're still trying to figure out to what to bring.  Enter, salted pecan bourbon pumpkin pie.  This was my dessert for Thanksgiving, chosen out of a magazine by Kenzie.  The name is a mouthful, but there is a lot going on in this pie.  It starts off like any of pumpkin pie (with the addition of a little bourbon), but then it gets topped with a crunchy layer of pecans cooked in molasses and brown sugar until they are sticky and incredible.  Top the whole thing with some flaked sea salt and, if you're feeling decadent, add some bourbon whipped cream (I never got around to that part).

To be honest, desserts did not really go at my Thanksgiving, so I can't tell you that this pie was devoured by happy family members.  The only dessert that really got eaten was Rice Krispie treats.  Everything else was barely touched!  Bizarre.  But it's still a pretty great recipe if you want to make a pie that's not-your-average - and if you're still sitting there staring at recipes trying to figure out what to bring to your Christmas party!


salted pecan bourbon pumpkin pie
from a magazine... not sure which one because Kenzie sent me the recipe!
serves 8

1 baked pie crust
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half and half or light cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1 recipe bourbon whipped cream, below


1) Prepare baked pie crust and set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Stir in eggs until combined.  Stir in half and half, bourbon and vanilla until combined.  Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust.  Cover edges with foil and bake 40 minutes or until edges begin to puff and center is almost set.

2) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine molasses, butter, and the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar.  Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.  Stir in pecans.  Spoon pecan mixture over the top of the pie.  Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below the pie.  Bake 15 minutes more until center is set.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Cool completely.  Chill within 2 hours.  Serve with bourbon whipped cream.

3) For bourbon whipped cream, in a chilled bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tablespoon bourbon, and 2 teaspoons sugar until soft peaks form.

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