Bourbon-Ginger Pecan Pie

Keep Your Eyes on the Pies

When I think of fall flavors, the three that immediately come to mind are pumpkin, apple, and maple. And when I think of delicious holidays, the clear winner for me is Thanksgiving. Combine the latter two and you have the best pie I’ve ever eaten.

There is so much wonderful food that accompanies this decadent holiday, but I love dessert. I don’t always eat it, but let that not be an indication it holds any lesser place in my heart — or my stomach. A few years ago I finally ventured away from the tradition of keeping to apple and pumpkin pies and made my very first pecan pie. There is no mistaking it was a fabulous, and now permanent, choice.

I just happened to remember an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate I’d watched with wide eyes (and a little drool) as someone described the bourbon-ginger-pecan pie at Butter & Scotch in Brooklyn. She had me at ginger, but when she mentioned bourbon I was sold on sight. So sold I actually popped onto Amazon and bought co-owner Allison Kave’s famed book First Prize Pies* to get my hands on all the recipes, not just the highly coveted addition to my Thanksgivings hence forth.

Her pie is traditional but edgy, full of strong, surprising flavor and unexpected texture. And the big bonus: it lends itself to the addition of chocolate for all you chocoholics out there. Without further ado, below is my all-time favorite First Prize Pie, with a few of my own process preferences and taste-testing tips, but no ingredient modifications. (Thank you, Allison!)

The Shop: get the look — and the tools — I used in this recipe by accessing the links at the bottom of the post!


1 9” pie crust of your choice (FPP’s is amazing, but since going GF, I stick to America’s Test Kitchen’s GF Pie Dough)
1 c. dark brown sugar (packed firmly)
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 t. fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. salt
2-3 T. bourbon (I use Bulleit or Maker’s Mark — Allison’s choice!)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c. pecan pieces, chopped
1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped ( Celiacs: I love Trader Joe’s because it’s packaged on gluten-free equipment)
egg wash or milk (I beat 1 egg, plus a splash of milk)

Chocolate Option: add 2 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate to the liquid filling before pouring in the pie shell. Talk about decadence!

Note: I tend to use deep pie dishes, like the Laurel Pie Dish from Farmhouse Pottery shown in the photos, so I double the recipe, fill the pie shell three-quarters full, and bake the remaining filling in a muffin tin.


1. Partially blind-bake the pie crust following instructions appropriate to your particular crust.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Whisk until smooth the sugar, maple syrup, fresh and ground ginger, salt, and bourbon. (Note: bourbon is a recommendation based on taste. I’d recommend starting with a lesser amount an increasing only as you enjoy it. Personally, I really enjoy it.)
4. Add the beaten eggs and whisk until mixed.
5. Place the crust on a baking sheet and brush the egg wash or milk on the crust edges.

Egg Wash the Pie Crust Edges

6. Put the pecans and crystallized ginger in the pie shell. (Mix them up together in a bowl beforehand, or sprinkle the ginger over the pecans.) Pour the liquid filling over it.

7. Bake for 3o minutes. The filling should be basically set but still a little jiggly in the center. Cool on a wire rack.

9. Enjoy! (Really. Grab a glass of whatever wets your whistle and hide out. Take a moment and savor the perfect fall goodness in every bite… Or, if you must, sit at the Thanksgiving table and share it. Either way you’ll be a happy camper.)

{If you’re interested in reading Allison Kave’s own take on her creation, click here to be guided by the pie-maker herself!}

Pies, Pies, and more Favorite Pies

Of course, what’s Thanksgiving without my oldies but goodies, pumpkin and apple? Below are a few links to recipes I’ve loved to love.

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake à la Food Network Kitchens — delish!

  • because I’m a traditional gal, I love King Arthur’s good old Pumpkin Pie, sans cloves

  • but when I’m not… I’ll send huge, heartfelt thanks to the Pioneer Woman for her super decadent {and adult} Dreamy Apple Pie. And because I support her cause here, I implore you not to forgo adding her Hard Sauce!

  • Apple Crisp is easily made in a skillet with American’s Test Kitchen (& easily gluten-free — just use GF oats! I love Bob’s Red Mill.)

The Goods

& for some more Late Autumn Goodness…

Check out the links below for some other Connecticut Blogger Babes’ November posts on all things late fall fashion, feasts, gratitude, and fun!


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