I’ve always liked pumpkin pie OK but for many years never really loved them; certainly never craved them at Thanksgiving like some folks do; pecan pie was my favorite. Maybe it’s too many store bought, cardboard crust, metal tin, cafeteria style boring pies that turned me off, so I’m always experimenting and looking for one that suits me because I really think there is potential. This Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Walnuts, for me, seems to be the best of everything; classic Pâte Brisée pie crust, creamy pumpkin filling (with bourbon) and a crunchy walnut (or pecan) topping with more bourbon. What’s not to love?
I used brown sugar in this recipe too; it just seems better suited for a pumpkin pie with bourbon or maybe it’s just because I love brown sugar that I decided to use it. And it certainly also doesn’t hurt to have all of that creamy goodness topped with a crunchy topping. When I first made this pie in 2010; I posted it but I had used pecans with the bourbon topping and I’ve since become such a fan of toasted walnuts I tried something new. Either one is great; use what you prefer but toasting them prior to mixing them up with the other topping ingredients is key.
I made this for dessert this past Saturday when I had friends over for dinner. One neighbor who is a bit of a picky eater had a bite of his wife’s pie and declared that he didn’t normally like pumpkin pie but he liked this. Music to this food blogger’s ears I tell ya; nothing makes me happier than making someone else happy with food I’ve made in my kitchen especially if it can turn them on to something they heretofore didn’t care for.
You might not have noticed but the bourbon that is poured on top is flamed. I really tried to capture that in a photo but it was not my day; maybe my concern with not wanting to also burn up the house entered into the equation so while you are missing a photo with a blue cast on the top of the pie, you are actually getting a photo at all and not a shot of my burned out studio. I figured it was a good trade.
If you like the idea of these ingredients together, you might also enjoy this Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon and Toasted Walnuts; it’s a bit more trouble but has the same great flavors. I made it for Thanksgiving last year for the first time and everyone just loved it.
I enjoy the occasional cocktail with bourbon in it but I honestly think I love it more in cooking. This combination of pumpkin, brown sugar and bourbon were meant to be joined in holy matrimony; they are just perfect together! My thanks to the nice people at George Dickel Bourbon for gifting me with a nice bourbon that I’m using to cook with over the holidays. I have a simple rule; a bit for the pie, a bit for the cook. Makes everyone happy. 🙂
- 1 pie crust - homemade or store bought
For the Filling
- 16 ounces pumpkin - canned or fresh (cooked)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp bourbon
For the Topping
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, rough chopped and toasted
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
To Flame the Pie (optional)
- 2 Tbsp bourbon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Combine all ingredients for filling, mix well and pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
- Bake at 425 for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350F and bake additional 45 minutes or until set. Cool.
To Make the Topping:
- Combine the butter 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the nuts and 3 tablespoons of bourbon, stirring to coat the nuts. Spoon the mixture over the pie.
To Flame the Pie:
- Heat the 2 Tbsp of bourbon in a small saucepan, just long enough to produce fumes (do not boil); remove from the heat, ignite with a match and pour over pie. Serve pie when flames die down. (Or just heat the bourbon and let it simmer for a minute or two to burn off some of the alcohol)