Most people will claim to be full after enjoying a satisfying meal... but those people may change their mind when they lay eyes on this Brown Butter Pecan Pie with a homemade crust! In this recipe, butter is the word of the day. Pecans and brown butter mix for a truly nutty filling, richly sweetened with brown sugar and syrup. Butter sparkles from every bite of the flaky crust beneath. Brown Butter Pecan Pie is so buttery that you may want to buy your very own churn! Smooth with a spectacular crunch, this pie is the final flourish of a wonderful Thanksgiving meal or holiday party.
IngredientsFor the crust: • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled with a knife • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, very cold, divided into 3 pieces • 4 tablespoons water, very cold For the filling: • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar • 2/3 cup light corn syrup • 1/2 cup golden syrup (such as Lyle’s or King) • 3 large eggs, at room temperature • 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional (but highly recommended) • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 2 1/2 cups pecan halves, coarsely chop half of them, leave the rest whole • unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Combine the salt, flour, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Pulse a couple of times to combine.
Then, add in the shortening and butter, pulsing until you are left with coarse crumbs and pea-sized pieces of butter and shortening. Cold butter and shortening ensure a better texture down the line.
Add in the water, pulsing a few more times until the mixture is very crumbly and evenly moistened.
Then, dump the crumbly dough out onto a large work surface, clumping it all into a ball. Pat the dough down into a 5-inch disc. Don't worry about cracks for now.
Wrap it all in plastic. Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes, or up to 3 days, to rest.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If it has been chilling for a long time, then let it rest on the countertop at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Dust your work surface with flour, lightly spreading it all over. Set the dough on top, sprinkling flour over the dough.
Use your hands to quickly work the dough, forming a nice and smooth disc. Be cautious not to warm it up too much or overwork it. Smooth the edges down as best as possible so it will be easier to roll out.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form a 13-inch circle, turning it frequently and adding more flour as you see fit so the dough doesn't stick.
Fold the dough in half and then in half again, being careful not to crease it. It should look something like a folded handkerchief.
Then transfer the dough to a 9-inch, deep-dish pie pan and unfold it. Carefully fit the dough into the pan, working it inwards rather than outwards.
Then trim the edges to 1/2 inch past the lip of the pie pan, if needed. Turn the edges under to create the rim of the crust, using any scraps to patch up the thin areas.
Press the rim against the lip of the pan, shaping it into an even edge. Crimp the rim using your fingers. Then set the crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the pie pan from the fridge, placing it onto a baking sheet.
Cover the crust with a piece of parchment paper, filling it at least halfway with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked and pale in color. This "blind baking" process helps prevent the bottom of the pie from becoming soggy once the filling is added later.
Remove the parchment paper and dried beans/pie weights. Set the crust aside while preparing the filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, occasionally swirling the pan until the butter is golden brown and gives off a nutty fragrance. Once the butter has browned, remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the browned butter into a large heatproof bowl to cool, being sure to include any of the sediment that has settled at the bottom of the pan as well.
Add the corn syrup, brown sugar, and golden syrup into the bowl with the brown butter, whisking until smooth. Then whisk in the vanilla, bourbon, eggs, and salt.
Sprinkle all of the pecans into the baked pie crust, and pour the syrup mixture over top. The nuts should float to the top. Arrange the pecans to your liking.
Place the pie on the baking sheet. Bake until just bubbling and set at the edges, about 50-55 minutes. When nudged, the pie should wobble, continuing to cook as it cools.
Remove the pie from the oven after 55 minutes, then set it onto a wire rack to allow it to completely cool, for about 4 hours or overnight.
Serve at room temperature with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired, for the perfect pie! Use a serrated knife to slice the pie for optimal slices.