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How-Tuesday: Blue Ribbon Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie

Jan 26, 2010

by Julie Schneider

New Year’s resolution #1: Eat. More. Pie. After having the great honor to be on the panel of judges for the 1st Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake Off Benefit at Spacecraft and sample over thirty handmade pies, I realized that making and eating homemade pie is truly at the top of my personal priorities for the new year, and in life in general. Wild goals of skydiving or going to the gym every day aside, I think one resolution I can stick to this year is to make time for the sweet, slow things in life, like freshly baked pie, straight from the oven.

With its flaky crust, choice ingredients, and impeccable harmony of flavors, Allison Kave’s Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie was the winner of this year’s contest! Allison (pictured below, with her boyfriend, Jay Horton, who won Best Sweet Pie for his Apple Cider Cream) was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up on Long Island. She has been working in the arts for years and is currently the studio manager for an artist. Baking and cooking are her favorite hobbies, and she hopes to someday make the transition into working with food professionally.

She has shared her winning recipe and few insights into her pie-making process with us below:

What was your inspiration for the pie? What do you think is the secret to creating a delicious pie?
I have been baking this pie for years. I’m a big bourbon drinker, which is a traditional pairing with pecans, but I also thought that ginger would add a nice spicy, herbal element to the overall flavor.

The crust has to be flaky and crisp, with no sogginess. I’ve learned that blind baking the crust first makes a big difference, especially with particularly juicy fruit pies. Also, a good balance of flavor, with a bit of salt to counteract all the sweetness, is important.

How long have you been a pie-maker? What was the first pie you ever baked?
I’ve been baking since I was a kid. My mother is a great cook and baker, and she actually opened up a chocolate shop a couple of years ago, called Roni-Sue’s Chocolates in the Essex Market on the Lower East Side. I learned a lot from watching her. My brother Corwin and I were always encouraged to spend time in the kitchen. He’s now the executive chef at Fatty Crab restaurant, so food definitely runs in the family! I don’t have a clear memory of my first pie, but I’d guess it was probably an apple pie, as we often went apple picking in the fall during my childhood.

What meal would you pair with this pie?
It’s a very autumnal pie — I first made it for Thanksgiving dinner years ago, so I know from experience that it pairs nicely with roasted turkey and brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, etc. The ginger in the pie lends itself to a whole different kind of interpretation, however, and I could see someone starting things off with a Thai curry or something similarly spicy and Asian-influenced.

So, for those of you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth and try a new recipe in the new year, read on for a real treat from the winner of the 1st Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake Off Benefit.

Photo by Talisa Chang from the Greenpoint Gazette

Recipe for Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie by Allison Kave

You’ll Need:
Crust — makes enough for 1 single 9-inch crust:

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2 tablespoons lard, chilled*
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar*
1/4 cup very cold water
approximately 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups pecans, lightly toasted
2-3 tablespoons good bourbon
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
approximately 2 teaspoons (about a 2-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (a microplane is great for this)

Tip: If you do not want to use lard (although I recommend it as it makes an amazing crust), just replace it with butter and omit the white vinegar from the recipe. I’m not a fan of shortening, but you could substitute that if you want to. Also, leaf lard is really the best thing for pies, if you can find it. I buy it already rendered from my local farmer’s market, and you can often find it frozen at good food markets.

1. Make the crust. I use a food processor for this, and it turns out wonderfully, but you can cut the fat into the flour by hand if you don’t have one. A pastry cutter or a couple of knives will do the trick.

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flours and salt just to combine.  Add the butter, lard, and ginger, and pulse a few times to cut the fat into the flour. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Combine the vinegar (if using) with the cold water. With the processor running, pour the liquid down the feed tube all at once. As soon as the dough begins to form a ball around the blade, stop the machine. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto it, scraping the bowl and blade with a spatula. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap lightly, and chill for at least an hour before using. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

After the dough has rested, lightly dust a clean work surface with flour, and roll out to a circle approximately 10 inches in diameter, and about 1/8″ thick. Line a buttered pie plate with the dough, and trim the overhang to about 1/2 inch.  Do not prick with a fork. Tuck the overhang under the edge between the pie plate and the crust, and make a nice decoration around the edge by pinching the dough between your thumb and forefinger. Return to the fridge to chill for another 20-30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or dried rice, to help the crust hold its shape while baking. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove the weights and foil, and return to the oven for 10 more minutes, until the crust begins to brown lightly. Remove from the oven and cool before filling. If the crust has bubbled up at all on the bottom don’t worry, just lightly press down any bubbles.

3. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. While the crust cools, make the filling. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and the melted butter. Add the maple syrup, eggs, pecans (toast these lightly first for best flavor), bourbon, salt, and both gingers, and stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust, and bake for approx 25-35 minutes, or until the pie is set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. The pie can be frozen after it has cooled. To do so, wrap it well in plastic and then foil, and leave it out at room temperature for a few hours to defrost.

Thanks to Allison Kave for sharing this delicious recipe with us! For more home-cooking inspiration, be sure to check out the links below.

Food on the Etsy Blog | Plants and Edibles Category

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  • craftscafe

    craftscafe said 7 years ago

    I'm hoping to learn how to make a raspberry pie this year. My favorite!

  • outofline

    outofline said 7 years ago

    yum, I think more pie is a great idea:)

  • sewlola

    sewlola said 7 years ago

    Yummy! This post makes me hungry. I am off to the kitchen. :)

  • tastesorangey

    tastesorangey said 7 years ago

    oh my gosh...bourbon ginger pecan! that sounds ridiculously delicious!!!

  • foamywader

    foamywader said 7 years ago

    Mouth wateringly good!

  • spacejam

    spacejam said 7 years ago

    mm..i am getting hungry!

  • nine15photography

    nine15photography said 7 years ago

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm pie

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 7 years ago

    I can't believe I missed this! I'm ashamed. But with this pie... I'll think I WAS there :)

  • Emmamaha

    Emmamaha said 7 years ago

    Nice post! Just around lunch-time!

  • makepienotwar

    makepienotwar said 7 years ago

    hey! don't forget about MAKE PIE not war! the wearable pie! lolol!

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 7 years ago

    I dont mind being a judges for a Pie Bake! Thanks for the recipe!

  • natalya1905

    natalya1905 said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful post! I believe I'll try this recipe. :)

  • TheCottageCheese

    TheCottageCheese said 7 years ago

    These pies look delicious! My husband once asked me "why don't we have more pie in the house?" (meaning why don't I bake more pie?). He loves it so much that we had pie alongside cake at our wedding. This year I vow to bake more, and learn the art of the crust!

  • FreshLemonBlossoms

    FreshLemonBlossoms said 7 years ago

    Yum! I'm not much of a pie maker but I do enjoy eating them and this one sounds really good!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 7 years ago

    Well, there goes my diet! The pie looks delicious ~ Congratualtions to Allison! :)

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    I love ginger and pecans. What a combination! Thanks for the crust recipe. Congrats Allison!

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 7 years ago

    oh dear... this looks incredible! I may actually have to attempt making this...

  • Faeriedtreasures

    Faeriedtreasures said 7 years ago

    I come from a long line of farmers and pie bakers, and the best tip ever for making a perfect pie crust, is to refrigerate all of the ingredients. Cold water, cold flour, cold butter makes it flaky! This pie sounds delicious!

  • WoollyWonka

    WoollyWonka said 7 years ago


  • LabyrinthLeather

    LabyrinthLeather said 7 years ago

    mmmmm .... sounds delicious =:) The world needs more pie recipes!!!1

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 7 years ago

    yay, community cooking! looks yummy!!!

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 7 years ago

    Wow! Sooo delicious!

  • BlueTea

    BlueTea said 7 years ago

    that looks yummy! but the terrible baker in me is afraid to try.

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 7 years ago

    yummy yummy!!

  • ArzuMusa

    ArzuMusa said 7 years ago

    That looks yummy! Looks incredible! This post makes me hungry.

  • ClementinesJewelry

    ClementinesJewelry said 7 years ago

    looks so good and yummy!

  • ClementinesJewelry

    ClementinesJewelry said 7 years ago

    Looks so good and yummy!

  • Ebruk

    Ebruk said 7 years ago

    yummy yummy!!

  • PhotoPosy

    PhotoPosy said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I really need to try this. Who cares what season it is? :)

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 7 years ago

    oh yum - my favorite!!

  • HausProud

    HausProud said 7 years ago

    What a great resolution! The small things in life really are the best and here's to taking the time to enjoy them! Now, if you ever need a taste tester, I am only a convo away. :)

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy said 7 years ago

    (wiping the drool off my keyboard)

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 7 years ago

    Makes me hungry just thinking about it! That pecan pie looks scrumptious!

  • litapsilverj

    litapsilverj said 7 years ago

    Thank you all for a wonderful article and thanks Allison for the recipe. Pecan pie is our most favorite in our home and i make them quite often. I'll definitely have to give this one a whirl.

  • rockmyworldinc

    rockmyworldinc said 7 years ago

    I wish I lived in New York..sounds like so much fun!

  • ladykave

    ladykave said 7 years ago

    Hey everyone, Allison here - thanks for all your kind comments! Since winning the contest I've ventured into semi-professional pie-bakerdom, selling assorted pies at my mom's chocolate shop. If you have interest in purchasing this or any other pies, just message me. I'll send you a list of options, and we can arrange a custom order through Etsy!

  • VintageSurplus

    VintageSurplus said 7 years ago

    Looks delish. I will definitely have to try this weekend!

  • MinceCo

    MinceCo said 7 years ago

    aw yum, let me in to that comp :)I love pie, thanks fro sharing recipe

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 7 years ago

    Hmmm, hungry now for some pie or dessert of any kind. Thanks for sharing this article, enjoyed looking at the pics.

  • herbolution

    herbolution said 7 years ago

    That pie fiesta look delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt said 7 years ago

    mmmm, pie.

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 7 years ago


  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 7 years ago

    yum - o!

  • corelladesign

    corelladesign said 7 years ago

    Yum, I need pie now. See ya.

  • greencouchdesign

    greencouchdesign said 7 years ago

    Now I'm hungry! I love pie, but even more I love the power of good food and fun in the kitchen it just brings people closer!

  • henrystreet

    henrystreet said 7 years ago

    Looks AMAZING!!! I am a big fan of the rhubarb variety myself :)

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 7 years ago

    Thank you for the recipe - sounds scrumptious!

  • cooksie

    cooksie said 7 years ago

    I wish i were there!! everything looks delish!

  • mietteLove

    mietteLove said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. I harvested plenty of pecans this year I'm going to have to try it!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 7 years ago

    It's breakfast time and I want pie now.

  • artgoodies

    artgoodies said 7 years ago

    oh man, I LOVE pie! So many memories of baking tons of pies with my grandma growing up. It's a dessert with sentiment and a story I think. Here's a couple mini pies I baked this morning in fact.

  • 1760sundayhouse

    1760sundayhouse said 7 years ago

    Looks great! I will try this!

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 7 years ago

    Mmmmmm, can't wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 7 years ago


  • RonH

    RonH said 7 years ago

    I cook with bourbon quite a bit. None of it makes it into the dinner (unless I spill).

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 7 years ago

    Oh, dear God! That pie looks dangerous!!!!!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the new recipe. I make home made pies for my husband all the time. He's a pie-a-holic! He wants to know how to become a judge for the 2nd event!

  • CreativeArtandSoul

    CreativeArtandSoul said 7 years ago

    Congratulations on a wonderful winning recipe! It sounds absolutely amazing and just thinking of that combination of flavors is making me drool! I just mentioned it to my hubby and he said "YUMMMM, YOU GOTTA MAKE ME THAT PIEEE!!!!" LOL, Well, that's the most enthusiasm I've heard out of him in a long time! Hmmm, That combination of flavors would make a lovely cocktail too. Imagine shaken then poured in a martini glass... bourbon, fresh ginger, Canton ginger liqueur and praline pecan liqueur. Wow.

  • laceramiste

    laceramiste said 7 years ago

    am totally trying this recipe this weekend. anything with ginger is a good thing.

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair said 7 years ago

    Now I want pie!

  • QuiltingFrenzy

    QuiltingFrenzy said 7 years ago

    I love pecans and am lucky to have all the ingredients on hand so I will have to definitely try out this recipe. Looks delicious!

  • simpledream2

    simpledream2 said 7 years ago

    Bourbon and ginger in a pecan pie sounds delicious.

  • baked

    baked said 7 years ago

    I'm salivating! I need to try that recipe.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 7 years ago

    Wow! Yummm...

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 7 years ago


  • avintagerevolution

    avintagerevolution said 7 years ago

    PiE PiE I love Pie AND Etsy! Thank you for including my wares!! My hubby is my personal favorite pie maker, I will have to have him make this wonderful recipe! Thank you!

  • eroa

    eroa said 7 years ago

    delicious! wish i could have a piece of pie right about now:-)

  • JaniceCordeiro

    JaniceCordeiro said 7 years ago

    Pie making is an absolute art and I can see you carried it to its highest form. I can tell from the ingredients you put a lot of time into making the perfect pie crust. Thanks for sharing the recipe. This will be the next one I bake.

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom said 7 years ago

    so delicious, just eat my lunch but ı want pie now

  • lterrill9

    lterrill9 said 7 years ago

    Love the post! I used to be a horrible pie maker until I sat with my grandma for a day. She was a fantastic pie maker! I learned from the best and thank you so much for the recipe! Thanks!

  • SissysArt

    SissysArt said 7 years ago

    My mouth is watering. I want a piece now!

  • eurolenscape

    eurolenscape said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your recipe! I love baking, too. I grew up in Germany and I remember, that my mom always made the same pies , but I like to try new recipes!


    HELENSHASSACK said 7 years ago

    I would love to see more baking/recipe blog posts! Yummyyy! I still have yet to make a homemade pie, added to the bucket list for sure!

  • lunahoo

    lunahoo said 7 years ago

    Delicious recipe, thank you!! I try to do it someday. I'm pregnant and i've got a craving for this wonderful pie!!

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 7 years ago

    sitting here, reading and eating quiche. i love pie! definatley going to try this recipe. thanks~

  • harvestgoldgallery

    harvestgoldgallery said 7 years ago

    I'm drooling! seriously!? this is so fantastic, I can almost smell the pies!

  • reiddamnit

    reiddamnit said 7 years ago

    oh wow that looks good! I could go for some right now!!

  • shecological

    shecological said 7 years ago

    Great resolution! I think it might be fun to have an all pie party/dinner!

  • tworavens

    tworavens said 7 years ago

    did you know jan. 23 was national pie day? we (husband & many friends) celebrated properly with several homemade pies of the sweet & savory kind. your bourbon ginger pecan sounds divine!

  • reinaldovalentin

    reinaldovalentin said 7 years ago

    You're making me very hunger!

  • edor

    edor said 7 years ago

    wow a table full of PIE! I am jealous.

  • FranniesHeart

    FranniesHeart said 7 years ago

    Pie it is then! Yummy article. Thank you for sharing recipe.

  • CLineCreations

    CLineCreations said 7 years ago

    Ahhh I want that. Perhaps I can coax my boyfriend into trying his hand at baking for my birthday... or perhaps I'd better just do it myself for the sake of his safety.

  • greeniemarie

    greeniemarie said 7 years ago

    More pie is a great idea:) And in fact I should have Pie right now...Off to use my apron and inspiration! :))

  • RoughMagicCreations

    RoughMagicCreations said 7 years ago

    Now that's the kind of New Year's resolution I won't have any trouble keeping! Thanks so much for sharing that yummy recipe -- can't wait to try it (or more to the point, enjoy the results)! :)

  • LibertyImages

    LibertyImages said 7 years ago

    Wow....this pie sounds wonderful, I'll have to add the recipe to my list! Thank you for sharing it. And for making that dough, DEFINITELY go with lard! Oh, pie crusts are so much tastier that way...!

  • FabricFascination

    FabricFascination said 7 years ago

    Pecan pie is my favorite. This one looks terrific!

  • BonTons

    BonTons said 7 years ago

    oh yummy pies, love the pastry bit

  • SYFjoolz

    SYFjoolz said 7 years ago

    "Eat.More.Pie" Oh Julie, that is the best New Year's resolution EVER!!! Love it! And that pie looks divine...

  • TheApple

    TheApple said 7 years ago

    Sounds so delicious! I never have patience for the crust part though...

  • HoneyBoo

    HoneyBoo said 7 years ago

    Yammmeee! Looks delicious!

  • LindattiDesigns

    LindattiDesigns said 7 years ago

    oh my goodness this pie sounds amazing! thank you so much Alison for sharing your prized recipe with us!

  • twenty22two

    twenty22two said 7 years ago

    OMG!!! I want to make one now!!!!!

  • WingsDove

    WingsDove said 7 years ago

    Sounds yummy. I have try this alternative recipe for my favorite pie - pecan. I can feel my waistline growing just thinking about it!

  • MTcoffinzUnderground

    MTcoffinzUnderground said 7 years ago

    *adds bourbon to grocery list* Thanks!

  • MommaE

    MommaE said 7 years ago

    Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing Allison!

  • MyPatternedMind

    MyPatternedMind said 7 years ago

    Ohh myyy! They look DELISH and I can only imagine the wonderful aroma in the room! Now I'm hungry for PIE :P

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 7 years ago

    Pie-Check! Yummy recipe-Check! Awesome how to Tues-Double Check!!

  • charisg08

    charisg08 said 7 years ago

    I'm hoping to give this recipe a try as soon as my husband is back home again. It sounds absolutely awesome!

  • KnitKnit

    KnitKnit said 7 years ago

    Yay! Thanks for sharing the recipe! The bake off was a lot of fun - yum yum yum....

  • pearliemae

    pearliemae said 7 years ago

    Wow, nice twist on a Kentucky Derby Pie! I'll have to try it!

  • theemptynest

    theemptynest said 7 years ago

    funny I should read this today of all days...just completed the first of my' Friday is Pieday' blog post! Come have some pie with me ;-)

  • backyardcolorado

    backyardcolorado said 7 years ago

    Wow-I'm going to make this pie today!

  • SamisBracelets

    SamisBracelets said 7 years ago

    Never had pecan pie. Sounds good.

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