This Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon is a decadent twist on a fall dessert classic. Serve it with cinnamon whipped cream for a showstopper holiday dessert!
I love a good pecan pie. The sweet, gooey filling; the crunchy, toasted nuts. It’s one of the four pie varieties that’s been on our Thanksgiving dessert table every year for as long as I can remember.
What could possibly make a classic, decadent pie even more delicious? Chocolate and bourbon, of course! This Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, baked in a flaky all-butter crust, is indulgence defined. It’s a real showstopper for your fall and holiday celebrations.
Like most pecan pies, this recipe is rich and sweet. It’s the kind of pie you look forward to once a year, with a big ol’ dollop of whipped cream on top. When you’re going for a holiday splurge, go big or go home, right?
How to Make The Best Chocolate Pecan Pie
Blind Bake the Crust
Pecan Pie has a very moist, partially gelled-like filling. If you don’t par-bake (“blind bake”) the crust before adding the filling, the bottom crust especially will be prone to sogginess. Blind baking gives it a head start to crispiness.
Toast the Pecans and Coarsely Chop Them
Toasting the pecans only takes a few extra minutes and the flavor payoff is huge. If you’re doing a decorative topping with pecan halves, leave those un-toasted. They’ll toast up nicely while the pie is baking.
For the best-textured filling, you want to chop the pecans coarsely. They should be small, bite-sized pieces for easy slicing and serving, but not so fine that they aren’t discernible.
I use a goodly amount of pecans in this pie’s filling, 2 cups total. I like the nutty texture against the sweet, gooey filling. The extra pecans also make it a bit sturdier to slice and serve. If you like your Chocolate Pecan Pie to have a softer texture, decrease the toasted pecans to 1-1/2 cups.
Use Corn Syrup
This recipe, and most traditional Pecan Pies, uses corn syrup. It’s an essential ingredient to achieving the pie’s characteristic smooth, “gooey” filling.
High fructose corn syrup has been a hot topic in recent years. Many of the baking/candy corn syrups you find in the grocery store, such as the Karo brand that I use, do not contain high fructose corn syrup. They’re made of glucose. Check out this article from Cooking Light about the difference between regular and high fructose corn syrups.
Use a Good Quality Chocolate
The chocolate really adds to the flavor of this pie, so use a good one! I like to use semisweet chips, but if you like a less sweet pie, you can also substitute your favorite bittersweet chocolate, between 60-70% cacao.
This recipe works well with either chips or chopped blocks of chocolate. With chips, the chocolate will melt, but when you serve the pie, you’ll cut into tiny pockets of chocolate (which, I love). Chopped chocolate will melt to create a more uniformly chocolatey filling.
Decide How Much Bourbon You Want to Taste
If you’ve been visiting this site for a while, it’s no secret that I love to cook and bake with bourbon. When a pie is labeled “Bourbon Pecan Pie,” I want there to be that warm, recognizable bourbon note in every bite. To achieve that, I use 3 tablespoons of bourbon in this pie.
If you want the bourbon to be a softer background note, decrease the bourbon to 2 tablespoons. You’ll still taste it, but it won’t be as upfront.
You can use any bourbon you like in this pie, but be cognizant of quantities if using more assertive bottles. I use Maker’s Mark in this recipe. It’s a classic choice for pecan pie and I’ve always found that it pairs especially well in baked goods.
Serving Chocolate Pecan Pie
I like to serve this pie just slightly warm, with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream and Caramelized Pecans for a pretty garnish. The cinnamon in the whipped cream brings a subtle hint of spice to the pie. It’s a nice finish with the chocolate, toasted nuts, and bourbon.
For easy holiday entertaining, make this pie a day in advance and gently rewarm it in a 250 degree F oven for 10-20 minutes. You want it to be warm enough that the filling is luscious, but not so hot that it’s difficult to slice and serve.
Complete dessert with a wine pairing! Hugh Preece, Sommelier and Italian Wine Ambassador – Vinitaly Academy, recommends enjoying:
“Intense ruby-red color, candied cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with creme de cassis, balsamic and nut-tinged Sherry notes. Creamy with hints of cocoa powder and dried mint on the finish, the sugars are not high, leaving a long after taste of fruits of the forest, chocolate, and licorice.”
More Thanksgiving Pie Week Recipes
Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon
If you're looking for a decadent dessert for fall or winter, this Chocolate Pecan Pie is a winner! Rich and toasty, with a splash of bourbon, this beautiful pie is indulgence defined.
- 1/2 recipe all butter pie crust
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar , lightly packed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons bourbon (depending on how strong you want it)
- 2 cups toasted pecans , coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Follow the instructions in the all-butter pie dough recipe to make a blind baked, single crust pie, in a 9-inch pie plate. After the crust is prepared, place the baking sheet back on the rack and keep oven on at 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together corn syrup, eggs, brown sugar, salt, butter, vanilla, and bourbon, until smooth. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
Pour filling into the blind baked crust. If desired, ring the outer edge of the filling with un-toasted, halved pecans, as shown in the photos above.
Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, until edges are set and a circle in the very center is just a bit jiggly when you move the pan. Watch the edges of the pie closely during the baking process. If they're starting to brown too quickly, cover them with a foil sling.
Cool pie for at least an hour, until just slightly warm. Serve with vanilla ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream.
To toast pecans:
Place shelled, halved pecans in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 5-8 minutes, until fragrant.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
Place 1 cup chilled heavy cream in a bowl and start to whip it on medium speed with a hand mixer, just until it starts to get frothy. Slowly add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and whip until soft peaks form.
To reheat pie:
If making the pie a day ahead of serving, heat the whole pie on a baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees F for 10 to 20 minutes.