Hands holding pan with pecan pie with white kitchen towel

Bourbon Brown Butter Pecan Pie

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Pies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Rich, buttery and crunchy, this is a wonderful pecan pie option for when you want a more sophisticated dessert. The filling comes together in 10 minutes and has brown butter! Have it warm with some whipped cream and it's even better.



For dough:

There is a separate post for this pie crust if you want the step-by-step with images and video.

  • Iced Water
  • 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup( 225g) unsalted butter, very cold
  • Pinch of salt

For filling:

  • 3 eggs, at room t°
  • ¼ cup (35g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs bourbon
  • 1 ¼ cups pecans, lightly toasted
  • 10 Tbs (140g) unsalted butter, melted (there is a whole post for how to make brown butter)


For dough:

  1. Put ice 4 or 5 ice cubes in a measuring cup and fill with cold water to about a cup.
  2. In a food processor put flour and salt. Add cubed butter and pulse using on/off until the butter is the size of peas.
  3. Add about ½ cup of ice water and pulse a few times.
  4. Add ¼ cup more ice water and pulse until it barely comes together. Check the dough. Even though it's crumbly and dry, if you take some and squeeze it with your hand, it should come together. If it doesn't come together add a few more Tbs water.
  5. Transfer dough to a barely floured surface and gather it together into a ball. Don't over work it or the dough will be tough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or up to 3 days.
  6. When you're ready to use it, roll it on a lightly floured surface, starting from the middle and making sure the size is at least 1 inch bigger than the pan you're using.
  7. Carefully place in the ungreased pie pan. Trim edges, prick the surface and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for half an hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC
  9. Put foil and weights (I use dried beans) covering the dough surface and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Lift foil and weights and continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until it's dry and starting to color.
  10. Preheat oven to 375ºF / 190ºC

For filling:

  1. To make brown butter, put butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Let it melt and continue cooking it. It will make loud noises at first, like an angry cat, but suddenly it will stop. That's when it will brown very quickly, so watch it.
  3. When it's a deep amber color and has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and let the bubbles subside. The browned bit will go to the bottom.
  4. While the butter is browning, put eggs, flour, sugar, bourbon and vanilla in a bowl.
  5. Add browned butter, leaving sediments behind in the saucepan. Do this a bit at a time so the hot butter doesn't cook the eggs.
  6. Put the toasted pecans in the bottom of the pre baked pie shell.
  7. Carefully add the butter mixture. I like to put the liquid in a measuring cup, put the pie in the oven and carefully add the liquid. That way I can fill it to the top without moving it.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
  9. Cool on wire rack.


As mentioned above and in case you want more detailed images and instructions, there are separate posts for:

How to make Brown Butter

How to make Basic Shortcrust Pastry (a.k.a. Homemade Pie Crust)

Tips & tricks for making this recipe:

  • Pecans: they can be used lightly toasted or raw. Your choice.
  • Bourbon: I find that good bourbons (I use Jack Daniels) make for much better flavor. But use any bourbon or whisky you like or have.
  • Pan: if you use a smaller pie pan the tart will be taller or course. In case you want that.
  • Baking: don't overbake the filling. It should still be a little jiggly when you take it out.
  • Storing: I like it the day it is baked, but it keeps for a day or two at room t°.
  • Variation: add a few tablespoons dark chocolate chunks to the filling. Walnuts can be used instead of pecans.

Keywords: bourbon pecan pie, pecan pie