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  • Writer's pictureHeather Green

How to Make Alton Brown's Bourbon Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving!

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

In this episode, I'm going to show you how to make one of the top-viewed recipes on my blog, Alton Brown's Bourbon Pecan Pie.


In this episode, I'm going to show you how to make one of the top-viewed recipes on my blog, Alton Brown's Bourbon Pecan Pie. You may have heard of Alton Brown from his show on Food Network called "Good Eats" and seen him host several cooking shows including Iron Chef America. This pie is so delicious and not too hard to make, so I had to share it with you. If you're looking for the full written recipe, please check out it out below!

Alton Brown's Pecan Pie:



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • 3 1/2 ounces pecan halves or pieces

  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, chilled


  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 1/2 ounces of sugar

  • 6 ounces of golden syrup (I used Pure Maple Syrup)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • 1 tablespoon bourbon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 8 ounces Spiced Pecans, recipe follows, coarsely chop 6 ounces and leave the remaining 2 ounces whole

Spiced Pecans:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel

  • 1 pound pecan halves

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Put the butter in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then in a food processor, pulse the pecans until they are finely ground. Add the flour and salt, and pulse again, careful to not over-mix. Add the chilled butter and pulse until it looks mealy. Add in the water and bourbon, and pulse until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Transfer the dough to a gallon-sized zip-top bag, pressing it to form a disk, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, Spice the Pecans. Do this by lining a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.

  3. Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and orange peel together in a small bowl.

  4. Place the nuts in a large pan and set over medium heat and toast, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and become fragrant.

  5. Add the butter and stir until it melts, and then add the spice mixture and stir to coat the pecans.

  6. Next, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, which is around 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, golden syrup (maple syrup), butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt together until combined.

  9. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough into a 9 1/2 to 10-inch tart pan that is 2 inches deep. Press the dough into the sides of the tart pan.

  10. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely.

  11. Coarsely chop 6oz of those and leave the rest to line the top of the pie.

  12. Take the 6 ounces of chopped pecans and place them in the crust-lined pie tin, and pour the filling on top.

  13. Bake for 20 minutes. Then place the remaining 2 ounces of whole pecans in a border on the edge of the filling. Bake 10 minutes, until the center of the pie, should reach 200 degrees F, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack to room temperature before serving, 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or in the fridge overnight.

Thank you so much for watching, let me know in the comments if you've tried this recipe and how it turned out, and as always I hope you have a wonderful day! -Heather Autumn



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