A friend from Georgia gifted me a bag of pecans from her backyard just before Christmas. My husband, a Texas native, is crazy for pecans. What better Christmas gift for him than a pecan pie? I made him one using maple syrup instead of corn syrup, with a touch of brown sugar and butter and a couple of tablespoons Jim Bean bourbon. It was just sweet enough, without being cloying like some pecan pies can be.
2 Tb. salted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (I used Trader Joe’s)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tb bourbon (I used Jim Bean)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 eggs at room temperature (you can soak them in warm water to warm them up)
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Make a 9″ pie crust (bottom only).
Preheat oven to 350′ Place oven rack at lowest position.
Arrange pecans evenly on the crust.
Mix together brown sugar and melted butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Gently pour filling over pecans. Rearrange pecans so they are even on the crust. Cover pie edges with foil and a pie saver to prevent it from over-browning. Bake at 350′ for 45 minutes or so, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about an hour, until you can’t wait any longer.
Serve topped with whipped cream sweetened with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and a teaspoon vanilla.