Bacon-Maple-Bourbon Walnut Pie

This twist on a classic pie comes from our realtor’s monthly magazine, American Lifestyle. We decided to add the bourbon to kick it up a notch. It’s the holiday season, so why not take it over the top! The bacon is really the cool element and it really adds an interesting flavor to this pie. In our recipe, we used a light maple syrup instead of the dark. I think the dark will be better but it did taste great. We also over chopped the walnuts and it probably would be better to have the larger pieces of a courser chop for some texture in the pie.

Bacon-Maple-Bourbon Walnut Pie

Bacon-Maple-Bourbon Walnut Pie

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 4 ounces of thin-cut bacon slices
  • 5 tablespoons of solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of very cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

For the filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of dark maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 cups of coarse chopped walnuts

Instructions

Preheat your over to 350 degrees.

First, make the crust. It’s a simple process similar to the patte brise, except you add BACON! Start by frying the bacon in a skillet on medium heat until they crisp. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Once crisp, transfer the cooked bacon slices to a paper towel. Now, save the bacon fat from the pan. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and then put the rest of the leftover bacon fat into a heat-safe measuring cup. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then add in enough shortening so the total volume is 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons).

Now that the bacon fat and shortening are ready, pour your flour into a bowl and add the fat from your measuring cup.  Cut this in with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse cornmeal.

Mix 2 tablespoons of cold water and the vinegar together and then add to the flour mixture until a soft, non-sticky dough forms. Form the dough into a ball, dust it with flour and roll into an 11 inch circle. Place a pie plate in the center and trim the edges.

Now that the pie dough is ready, start on your filling. Beat the eggs together with maple syrup, sugars and vanilla extract into a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed. Mix in the reserved 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and the bourbon.

Crumble the bacon into small pieces in the bowl. Stir in the walnuts and then pour the filling into the pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, until puffy and brown. There should only be a slight jiggle in the center. Let cool before slicing.

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Green Bean Casserole

Here is our recipe for green bean casserole. It’s the first one we made from scratch with fresh green beans, as opposed to using can beans. It’s really not that hard and the FRESH  home-made fried onions are awesome. I got this from a magazine years ago but we’ve adapted it a lot over the years. Please make them and don’t use the canned onions. I know it takes more work but your tongue will totally thank you!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb green beans (or you can get fancy and use hericots verts, trimmed
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 large white onion sliced into 1/4 inch rings
  • Flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging onions
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 12 ounces of mushrooms, we use whatever is fresh at the grocery store which is usually button mushrooms; however the original recipe calls for shiitake and cultivated mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or 3/4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, heated
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes or until crisp and tender. Transfer to a bowl of ice water with a slotted spoon. Let them cool completely and then drain on paper towels. This helps them stay bright green and crisp.

For the fried onions: Heat 2 inches of the oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees. Working in small batches, dust the onion rings with the flour, shaking off the excess, and fry them for 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden. Transfer the onions after they are browned to paper towels to drain. Repeat the procedure with the remaining onions and flour.

For the main casserole: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium, add the remaining tablespoon of butter, all the mushrooms and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated.

Sprinkle the flour on top of the mushrooms and cook the mixture, stirring for 1 minute. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. stir in the green beans and half the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese and fried onions and bake until hot and bubbling (about 20 to 25 minutes).