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.

Simple Pie Crust (Pate Brisee)

It’s now two days before Thanksgiving, 2012. As usual, the paper has a story about pies so I am thinking, why not give it a try. We typically make a pie or two but we’ve always used pre-made pie crusts but the paper makes it sound so easy. There are only 5 ingredients and you mix them together in blender. They make it sound like it’s something you could do in your sleep so how hard could it be? I guess we’ll find out in a couple days! My dough is currently resting in the┬árefrigerator┬ábecause I’m not making the pie until tomorrow (that’ll be a separate post).

This recipe is actually a pate brisee and is very similar to the one I made for the chicken pot pies so I’m thinking this should be a snap.

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (sea or kosher salt)
  • 1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter cut into on-inch cubes (1 stick)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice-cold water
  • extra flour for the work surface

Mix the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor to combine them. Then, add the butter and process them until it resembles coarse meal. This is only about 10 seconds. Now, slowly add the ice water and process until the dough just holds together. This should take no longer than 30 seconds.

Now that you have the dough made, empty it onto your floured work surface. You can add a small amount of ice water if the dough isn’t staying together. I added a little, but that’s just because I wasn’t sure if it was holding together enough. I’m sure with more practice, I’ll get it down.

Now, form a flattened disk with the dough – but don’t overwork the dough. By the way, I don’t know what that means, so I just tried not to handle it too much. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.