Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel, mmmm, What could go wrong? A lot. I messed up on the pie crust, the filling, as well as topping. However, much to my surprise it tasted incredibly delicious, I mean, so good in fact you could forgive it’s “rustic look” as Jeff so aptly described it, that was prior to exclaiming “the best pumpkin pie ever!” Problem #1 is that I didn’t chill the pie dough after it was placed in the dish, I chilled the dough initially, rolled it out, placed it in the baking dish and popped it in the oven, and what happened after that was this nice buttery dough proceeded to melt and fall down the sides, even with foil and weights. When I took the foil out for another 10 minutes of baking it was looking pretty rough. But I didn’t have time to defrost the other dough for a redo so I continued with a shrunken lopsided pie shell. Problems #2 and #3 is that I inverted the measurements of brown sugar for the topping and the custard.  I really wanted to blame it on the recipe as it didn’t indicate 1 cup of brown sugar divided  (note 3/4 and 1/4) but I think I may have been a bit frazzled from the sorry looking pie crust. I had already made the crumble topping with 1 cup brown sugar and there was no way to separate that. So I just used 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the custard hoping that it wouldn’t come out horrible. And wow it didn’t, it tasted so perfect. I can’t imagine having plain pumpkin pie ever again. The sugar amounts seemed to work out fine in the end. So well that I would make it again exactly like that.

After two separate photo shoots I could not get a decent shot of a slice, my funky looking pie crust created strange looking layers with the custard. But don’t be discouraged with my mishaps, this pie is killer and everyone will love you for it. 

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Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel

(adapted from Food & Wine, the Pie Crust adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar*
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans halves**
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 pie shell pre-baked (see recipe below)


Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of the butter and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar with the flour and pinch into moist crumbs. Stir in the pecans.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the pumpkin puree, egg yolks, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt, then beat in the milk and bourbon.

In a stainless steel bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into the pumpkin mixture until no white streaks remain.

Pour the custard into the pre-baked pie shell. Sprinkle the pecan streusel on top. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until risen and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool and serve.

*Divided into 3/4 and 1/4 cup amounts, as I mentioned I inverted the amounts and it came out fantastic

** I used 1/2 chopped pecans and topped the pie with halves



Flaky Pie Dough

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

(makes 2  10" crusts)

  • 2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold and diced
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water


Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add the diced butter to the flour mixture and with a pastry cutter work through until the texture becomes coarse.

Slowly add the water to your mixture and work with your hands or spatula to gather dough, adding tiny amounts of water if needed. Gently knead together until well incorporated and a ball is formed. Divide the dough in half and shape each in disk form, place each in plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one to two hours before rolling. (When using only 1 dough you can freeze the other, it’s nice to have an extra when you need it!)

Roll 1 dough out on lightly floured surface into a circle larger than your pie dish. Place rolled dough in dish, crumple edges around and make slightly higher than dish, and chill for 30 minutes. When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 375°, pierce the bottom of pie shell with a fork to prevent bubbles, next line your pie dough with foil and add baking weights or rice.  Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and weights and place back in oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until very lightly brown.

Allow to cool before filling.