Bourbon-Pecan Mini Pies

Bourbon-Pecan Mini Pies
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bourbon pecan mini pies
Let Mardi Gras begin!

The only reason we made these into mini pies, and not a 9-inch pie, was so that we could share them with the other volunteers at our downtown walk. And, we hope that from the name, you’ll realize that these were intended to help celebrate Mardi Gras, which, for some reason, was on a Tuesday this year. Looking at next year’s calendar, it seems that Mardi Gras will, once again, be on a Tuesday. You think they’d switch the name to something like “Fat Tuesday.”

So, this recipe comes pretty much from our well-thumbed copy of Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. All we did was choose a different pie crust, include bourbon for the flavoring, and make ’em small. We will suggest that you omit the slight pre-baking of the pie shells that Joy recommends; we found the crust slumped too much.

Bourbon-Pecan Mini Pies

Yield: 48 mini pies (or enough filling for one 9-inch pie)

Bourbon-Pecan Mini Pies


  • 1 1/2 pâte brisée, chilled and ready to roll
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) melted butter
  • 1 cup (340 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (120 g) small pecan pieces
  • 4 Tbs (1 "nip" bottle) bourbon

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Divide dough into 48 pieces and roll each into a 4-inch circle. Press into mini-muffin tins. Freeze for 15 to 30 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium until well combined, eggs, sugar, salt, butter, corn syrup, and bourbon, about 3 minutes. Stir in pecan pieces.

Spoon batter into frozen shells. Bake until quite brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool a few minutes, then use a sharp knife to remove mini-pies from the pan. Let cool completely on a baking rack.

Ingredient discussion:

adding bourbon
We don’t drink bourbon, so don’t know a good one from a bad one, but we read online that Jim Beam is adequate for baking.

We like to get our eggs from hens that live like hens, eating bugs, and grass, and all the things a hen should eat. Better for the hens means better eggs for you. What could be simpler? We always use unsalted butter; why have someone in a factory add salt? They don’t know what you’re making, you do! For the corn syrup, we avoid the stuff that has high-fructose corn syrup, which means the store brands. We stick with Karo, and, if they want to send us a case for that uncompensated and unsolicited plug, well, bless their hearts. For the bourbon, if you have one you like, use that; we don’t, so we just picked up a nip of Jim Beam at a local liquor store.

Note: We suggest that you make a double batch of Pâte Brisée; otherwise, you’ll end up with filling left over and no place to put it. With a double batch, you can roll out the leftover crust out and make a thinner 9-inch pie with the remaining filling. That’s what we did.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Now, JoC suggests preheating the oven to 450°F and pre-baking the crusts for 5 to 7 minutes before filling them. We did that and it resulted in a lot of slumpage, so we aren’t going to recommend it.

rolling out pie dough
Place the piece of dough between two pieces of parchment for easy rolling.

Divide and roll dough. Okay, how do you get 48 equal portions of dough? Here’s what we did. We had a full double batch, so we cut one in half, then in half again (4 pieces), then in half again (8 pieces), then in half again (16), and then each piece in half once again (32). We cut the second batch in half, and put away one piece for later. The other piece we divided the same way as described above, making 16 pieces. We did not do all the dividing all at once, as the dough would warm, so we worked our way down, cutting a piece at a time, rolling as soon as we got to the right size. We also found it easiest to place the nugget of dough between two pieces of parchment before rolling. When rolling each piece of dough, aim for a circle about 3-4 inches across, so that it will fill the mini-muffin cup.

pie crusts in a mini muffin tin
We have a monster pan for mini-muffins. It’ll hold 48 at one time.

Press into pan. Place each rolled-out circle of dough into the mini-muffin cups, and, if desired, trim off the rough edges at the top. Try not to stretch the dough to fit — we know it’s difficult to get the dough into the pan without stretching it a bit — do the best you can.

Freeze dough. Once the pan is full of unbaked crusts, place it in the freezer and allow the dough to freeze solid, at least 15 minutes, but probably more like 30 minutes.

pecan pie filling
If you make the pie without the pecans, you’ve made a Bourbon Chess pie.

Beat filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together, well, everything but the pecans. That means the eggs, sugar, salt, melted butter, corn syrup, and bourbon. Start out slowly, but work the mixer up to medium-low and let it beat a good minute or two. Scrape the sides of the bowl, because corn syrup tends to cling and not get mixed into the rest of the batter.

adding pecans
Oh, an action shot! Aren’t we getting fancy!

Stir in pecans. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the pecans. It won’t look like enough for the amount of batter, but they’ll form a layer on top while baking.

filled mini pies
The filling is thin, so you’ll probably spill some here, there, and everywhere. We did.

Fill mini-pies. Remove the prepared pie shells from the freezer and fill each using about a tablespoon of batter, or enough to fill the shell completely. Try not to let it run over the top, as the filling will stick to pretty much any pan as it bakes, making a real mess to clean up. We know this from experience.

Bake. Slide into the oven and bake until browned, the filling is puffed, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.

Remove and cool. Once the mini-pies are out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes so the crust and filling firm up, then remove them using a sharp knife around the edges, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Good, but troublesome. At such a small size, the flavor and impact of the filling was diminished as compared to a full-size pie (we did make one of those and it was great, plus super easy). So, unless you really need mini-pies for some reason, we steer you more towards a pie you could slice. Five stars as a full-size pie, three as mini pies.

Worth the trouble?

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