What a gem of a pie. Growing up in the heart of the blue grass state, my family ate this pie every Kentucky Derby Saturday, alongside Mint Juleps served in tin cups… and also alongside my bourbon aficionado father lamenting the tragedy that was mixing Woodford (glorious on its own) with such horrific pollutants as simple syrup and muddled mint. He’s a bourbon purist, he’d be the first to admit that.
This pie, however, never got complaints, as the magical mix of brown sugar and corn syrup make for a carmely texture, studded with rich chocolate chunks and crunchy walnut pieces. As a child I was allowed to eat this since “the alcohol all cooks off in the baking process”, but this weekend I realized you can definitely still taste bourbon. And I’m in no way unhappy about it.
I decided to make this pie for this weekend (outside its normal window of derby day weekend) to serve as a good luck charm to the UK basketball team. It worked on Friday, as friends sat around stuffing pie and bourbon into their hungry little NCAA cheering faces and UK came out with a great win over Louisville, and it worked again yesterday as I ate the rest of the pie (3+ decently sized slices :) ) while watching UK come out with another great win over Michigan. I don’t want to attribute the Kentucky basketball teams success entirely to this pie, but I also wouldn’t totally rule it out. Even two days later, this pie was incredible. I actually think it got a little better after being in the freezer for 36 hours (but then, I love all treats frozen). I usually enjoy the things that I bake, I usually enjoy treats with bourbon, I usually pie dense enough that I can justify eating it alone for lunch… but this pie still shocked me. It’s ranking up there as one of the best pies I’ve ever made, AND it’s gotten a #8 seeded UK team to the Final Four in a magical Cinderella season.
To say I’ll be making it again next weekend is an understatement. I know I’ve spent the last 3.5 years living in Wisconsin, but I did spent the first 17 years living in Kentucky, and for that, I always default towards
bourbon blue(when ND isn’t playing, of course). Go Cats! Go make this pie, you won’t be disappointed.
Bourbon Chocolate Walnut Pie
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup corn syrup (we used light and a splash of molasses but the recipe called for dark)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup bourbon (we maybe used more, slightly changed the texture, but worth it)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 refrigerated or homemade pie crust (yes, this happened. not my proudest moment but at the same time we were also making biscotti, three layer cake, soup, and cornbread. and drinking bourbon, store bought crust was the best I could do)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Spray a 9″ pie tin with nonstick spray. Drape your pie crust into your tin, letting it hang over the edges of the tin. Crimp the edges of the dough with your fingers then remove extra dough hanging over the side. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork.
Scatter the roughly walnuts and semisweet chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie dough. Set aside.
In a small pot over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar and bourbon. Bring to a boil, stir well, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt. SLOWLY drizzle hot syrup into the eggs, stirring continuously with a whisk while you drizzle. You must go very slow here or you risk cooking the eggs. Continue drizzling and whisking until the last of the syrup has been poured into the eggs. Pour this over the pecans and chocolate in the pie.
Carefully place pie in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Top should be puffy and crust should be golden. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.
Serve with good bourbon.