Recipe: Bourbon and Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Pecan Pie with Bourbon Crust and Malted Whipped Cream
This incredible pecan pie recipe comes from Homebrewchef.com, which adapted it from a recipe in Beer Advocate magazine. I made this with Jim Beam Double Oak Twice Barreled Bourbon. For the Russian Imperial Stout, I used So Happens It’s Tuesday from The Bruery (A / $20 per 750ml bottle), which is aged in bourbon barrels. I was surprised to find the stout had a sour side to it and initially worried it would negatively impact the pie. However, I also used dark corn syrup instead of the light listed in the recipe ingredients. The two balanced one another nicely. The pie filling came out sweet, but not syrupy sweet.
Traditionally, cooks use vodka instead of water in their pie crusts. The reason for this is because the alcohol evaporates, leaving a flaky crust. This recipe calls for bourbon instead of vodka and it worked well for the same reasons. I also loved the use of barley flour in the crust for something truly unique. I found the flour at our local community market.
This recipe also needs dry malt extract (DME), which is not something normally found in the supermarket. I did get mine from the local The Beverage People shop. They do have a website to order from here. It is interesting to note that DME is used in the center of candy malted milk balls. No wonder they are so good! I also recommend the use of real maple syrup and not the imitation kind; a pie this good deserves the real thing.
With the whipped cream, the malt extract adds a malty sweetness to the bourbon and cream flavors. The recipe called for powdered milk. This is an important ingredient as it gives the whipped cream body. I used real heavy cream for mine. The taste is heavenly.
Most of the alcohol, except for the bourbon in the whipped cream, cooks off so there is no real alcohol content to speak of…only the wonderful, warm flavor.
This pie is a bit expensive to make because of the unusual ingredients, not found normally at the grocery store, and the alcohol. However, this is the best pecan pie I have ever tasted. Some things, like fine foods and good beer and spirits, are worth the money spent on them, particularly when they are for a special occasion. This pecan pie is no exception and I highly recommend it.
Here is the recipe. I should also note the crust is for two pies, while the filling is for one. I simply doubled the filling ingredients and baked two pies, which serves twelve slices. Preparation time is about 20 minutes. Cooking time is 60 minutes.
Bourbon Barley Pie Crust
• 1 1/2 cups flour, unbleached all purpose
• 1/2 cup flour, barley
• 1/2 cup flour, pastry
• 3 tablespoons Dry Malt Extract (DME)
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 8 ounces unsalted butter
• 4 – 5 tablespoons Bourbon, ice cold
Stout Pecan Filling
• 3 each eggs, jumbo at room temperature
• 3 each eggs, jumbo, yolks only, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup Dry Malt Extract (DME)
• 1/2 cup sugar, organic
• 1/2 cup Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher
• 3 cups shelled pecan halves
Malted Whipping Cream
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 3 tablespoons Dry Malt Extract (DME)
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon milk powder
• 2 tablespoons Bourbon
Bourbon Barley Pie Crust Directions:
• In the bowl of a food processor, add the flours, DME, and salt. Pulse several times to mix the ingredients together. Add the cold butter cubes to the bowl and pulse a few times to cut the fat into the flour mixture.
• Keep pulsing until the mixture has small grain size chunks of fat evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
• With the motor running, quickly add the bourbon until the mixture just forms a ball. Since the alcohol mixed with flour cannot form gluten like water and flour can, over mixing isn’t as much of an issue with this crust. Plus the alcohol will evaporate (40% alcohol), resulting in a flaky crust. Form the dough into two equal size balls. Take plastic wrap and wrap each ball of dough, pressing down on each to create a disk. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to re-chill, while fully hydrating the flour, making it easier to work with and helping the crust from shrinking as it cooks.
• Preheat the oven to 350°F | 177°C. Take one dough ball and roll it out to ¼ of an inch thick round on a lightly floured surface. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a 22 oz bottle that is chilled will also work. Place it in your pie dish or tin. Crimp the edges of the crust and set aside. Use the second pie crust for another pie (try apple) or another application like turn overs.
Stout Pecan Filling Directions:
• In a large bowl, add the eggs and yolks (saving the whites for another recipe), whisking until light and frothy. Add the DME, sugar, Imperial Stout, corn syrup, maple syrup, melted butter, and salt; mix well. Add in the pecan halves and mix to coat. Pour this mixture into the prepared pie crust, smoothing out any pecans which are sticking out. Place into the center of the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the custard is set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.
Malted Whipped Cream Directions:
• In a cold metal bowl, add the cold cream, DME, sugar, milk powder, and bourbon. Using a whisk, beat until soft peaks form. Top each slice of pie with a healthy dollop and serve.
Homebrewchef recommends pairing the pie with Parabola Russian Imperial Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Company (A / $20 per 650ml bottle). This recommendation was spot on as the flavors of both the stout and the pie mingled well together on the tongue. I also recommend, for the wine folks reading, pairing this pie with a Kelley and Young Late Harvest Zinfandel, from Robert Young Vineyards (A+ / $36 per 375ml bottle).
Ok – So I made the pie above but followed the recipe on the original site (light corn syrup). Couple of notes if anyone wants to make it.
1) Get ‘light’ malt extract. They make all kinds of grades (amber/dark/etc..) and I tried “extra-light” as its what the local shop had and it was not quite malty enough imo.
2) The whip cream was not to my liking or anyone else’s that tried this. We ended up making regular whip cream and it accentuated the pie rather than covered up the flavors.
3) After 55 min the pecans were over-done. I have no clue what can be done about this but while the custard in the pie was pretty amazing the pecans were better raw and if there is a method to add them part-way though cooking I think it would be preferable.
Fun experiment though and what a great crust!