Tag Archives: thanksgiving recipes

Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie [New Recipe]

The fall flew by! Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving? I am thankful for extra time off with my children. We love to get creative in the kitchen, especially when it comes to sweets. We were talking with our friend from the San Diego Honey Company about how we like to bake with unrefined sugars, such as local honey. We put our brains together and collaborated on this Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie. See if you might like to try it for Thanksgiving dessert!

honey bourbon pecan pie

If you have seen my recipes for Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie, you will know that I try to steer clear of corn syrup. I also often reduce sugar in my recipes. Honey adds subtle layers of flavor that compliment the other ingredients. Why not add flavor and avoid GMO’s?

honey bourbon pecan pie

To be honest, I bake the Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie every year. It’s just a winner. But this year I wanted to experiment with something new. Since bourbon goes so well with honey and pecan, I figured this one couldn’t go wrong.

baby birds farm eggs

To select which honey to use, I picked the brain of Lisann, who owns the San Diego Honey Company, and makes the infused flavors herself. You can talk to her directly at the Solana Beach Farmers market every Sunday. I also pick up her honey at Specialty Produce or Sprouts. (The super fresh pecans were from Specialty Produce.) I asked her which honey would go best in this recipe. “Vanilla Bean!” she said. The vanilla bean honey has a ton of flecks of real vanilla, which compliments the sweet custard of a pecan pie.

honey bourbon pecan pie

Next, I thought about my mom’s classic pecan pie recipe. It uses half a cup of light corn syrup and half a cup of dark corn syrup, as each have their own flavor notes. To mimic the match, I used half vanilla bean honey, which is in a light honey base, and half avocado blossom honey. If you have never had the pleasure of tasting avocado blossom honey (sounds like a total San Diego thing), it is super dark and tastes like molasses. For reals.

honey bourbon pecan pie

The only difference in baking with honey vs. corn syrup or maple syrup, is that you will want to heat it up slightly. This helps it to mix much easier, especially if other ingredients are cold. I warmed the honeys, brown sugar, and butter until just melted, and then let them cool before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Do you bake or cook with honey?

honey bourbon pecan pie

Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie [New Recipe]
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Try this twist on a classic American pecan pie this Thanksgiving. Honey replaces corn syrup and adds extra flavor, complimenting the sweet bourbon.
Ingredients
All Butter Pie Crust
  • 8 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ice water, about ½ cup
Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
  • ½ cup dark honey, such as avocado blossom honey
  • ½ cup light honey, such as vanilla bean honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 T bourbon whiskey
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • (optional) dash of cardamon bitters
  • 2 cups of raw pecan halves
Instructions
All Butter Pie Crust
  1. Cut the butter evenly into small pieces, place on a plate in the freezer, and chill for about 30 minutes. Put ice and cold water in a measuring cup and chill.
  2. Place flour and salt in the bowl of a Kitchen-Aid mixer. When butter is frozen, use paddle attachment with mixer on the very lowest setting, and drop butter in a few pieces at a time. Stay close by. When the chunks of butter are slightly larger than pea size, dribble in the ice water until dough does not appear dry and JUST begins to come together.
  3. Move the dough to a dry surface and push together with the heel of your hand. Try not to knead or overwork the dough, you want it to come together so you can roll it out. This dough can be used right away! This amount makes enough for a top and a bottom, or two bottom crusts. You will only need one half for the pecan pie. If you are not going to use it right away, double wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 3-4 days or freeze for up to a month.
  4. After rolling out the crust and gently placing it in your pie dish, place it back in the refrigerator until it is ready to be filled.
Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375*.
  2. Place the honeys, brown sugar and 3 T of butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Tip: you will want a spatula to scrape all of the sticky honey out of your measuring cups. Heat, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar and just melted. Take off heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Lightly beat eggs by hand. Add bourbon, vanilla and bitters. (Use the larger amount of vanilla extract if your honey doesn't have awesome flecks of vanilla already in it.)
  4. Once the honey mixture has cooled, gently stir it into the eggs and pecans, until just combined. Pour into the prepared, unbaked, half pie shell.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until just set in the middle (meaning there is no jiggle when you wiggle.)
  6. Let cool completely.
Notes
For more photos of and tips on this crust and baking pies, see this post.

Pin this Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe

Save this, or other Thanksgiving favorites, to Pinterest!

Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie Vertical

 

Easy Cranberry Clementine Sauce

My sister Marjorie has been making a fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving since she was a teenager. She shares her recipe for easy cranberry clementine sauce every year, since I never write it down. I’m happy to share it here because now I will be able to look it up next November, too! This is also a fun recipe to make with kids.

easy cranberry clementine sauce recipe

Easy Cranberry Clementine Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: Thanksgiving
Cuisine: Easy Vegan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
An easy homemade recipe for cranberry sauce made with clementine juice and peel. Perfect for Thanksgiving.
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries (1 bag)
  • 1 clementine orange, juice and peel
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
Instructions
  1. Rince cranberries. Juice the clementine and chop the peel in a small dice.
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.
  3. May also be refrigerated up to one week and served cold.

Pin the recipe to save. Please follow my Thanksgiving board on Pinterest for more ideas!

cranberry clementine sauce

Real Pumpkin Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

Ditch the cans this year! Try this real pumpkin pie made with a sugar pie pumpkin, honey, cream and milk, eggs, fresh ginger, spices and love! I use the word “real” to mean fresh, whole, and unprocessed foods, and without refined sugar. I made this last year for Thanksgiving. It was gone in a few minutes, leaving the store-bought pumpkin pie next to it largely intact. I’ve since made it three or four more times and my family is in love.

Real Pumpkin Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

So, can a pie by a healthy treat? Maybe this one! Pumpkin is low in calories, and high in fiber and disease-fighting vitamins. It is one of the best source of bioavailable carotenoids and is considered by some to be a super food.  I always knew I was onto something when I ate pie for breakfast! My dad used to do it, too.

To can or not to can?

I recently read an article detailing why canned pumpkin makes better pie. I was dubious, which was confirmed when I saw the “news” was sponsored by one of the largest manufacturers of canned pumpkin. Hmmmm…. And I bet anyone who has made pumpkin pie has tried either evaporated or condensed milk. But think about it… Cans are a great way to preserve food for when fresh isn’t available. Do you have access to fresh dairy? I’m guessing yes. I dare you to try this recipe and tell me fresh isn’t more flavorful. Roasting the pumpkin whole and peeling it when cool makes it super easy, as well. I use a blender to make the batter, leaving my mixer free for whipping cream!

Real Pumpkin Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

Real Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Adapted from allrecipes.com. Makes one 9″ pie.

  • 1 medium sugar pie pumpkin (2 cups of cooked pumpkin puree)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey, slightly warmed up
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 uncooked single pie crust, kept refrigerated in pan until ready to use

Preheat oven to 375° F. Place pumpkin directly on a center rack. Roast about one hour until the flesh is soft to the touch with an oven mitt. Turn off the oven and allow the pumpkin to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Peel the skin off the pumpkin and separate the flesh from the strings and seeds. Place the flesh in a good blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Next, since pumpkins vary in size, put the puree into a bowl and then measure 2 cups of pumpkin puree and return it to the blender. (No need to wash or rinse the blender in between!) Reserve any extra puree for Pumpkin French Toast Bread Pudding.

Add the spices, eggs, honey, milk and cream to the blender and mix until everything is uniform and smooth. Pour into the pie crust shell. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the center is set. Serve warm or room temperature.

Options for serving:

Use leftover crust to make “cookies” in the shape of leaves. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake them for 10 minutes or until golden. Kids love to help with this!

Decorate with a spicy pepita (pumpkin seed) brittle. See the next post for the brittle recipe.

Serve with maple whipped cream, recipe follows.

For gluten-free friends, pour some of the pumpkin batter into single serving oven-safe custard bowls or ramekins. Bake about 25 minutes until set. Decorate with spicy pepita brittle for some crunch and texture.

Real Pumpkin Pie - gluten free option

Maple Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup

In the clean bowl of a mixer, beat the cream and maple syrup on high until soft peaks form. Keep refrigerated.