Food & dining

Thanksgiving Recipe

Recipe for classic pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Makes one 9-inch pie

This sweet pie with crispy, buttery pecans and deep vanilla flavor is a mandatory indulgence at the Thanksgiving table. The bourbon whipped cream should be soft and only slightly sweet to complement the pie. The dough is rolled between parchment sheets, which makes it easier.


cups flour
2tablespoons granulated sugar
¾teaspoon salt
10tablespoons (1¼ sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut up
2tablespoons ice water
2teaspoons lemon juice
Extra flour
(for sprinkling)

1. Have on hand a 9-inch pie pan and a rimmed baking sheet.


2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt several times. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs.

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3. Sprinkle the water and lemon juice on top and pulse 2 times, just until the dough forms large clumps. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary. The dough should not form a ball.

4. On a lightly floured counter, press the clumps together to form a flat disk. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Cut two sheets of parchment paper, each about 14 inches long. Roll the dough between the sheets to a -inch-thick circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough onto the pie pan. Lift off the paper. Fit the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. With scissors, trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang at the rim. Fold the excess under itself to make a hem. Crimp or press with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate.


½cup dark brown sugar
1cup dark corn syrup
3tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2teaspoons vanilla extract
teaspoon salt
cups pecan halves
1cup heavy cream softly whipped with 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons bourbon, and 1 teaspoon
vanilla extract


1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Set it on the baking sheet.

3. Bake the pie for 1 hour, or until the filling is set in the middle. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve with bourbon whipped cream.

Sally Pasley Vargas