A fun, subtle twist on a classic: the best pumpkin pie, spiked with bourbon and dark molasses for an extra dimension of flavor!
As much as I love to eat pie, when it comes to making them, there is no dessert that gives me comparable fits. Mostly the crust. I think I’ve been overly conditioned by Martha and Instagram and everyone in between to think that my crust needs to be picture-perfect for the pie to have any worth whatsoever.
Fortunately, as with party planning, I’ve relaxed on this over time, at least a little bit. At least enough to focus on the taste, which is what really matters, and enjoy the finished result. And this particular finished result falls into the “OH MY GOD why have I never done that before!?” category.
It’s pretty easy to see why. Let’s break it down:
- Start with the best pumpkin pie recipe.
- Add bourbon.
- Add molasses.
- Eat the whole thing.
I think the addition of bourbon and molasses is pretty self-explanatory – these are classic flavors that themselves smack of fall and warmth and cozy goodness. They also just happen to perfectly complement the sweetness of pumpkin and nutty fall spices that make pumpkin pie the beloved treat that is. So let me take just a minute to explain what makes this particular pumpkin pie recipe so terrific.
Admittedly it takes a couple of extra steps beyond what you may be used to. I’m all about making things delicious, but I am NOT about adding unnecessary steps, so I want to explain why these are worthwhile!
- First, you’ll, um, puree the puree. I know, this seems like, “why??” But trust. Yes, pumpkin puree is already, uh, pureed, but even from a can, it can have small stringy bits. Taking the extra few seconds to whirl it in the blender or food processor, together with the sugar and spices, ensures a perfectly smooth and well-blended final result.
- Second, you’ll ever-so-briefly warm the pie filling on the stovetop before pouring it into the pre-baked crust. This brush of heat does two things: it further enhances and melds the flavor, and it just slightly thickens the filling, leading to a pie that is thick, creamy, and yields clean, beautiful slices.
More Fall Baking Ideas:
- Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Muffins
- Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oat Breakfast Bars
- Overnight Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls
- Crockpot Honey Apple Butter
For American readers who are in the throes of Thanksgiving planning, I hope this pie finds a place at your table, because I’m confident you and your loved ones will adore it, even in the midst of a turkey-induced stupor. Whether you’re in charge of pie (like me!) or the entire meal (gasp!), or just in charge of making suggestions (lucky you!), rest assured, this one’s a keeper!
Now what are you waiting for!? Whip up this pie and watch the happy crowds form a line! ♥
Bourbon Molasses Pumpkin Pie
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
- 15 ounces (1 can) pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (107 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2-3 Tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- First, roll out the pie crust and transfer it to a well-buttered 9-inch pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges, then chill the crust for 30 minutes.
- While crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C). To pre-bake, line the chilled crust tightly with aluminum foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then remove the weights and foil, and bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven, place on a baking sheet, and set aside. Leave the oven on, but turn down the heat to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- While the crust is pre-baking, prepare the filling. In a blender or bowl of a food processor, combine the pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, spices, and molasses. Blend until the brown sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture looks slightly glossy. (Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, you can blend the filling right in the medium saucepan [see next step]. Fewer dishes!)
- Next, warm the filling. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until you see wisps of steam rising, then stir continuously until the mixture is very steamy and makes a slight bubbling sound when you pause for a second. (Cook for no more than 5 minutes. Also, at this point, your kitchen will begin to smell like heaven.)
- Remove the pan from the heat, then whisk in milk and cream.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup (I like to use the one I just used to measure out the milk and cream), lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in a few spoonfuls of the warm pumpkin mixture. Slowly whisk the eggs back into the saucepan with the pumpkin mixture. Finally, whisk in the bourbon and vanilla.
- Pour the warm pumpkin mixture into the pre-baked pie crust. (Depending on the height of your crust, you may have excess filling. If so, be sure to stop when you come close to the edge of the crust!) Carefully transfer the baking sheet with the pie to the oven.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pie puffs slightly in the middle, but still jiggles when you gently shake the pan. You may also see small cracks in the outer part of the pie and some bubbling around the edge. Check the pie every 15-20 minutes and cover the crust with a ring of foil when it is deep golden brown.
- Let the pie cool to set fully. Store in the fridge, then garnish as desired and serve!
- This pie can be baked a day or two ahead; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to garnish and serve.
- Adapted from The Kitchn.
More Recipes for A Delicious Thanksgiving
- Turkey Gouda Party Rolls with Honey Mustard Glaze
- Roasted Garlic Sage Pumpkin Hummus
- Rosemary Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits