A new favorite family recipe that tastes incredible but isn't so pretty
They say it's what's inside that counts and that's especially true with food. As much as I love a beautiful presentation of food, if it doesn't taste good then who cares what it looks like? This year I created a new salty caramel version of the pecan pie that I've been baking for over 20 years and I'm never going back to the old one, even if this one isn't very photogenic.
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It all started earlier this year when my husband and I took a weekend trip to The Buckhorn Inn, our favorite Bed and Breakfast in the nearby Smoky Mountains. Here's the view from the dining room. All the views are amazing.
The inn is completely charming and their food is heavenly, but that's not exactly where the idea for this recipe came from.
While we were there we did a little touristy shopping and sightseeing, including a visit to the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery. We did a tasting of their products. It was mostly moonshine, which was fun and is a what they're famous for, but it also included their Tennessee distilled Salty Caramel Whiskey.
Oh. My. Goodness.
It tastes and smells like butterscotch with a kick and we bought some of it along with a few other flavors of moonshine to share with our family and friends (Apple Pie, Margarita, Eggnog, & Blueberry).
Yes, their marketing ploys worked well on us!
Flash forward to when I was preparing to bake my annual holiday pecan pies and wanting to tweak the recipe a bit. For years I added rum and it makes a really good pie. A couple of years ago I added Jack Daniels and it was really good, too. But neither of them can hold a candle to the version I made this year with the Salty Caramel Whiskey.
Overheard at one of our family gatherings where the pie was served:
- "Oh my God. This is the best pie I've ever eaten."
- "The only thing you need to bring from now on is this pie!" (directed at me)
- And several more "Oh my God"'s were also overheard.
So I guess my family gives it a giant thumbs up, and that's a big compliment since we all love to cook (and eat).
Here's the recipe I used, which is adapted from my 25-year-old Southern Living cookbook.
Prep time approximately 45 minutes
Bake time 50 to 55 minutes
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted (I always use salted butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pastry shell
1 to 1 1/4 cups pecan halves *I highly recommend Georgia pecans. It's worth the extra expense*
3 tablespoons Salty Caramel Whiskey *I used Ole Smoky, but since it's only available at the distillery you could substitute with one from your local liquor store.*
Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves (about 20 minutes). Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Add eggs, whiskey, vanilla, and salt to mixture, mix well.
Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell and top with pecan halves.
Bake at 325 for 50 to 55 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Yield: one 9-inch pie.
*Note - Since this recipe is so popular with my family, I ALWAYS make 2 pies. I simply double the recipe.
FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION CLICK HERE:
Let me know if you try it and what you think about it.
*NOTE - I emailed Ole Smoky to see if their Salty Caramel Whiskey is available online and they said it will hopefully be available for order sometime in 2017. I'll post an update here when it's available without a visit to the distillery, although I highly recommend doing that if you get the chance.*
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