Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Maker's Makes its Mark on Pies

When you think of Maker's Mark, it's rarely common to think of homemade pies. But this particular spirit can lend its flavor to a variety of dishes, from dessert pies to meat marinades to mashed potatoes. Maker's Mark especially hold a distinct flavor, combining both a sweet and oaky taste that sets it apart from other whiskeys.

I have used Maker's twice in pie baking, and both produced amazing results. The flavor of the whiskey is the point in this ingredient, the actual alcohol (for the most part) cooks out during the baking process. I would recommend omitting the ingredient entirely, though, if a) whiskey is a flavor you have an aversion to or b) children will be eating some as well (the flavor will probably be too much for them).

My first pie is a Pumpkin Bourbon Pie. My friend Maya was hosting a wine & cheese party, and I was asked to bring dessert. Beth (from the previous post) begged me to make something using bourbon: having completed her undergrad in Kentucky, she had a huge craving for a baked creation involving Maker's.

This was around October, so a pumpkin pie was the first thing that came to mind. I was a little anxious on what the whiskey would do to the flavor as I had never baked anything with liquor as an ingredient before. Guys, trust me, this is an AWESOME pie! Pumpkin pie alone is always amazing, but the bourbon gives it a deeper flavor with more of a kick. I swear you will not regret having included it in the final product.

There is one warning I will issue about this recipe: there is an optional bourbon whipped cream included. As the bourbon does NOT cook out of this part, it is a much stronger presence. I would either recommend halving the amount of bourbon called for or omitting it entirely. The pie stands alone quite well without it, so there's no need to overdo it.

Pumpkin Bourbon Pie
Serves 8


  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Bourbon Whipped Cream (recipe follows - optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and bourbon.

  3. Pour into pie shell.

  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately with Bourbon Whipped Cream or refrigerate.
  5. For Bourbon Whipped Cream: Whip 1 cup heavy cream in large mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons bourbon and 1 teaspoon ground ginger; continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

The second pie I used bourbon in was a Kentucky Derby Pie, or a Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie. This recipes was to die for! Once again, my Kentucky friend requested a bourbon creation only this time to celebrate the Kentucky Derby race in May. She was throwing a derby party, so on top of the derby pie there would also be hats, flowers, and mint juleps.

This pie was simple, the only difficult part was incorporating the hot mixture into the egg mixture. Whisking constantly at this stage is crucial to preventing the eggs from cooking. Once in the piecrust, though, it's as smooth sailing.

Two changes I made: rather than dark corn syrup I used light (all I had at the time) and I only used 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla since I ran out on that very recipe :-/ Other than that, I followed it to a T and the result was both beautiful and delicious!

Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie
Serves 8


  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
  2. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust; set aside.
  3. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.
  5. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool on wire rack.


Unknown said...
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agregory23 said...

Hi Rachel! That would be AWESOME! Please do - I've stopped posting recipes to this blog and am now posting recipes to my NEW blog at :) I use Maker's Mark a LOT in my cooking - there are a few here that your fans might like as well:

Thanks again for checking out my blog, and happy cooking!


Unknown said...

Thanks Anne! I'll definitely check it out!

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