Serves 8. Recipe is by Helana Brigman.
For the crust:
21/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small cubes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 to 5 tbls. ice water
For the corn syrup substitute:
1 cup plus 2 tbls. good-quality whiskey, Scotch or bourbon
1/2 cup plus 2 tbls. dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup plus 2 tbls. good-quality maple syrup
For the filling:
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup corn syrup substitute
1⁄3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tbls. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. salt
3 cups pecan halves
1. Prepare pie crust: Begin by freezing the butter. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter cut into 1-inch cubes into freezer for at least 15 minutes, but preferably an hour. The longer the butter freezes, the better it will stay cold when making your crust.
2. Add flour, butter, salt and sugar to a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Slowly pulse dry mixture with 2 to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water until dough just comes together. Flour a surface and place dough ball on surface. Divide in half and create two circular discs.
3. Wrap discs in plastic wrap or sandwich bags and refrigerate for immediate use, or freeze for later use. Dough keeps for up to 2 months; one disc equals one layer of standard pie dough.
4. Prepare corn syrup substitute: In a nonstick sauce pan, combine choice of whiskey, bourbon or Scotch with brown sugar and maple syrup. Warm over medium heat until the mixture bubbles stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for five minutes stirring constantly (the mixture will darken slightly and continue to thicken). Remove from heat after five minutes and cool completely before adding to filling.
5. Prepare filling: Whisk together first eight ingredients and fold in pecans. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6. Construct pie: Roll out a single disc of dough on a well-floured surface and transfer to a (9-inch) pie pan. Press dough down evenly into pan and instead of trimming off dough excess, pinch dough between fingers to crimp the crust. Repeat pinching motion all the way around crust.
7. Transfer pie filling to pie pan and spread out evenly. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and the pie shakes slightly when jiggled. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for several hours before serving.