Well, the season is upon us. The leaves are sprouting, birds are chirping, the flowers are in bloom, and your guests are donned in seersucker suits and and outrageously embellished hats, laughing and cheering in their Sunday best whilst getting tipsy on Bourbon. This can only mean one thing…no, not that I just wanted to find an excuse to use the word ‘whilst. ‘  No, this could only mean it is time for the grand old tradition of the Kentucky Derby!

Admittedly, this is one event that is on my bucket list to attend at least once in my life. I love the grandeur…the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the event. The day has an old fashioned, civilized feel to it…a throw back to days when people took greater pride in appearance and the tailoring of their clothing. It just emits that old-fashioned, southern, Wuthering Heights kind of a feel.

Or…perhaps the appeal is that it brings me back to my college days and it’s just another excuse to dress up and drink in a field all day long.  Whichever the case, one thing is for certain…there will be a whole lot of race day parties and a whole lot of eating and drinking going on. So what is better, I ask you, than killing two birds with one stone and mixing your booze with your food to bring to those parties?! Genius I tell you.

It’s no secret that Louisville has long been known for its bourbon, serving as the impetus for the famed signature cocktail of the Derby, the Mint Julep. But that is not the only use for this malty, caramel colored spirit. Bourbon has made its way into many a recipe and sauce, and here I will provide you with a few down-home, race day treats to please your guests. Stay tuned for a series of recipes here on the blog, but let’s kick it off with a traditional one.

Bon appetit!

Bourbon-Pecan Tart

A scrumptious traditional southern pie, with a bourbon flavored twist, perfect for any Derby party.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 12-inch round pie crust
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  4. 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  5. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  6. 2 tablespoons bourbon
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 cups pecan halves or pieces

Instructions:

  1. Place crust in 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom; press crust into pan. Trim overhang. Chill crust 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans. Bake until crust is set and pale golden, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove foil and beans. Bake crust until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place pan with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Meanwhile, using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in medium bowl. Beat in corn syrup. Add butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt; beat until blended. Stir in pecans.
  5. Pour pecan filling into hot crust. Bake until center of filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool tart on rack 1 hour; remove pan sides. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Rewarm slightly before serving, if desired.

Notes: MAKE AHEAD: This recipe can be made 8 hours ahead. Rewarm slightly before serving, if desired.

Nutritional Information:

One serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 456.5 %Calories from Fat 58.0 Fat (g) 29.4 Saturated Fat (g) 9.5 Cholesterol (mg) 96.6 Carbohydrates (g) 46.8 Dietary Fiber (g) 2.5 Total Sugars (g) 21.8 Net Carbs (g) 44.3 Protein (g) 5.2

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8-10

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional, Southern)

Recipe by: Carolyn Beth Weil
Photograph by: Elinor Carucci

 

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