The standard pie is already the best, adding bourbon to both the pie and whipped cream makes it even better! French Silk Pie with Bourbon is amazing!
I’m a bit tardy with this treat. I had the best intentions; thinking I would make this French Silk Pie with Bourbon for the Kentucky Derby…you know bourbon and all? But I didn’t even get to watch the Derby much less have my standard half hour party with neighbors. It wasn’t anything major, just a nice day and my yard calling to me.
We’ve had the standard high country Spring. Seventy-five degrees one day and snow the next and that Saturday was too beautiful to stay inside. As it turns out seems I missed quite the race hmm? I’m with the rules people; while I cannot imagine the heartbreak of that announcement, clearly the first winner was drifting way too far in front of other horses. Seeing their feet flying so close together I’m just glad no horses or riders went down and were injured. Life is funny and not always fair but I thought this decision was.
Still I could not get this pie out of my mind. I’ve been making this standard recipe for French Silk Pie for years. And yes, same photos over there. They were so old and awful and really except for a bit of bourbon, it is the same pie so you’ll forgive me right? Either one is excellent.
Truth be told, the photo of the whole pie is the ‘regular’ one and the photos of the slices have bourbon. That’s right two pies in one week. My plan had been to make the bourbon one for the Derby when my neighbors drop by for a quick party; I mean REAL quick. We watch the Derby and then go back to Saturday chores. But as I said it didn’t happen. But I had promised my neighbor Sam a cake for his birthday and when I heard from his girls he loved pie more I decided that my idea would transfer just as well to celebrating his birthday.
Except for one thing. Kids. While there isn’t a lot of booze, I just couldn’t make a pie with booze in it that I knew kids would be eating so I made the standard recipe, got a photo of the whole pie and figured I would get a photo of a slice the next day. Except there was no slice. It was devoured. Good thing I thought about that booze; particularly when kids want more than one slice!
So I made it again with the bourbon and got photos of a slice! Ah, the rigors of this job just for my readers! I’m not complaining, nope. While I always share, I was OK with having another slice of my favorite pie a couple of days later and WITH bourbon. Was it better? Yes, yes it was. Does it taste like a cocktail? Not really. For me the use of bourbon in a cocktail and in food have this in common – too much is too much.
Simple concept right? It should enhance the flavors but not overpower them. The entire pie and the whipped cream only have a total of a quarter cup of bourbon in them. You can add a bit more to suit your taste though but do it sparingly. It should elevate the food, not overwhelm it. Bourbon has a sweet, caramel element to it; it made it richer but did not taste like bourbon; that’s the sweet spot in my book.
If you love the idea of bourbon in this pie and are adventurous you must also consider making my version of French Silk Pie with Tequila and Cayenne. Now THAT one is clearly more evident of the uniqueness of those ingredients. It mimics a Mexican Hot Chocolate and is so good but you will most definitely notice the tingle from tequila and cayenne. Not one I would not serve to kids. More for us adults!
If you’ve never had a French Silk Pie you must try this. A really simple mixture of ingredients that are elevated by the total of twenty minutes of beating the ingredients and combined with a graham cracker crust with pecans I think it’s the best. It does call for raw eggs; if you have a concern, try finding the pasteurized eggs now available at many markets. I’ve never once had a problem in the 25 years I’ve been making this pie but for the really young and really old it’s better to be safe.
If you love this version; you should try these as well!
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PIN ‘French Silk Pie with Bourbon’
French Silk Pie with Bourbon
For the Crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- ¼ cup sugar
For the Filling:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsps bourbon
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa
- 1 Tbsp dried espresso or coffee
- pinch of salt
- 3 extra large eggs
For the Garnish
- Whipped cream Optional - Add 2-3 Tbsp bourbon
- Chocolate Curls
Prepare the Crust:
- Put the graham cracker crumbs into a food process and process until you have a fine crumb. Add the pecans and process until the nuts are a very small crumb and blended in.
- Add the sugar and mix well, then slowly steam the butter into the dry ingredients and process until they come together.
- Pat into a 9 inch pie plate and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes; just turning brown.
- Remove from oven and cool completely.
Prepare the filling:
- Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and bourbon together. Combine the sugar, cocoa, espresso and salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Add it to the butter mixture and beat for 5 minutes, scraping bowl often.
- Add each egg separately and beat for a full 5 minutes after the addition of each egg. Scrape bowl often.
- Pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust and smooth it out to the edges. Pipe whipped cream on top of pie and sprinkle with chocolate curls. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. Can be frozen too.