Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Jack’s Rye Pecan Pie

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Jack’s Rye Pecan Pie
Pecan Pie Infused with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey. (Photo and Styling: Tony Jackman)

I adapted this from the Cradock Pecan Pie recipe in my book foodSTUFF. The difference: lighter on the sugar, heavier on the whiskey.

Whisky being my tipple of choice, my eyes grew wide when I saw that the couriered box contained a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey. Wondering just how different it could be from the regular Jack, I spied a card in the pack that made it clear: regular Jack is made from 80% corn, 12% malted barley and just 8% rye. This one: a massive 70% rye, 18% corn, and 12% malted barley.

This being pecan (and walnut) season in our part of the Eastern Cape, and pecan pie containing either brandy or whisky (always the latter for mine), there was only one thing to do next: take a sip of the rye whiskey. (Oh, and make a pecan pie.)

Staying with a North American theme, I used maple syrup instead of the usual golden syrup. And I switched from caramel sugar, which I usually use, to white sugar so that the flavour of the rye whisky could come to the fore. But use caramel sugar if you prefer.


(Makes 2 pecan pies. They keep for a week or more in the fridge.)

1 packet puff pastry

2 cups (500 ml) maple syrup

1 cup / 250 g granulated white sugar

1/2 cup / 125 g butter

3 Tbs Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

4 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

½ tsp salt

2 cups whole pecan nuts


In a  saucepan, bring the maple syrup, sugar, butter and whisky to a simmer, but keep an eye on it as it froths up and boils over in a flash. Simmer on a low heat, stirring continuously, for a minute. Remove and leave to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Grease two pie dishes. Roll out the pastry. Place a pie dish top side down on the pastry and cut a circle 3 cms wider than the dish. Place in a dish and prick all over the bottom with a fork. Gather the rest of the pastry up, roll into a ball and roll out again, to repeat, pricking the second base with a fork. Crimp the edges of the pastry all around the edges with finger and thumb. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

When the filling has cooled, whisk the eggs and stir them thoroughly into the syrup with the vanilla, salt and pecans. Spoon into the pie bases. Bake for 40 to 45 minus until a golden hue, not too dark. Remove to a wire rack and leave to cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream laced with rye whiskey. DM/TGIFood

You can of course substitute a whisk(e)y of your choice, or brandy.

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