Showing posts with label Thanksgiving desserts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving desserts. Show all posts

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie

It's Thanksgiving recipe week at Mystery Lover's Kitchen! All week long, we'll be offering our suggestions for your holiday feast. Don't panic, Thanksgiving isn't until next week. We're just giving you time to plan. And because they say "life's short, eat dessert first," we're starting with a dessert today.

In THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME, Sophie Winston meets Detective Wolf Fleishman for the first time and initially has mixed feelings about him. He very thoughtfully brings her kitten food and lattes, but he also questions her about a murder. What does a domestic diva serve when questioned? First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie!

I worked on this pie recipe so long that my friends and family burned out on pecan pie. I knew it had to have a kick of chocolate but didn't want the chocolate to overpower the flavor of the pecans. I finally settled on just the right amount of coffee and chocolate to accentuate the pecan and bourbon flavors. If you hate the taste of bourbon, you can substitute whiskey. I've made it with Jack Daniel's with very nice results.

First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (Sophie uses Sanka)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons bourbon (airline size bottle holds about 4 tablespoons)
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups roughly chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Microwave the butter for about 30 seconds and set aside to cool.

In a cup, stir together the instant coffee, cocoa powder, and bourbon until the coffee crystals and cocoa powder are dissolved.

Beat the two eggs in a mixer. Add the brown sugar and cooled butter and beat. Add the corn syrup, salt, and vanilla. Beat to combine all the ingredients.

Mix in the pecans.

Pour into pie shell and bake 55 to 60 minutes

A couple of hints to make it fancier. I love the look of halved pecans in rows covering the pie. But halved pecans aren't easy to cut, and it ends up being a little bit messy to serve. The solution is to used chopped pecans in the pie, and make one row of pecan halves around the edge, as in the photo above. Just position the knife between pecan halves.

If you make your own pie crust (or if you use Pillsbury), roll out some extra dough and cut it with a tiny leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Use a bit of water on the back of each leaf to "glue" it to the dough underneath all the way around the edge.


1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons bourbon (or whiskey or rum)

Whip one cup (heavy) whipping cream.

When it begins to stiffen, add sugar --

1/3 cup light brown sugar (I don't recommend dark brown sugar here).

Mix in 3/4 cup sour cream.

Just before serving, whisk in two to three tablespoons of rum, whiskey or bourbon. Serve with First Murder Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Don't forget about my

To celebrate the December release of The Diva Cooks a Goose I'm holding a contest! Send your favorite cookie recipe to me at Krista at KristaDavis dot com and you might be one of five winners! If you sent me a recipe, don't despair, all recipes are still in the running. If you haven't sent a recipe yet, do it soon! I'll be posting another winner next Monday and it could be you!

Our friend Dave, from My Year on the Grill is trying to get a new tradition going. He says --

I hosted a neighborhood cookie/ Christmas Beer exchange... 4 couples, each one brought 4 dozen cookies and a six pack of seasonal specialty Christmas Beers. We all left with 4 dozen different types of cookies and happy! In my neighborhood, 3 of the couples, the guys are the better cooks, but we still had to butch up the contest.

Dave's not the only one who loves this idea. Apparently, variations on the Christmas cookie/beer exchange are going on all over the country. Have you been to one?

~ Krista

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mystery Lovers Kitchen Presents PUMPKIN!

Welcome to our very first Iron Chef Week! Each day this week, we're cooking up a dish using our secret ingredient, which is . . . pumpkin!

NOAA Photo

If you entered our Iron Chef contest, stay tuned and check back. One of you has won a $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. The winner will be announced soon, along with the next mystery ingredient . . .

In the meantime, I'd like to give a special shout out to those of you who suggested secret ingredients, especially Grace for suggesting cardamom, a wonderful spice which I think is vastly underused and it's certainly the time of year for it, and to Wendy for suggesting smoked paprika, one of my favorites!

And now (drum roll here) --


This is actually a simple recipe. The only difficulty is timing if you wish to serve it hot, but I actually prefer it cold. It's not as pretty when it's cold, but oh -- does it taste good. I started with a simple pumpkin souffle, which came out fine (you'll notice some optional ingredients) but it lacked spunk. In fact, it tasted remarkably like pumpkin pie without the pastry. So I went back to the drawing board and added a few items to spark it up. It bursts with flavor, and is best served with the bourbon cream. In fact, you may find yourself looking around the kitchen for other excuses to eat the bourbon cream!

4 tablespoons sugar
4 egg whites
1 29-ounce (large) can pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup apple butter (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped fine (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 mixing bowls
1 souffle dish

1. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375.

3. Butter the souffle dish and dust with 2 tablespoons of sugar (like you would flour a cake pan).

4. In the other mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, apple butter, cinnamon,
ginger, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, orange liquor, and crystallized ginger. Mix thoroughly.

5. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar. When they begin to hold a shape, add the remaining two tablespoons of sugar, and beat until stiff and glossy but not dry.

6. No matter how hurried and tempted you might be, do NOT mix the contents of the two bowls with an electric mixer. Spoon about 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture and stir gently to lighten. Add the remaining egg whites and combine gently.

7. Pour into the prepared souffle dish and bake 40-45 minutes.


1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Beat the whipping cream until it begins to take shape. Add the brown sugar and bourbon slowly. Beat until thoroughly combined. Serve with Pumpkin Souffle´!


~ Krista

If you have a hankering for a Thanksgiving mystery to put you in the mood for the holidays, the first Domestic Diva Mystery, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, is full of seasonal tips -- and a Thanksgiving dinner with a murderer at the table . . .