For any of you Thanksgiving procrastinators, I thought I would share a quick and relatively easy way to incorporate craft beer on your Thanksgiving menu. Besides, you know, drinking it all day as you watch football.
My family gatherings are usually sans beer so I didn’t sit down to think about pairings for Thanksgiving dishes. But I would encourage everyone to share a local brew this year. Rather than engage your relatives in a sure to be awkward conversation about race, religion or politics – educate them on the craft beer scene! Swap out your grandpa’s Miller Lite for your favorite local lager. If that goes wrong, there’s always Adele to the rescue.
Anyway – back to the recipe. Pecan pie is essentially sugar, sugar and more sugar. I used three types in this recipe to be exact. I saw this recipe from Rocky Mountain Cooking, which calls for Guinness, and I thought it would be fun to try to mix pecan pie with another seasonal flavor: pumpkin.
While pumpkin beers are very divisive and the all-pumpkin-errythang movement has gone too far, there are a few pumpkin beers I like. In this case, I used Tin Whiskers Schottky Pumpkin, a 6.6 percent ABV pumpkin ale that really tastes and smells like pumpkin pie. It’s made with pumpkin in the brew and pumpkin pie spices. I had it in October during my Tin Whiskers tour and really wanted to save a bottle for Thanksgiving. For this recipe though, you could go almost anywhere on the pumpkin beer spectrum — even Pumking.
Pecan pie is somewhat intimidating because a. that’s a lot of pecans and b. you don’t want to scramble your eggs. I was pretty close, but I just went with it. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, go ahead and make more work for yourself. But I love the easy rollout crusts from the grocery store.
- 2 cups toasted pecans
- 1.5 cup pumpkin beer
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tb. sugar
- 1½ sticks butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Tb. heavy cream
- 1 prepared pie shell
- In a 350-degree oven, toast pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. About 5 minutes.
- While the pecans are toasting, bring beer, two tablespoons of sugar and pumpkin pie spice to boil in a small saucepan. Keep it at a rolling boil for a 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer until you have a thicker syrup.
- In a larger saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Mix ingredients until well combined. Remove from heat.
- Add the beer syrup to the butter-sugar mixture.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs and cream. Mix in sugar mixture a spoonful at a time to avoid cooking the eggs.
- Lay toasted pecans in the bottom of your prepared (or homemade) 9-inch pie crust. Pour sugar mixture over the pecans.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. If your crust starts to brown too much, wrap the edges in tinfoil for the duration of baking time.
- Let set one hour before serving.
Let me know what you think – and which beer you use! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
*PS I can’t take credit for that great gourd pun. Drekker Brewing did it first.