Inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s Pecan and Cinnamon Pie, this beauty of a pie will make you stick out from all the bakers at that holiday potluck. With bourbon, spiced sweet potatoes, molasses, and pecans, it’s sure to be the hit of the party. You start by making a pre-baked pie crust spiked with bourbon, make a spiced sweet potato filling, and a molasses-sweetened bourbon topping. These elements are layered with pecan halves, then baked and served every so slightly warm. Serve with Easy Whipped Cream or Cinnamon Ice Cream.

For more sweet inspiration, check out our Chocolate Pecan Pie or Melissa Clark’s Spiced Maple Pecan Pie. And for another twist on sweet potato, try Sister Pie’s Toasted Coconut Sweet Potato Pie recipe.

  • Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie, or 8 servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 1 hr 30 mins, plus at least 1 hr chilling time 
  • Active: 45 mins 

Ingredients (24)

For the crust:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into evenly sized cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chilled bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 pound cooked and peeled sweet potatoes (from about 1 1/2 pounds of raw sweet potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons} unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • Pinch each ground cinnamon, ground cloves, freshly grated nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons} unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 10 ounces pecan halves


Make the crust:

  1. To the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse a few times to ensure everything’s evenly distributed. Add all of the cold butter. Pulse a few times until the butter consists of mostly pea-sized pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of the chilled bourbon, pulse; add the ice water, and pulse again. Continue pulsing until the dough comes together when squeezed between the palms of your hands—this will let you know that your dough is sticky enough but not too dry and will hold together.
  2. Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface to finish working the dough in a technique called fraisage: blending the dough by hand to create long, alternating strands of butter and dough, to ensure a flaky crust. Using the heel of one hand, smear sections of the dough little by little across the work surface. Do this once for each section—don’t overwork the dough by smearing the same piece again and again. Once you have gone through all parts of the dough once, bring it together and form into a solid disk. Wrap in plastic film and let rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F for at least 30 minutes before you plan to bake the crust. Arrange a rack in the middle.
  3. Once the dough has rested, roll it out to a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough and fold the excess under itself, crimping the edges to seal. Transfer to the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
  4. Once you’re ready, use a fork to prick the entire bottom of the crust to avoid air pockets and fill it with pie weights. Bake the crust on a baking sheet until set and light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and let the crust cool slightly before adding the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. In the food processor, puree the sweet potato pulp until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining filling ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth. Set aside

Make the topping:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and the molasses until well blended.
  2. Add the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, bourbon, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Assemble and bake:

  1. Arrange half the pecans in a single layer in the prebaked crust, set on a baking sheet. Spoon the sweet potato filling on top and spread it evenly.
  2. Add the molasses topping and spread it evenly over the layer of pecans.
  3. Arrange the remaining pecans in a simple decorative layer, setting them into the molasses filling in concentric circles.
  4. Transfer the pie, still on its baking sheet, to the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or cinnamon ice cream.