For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the filling:
- 2 1/4 cups pecans
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses or sorghum
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Make the crust: Pulse the flour, 2 tablespoons butter, the shortening, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until it looks like fine meal. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and pulse until it is in pea-size pieces. Drizzle in the vinegar and 2 tablespoons cold water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap; use the plastic to help form the dough into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months; thaw at room temperature.)
Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Ease into a 9-inch pie plate, fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp the edge with your fingers. Chill at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast until darkened, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and return the empty baking sheet to the lower oven rack. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until brown flecks appear, about 8 minutes; let cool slightly. Whisk the browned butter, eggs, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon and salt in a bowl. Scatter the toasted pecans in the prepared crust; pour in the brown sugar mixture.
Put the pie directly on the hot baking sheet in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set, 45 to 55 minutes. (Cover the edge with foil if it is browning too quickly.) Transfer to a rack and let cool at least 1 hour before serving.
Photograph by Johnny Miller