This recipe from the Regans' Book of Bourbon is a flat-out winner. I put it together for the New Years Eve celebration, and it's fantastic. I did need to cook it longer than 45 minutes, but just let it go til the whole thing puffs up, and good eatin' awaits. For added flavor, dry-roast the pecan halves before using. And be sure to let the pie cool completely so the filling sets up properly. I'd give it at least four hours.

Happy new year to all.

Piecrust:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 1 TBSP chilled solid vegetable shortening
2-3 TBSP ice water

Pie:

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
4 large eggs
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
4 TBSP (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1/3 cup bourbon or Tennessee whiskey
2 cups pecan halves

and bourbon whipped cream for serving.

Make the piecrust:

In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pulse or stir to blend. Add the shortening and pulse or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add the ice water, and process or stir until the pastry gathers together into a ball. Press the dough into a large flat disk, and place between two sheets of plastic wrap. Fold the wrap over to seal. Refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Choose a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.

Smooth out the plastic wrap on the top and bottom of the pastry, but leave it covered. Roll out the pastry to an even 12-inch round. Peel away the top sheet of plastic. Invert the pie plate over the dough and flip the two at once; remove the remaining plastic wrap. Ease the pastry into the pie plate; fold under the edges along the rim and crimp decoratively.

Make the pie:

Pour the melted chocolate into the bottom of the pie shell and spread into an even layer that covers just the bottom, not the sides. Refrigerate the pie shell until needed.

Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl until thick and smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup, brown sugar, and melted butter until smooth. Add the bourbon or Tennessee whiskey. Stir in the pecan halves until coated.

Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell; place the pie plate on a baking sheet.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and risen and the crust is golden brown. Let cool to room temp on a rack. Serve with bourbon whipped cream.