Bourbon Pecan Pie

bourbon pecan pie This pecan pie is crunchy on top, melty in the middle—mostly because of the maple syrup—and boozy with bourbon. I tweaked my Dad's recipe, which has always been a Picard family favourite. For the ultimate dessert experience, serve this pie with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy! bourbon pecan pie

To make your own pie dough, see here.


• 1 pie dough in a 9" pan, pre-cooked for 10 minutes. • 1 cup maple syrup • 1 cup brown sugar • 1 shot bourbon • 3 eggs • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1 1/2 cups pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix all ingredients but the pecans. Add 1 cup of pecans, lightly crushed. Pour over the pre-cooked pie dough and top with the remaining pecans. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the center is no longer wobbly.

bourbon pecan pie

Wild Apple Crisp with Maple Cream

This is my kind of dessert--simple and satisfying.Wild apples are everywhere. From my window I can see at least half a dozen trees. Some people don't really fancy them, but I think they're pretty good. We've been tasting apples from various trees and picking the best ones. Each tree is different, so before judging the apples by their size or color, give them a try.


Serves 6

Apple Crisp

• 4 medium apples, sliced • 1 cup rolled oats • 1 cup packed brown sugar • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour • 1/2 cup butter • 1/2 cup maple syrup • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. In a bowl, combine oats, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter in small chunks and roughly mix. Throw the apple slices (no need to be fancy) in a 8x8 baking dish, pour the maple syrup over and top with the oat mixture. Bake for 45 minutes.

Maple Whipped Cream

• 1 cup heavy cream • 1 tablespoon sugar • 3 tablespoons maple syrup • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, cream, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Add the maple syrup a fold in with a spatula. Let sit in the fridge at least 15 minutes before serving (you want it cold).

Birthday Coffee Cake

I adapted this recipe from an old cookbook called Kountry Kitchen Vol. 3., which I found in a used bookstore a few months ago. It seems to have been printed by one of Cape Breton's Presbyterian communities. Interestingly, most of the recipes are desserts, cakes, squares, pies, and candies. Only a few page are dedicated to actual meals.

Happy Birthday!


• 1 1/2 cup flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 3/4 cup sugar • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/4 cup butter • 1/2 cup strong coffee • 1/4 cup milk • 1 egg, well beaten • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Add the egg, coffee, milk, and vanilla. Stir well. Spread half of the mixture in a greased and floured 8" pan. Sprinkle half the topping mixture over carefully. Spread the remaining dough mixture and sprinkle the rest of the topping. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool.


• 3/4 cup sugar • 2 teaspoons cinnamon • 3 tablespoons flour • 3 tablespoons butter, melted • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Vanilla Frosting

• 6 oz cream cheese • 3/4 cup sugar • 1/4 cup of melted butter • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Carefully spread frosting over crumb topping.

Blackberry Oatmeal Cake

Blackberries; one of the best known wild foods and the tastiest of all berries, in my opinion. These were picked in the yard this morning, and it seems we'll have a steady supply of them for a few weeks. The most common pairing of blackberries is with apples, but I've decided to keep it straight and make a Blackberry Oatmeal Cake, adapting an earlier recipe for Blueberry Banana Bread to serve the purpose. This Blackberry Oatmeal Cake is great for breakfast with coffee or as a dessert with maple syrup and/or a drizzle of cream (both highly recommended!). Enjoy!


• 2 cups blackberries • 2 cups whole white flour • 1 cup quick oats • 1 cup sugar • 1/2 cup neutral oil • 1/2 cup yogurt • 1/2 cup milk • 2 large eggs • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix the oatmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the yogurt, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Gently spoon in the blackberries. Pour batter into a buttered 8-9" round pan, top with oatmeal and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until set.

Maple Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool

No one seems to know for sure where this application of "fool" originates. It does, however, reference something ridiculously tasty. Fruit fools couldn't be easier to make, and they are a favorite dessert at the Inn. Serve yours with either ice cream (good for summer days) or fresh whipped cream. I tend to cook and eat recipes for the blog in the morning when the light is best for taking pictures, and I must say this goes very well with a French-pressed coffee. Thanks to the neighbor down the road for the heritage rhubarb! Enjoy!

Serves 6


• 3 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced • 1/2 cup maple syrup • pinch of salt • maple sugar (optional)

In a large saucepan bring the maple syrup to a boil. Add the strawberries, rhubarb and salt. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate a couple of hours.

Once the mixture is cold, layer strawberry-rhubarb with whipped or ice cream. Top with maple sugar.

Wild Strawberry Tarts

These little strawberries are ripening fast, and in a couple of weeks the boom will be over. Yesterday we went picking with the idea of making pies. Wild strawberries (also known as wood strawberries) grow in a bunch of different areas--on roadsides, along rocky river beds, in open fields and forests. If you take a walk this week, chances are you'll see some. But be warned, unless you find a really good patch, filling a whole jar can be seriously time consuming. I decided to make small individual tarts (3" in diameter) because picking enough for a normal pie would have taken us the entire week. I do prefer the wild strawberries to the giant-sized ones you find in the store, but that's a personal thing; their taste reminds me of the jams my grandmother used to make. Enjoy!

Yields 6 small tarts


• 1 cup flour • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Rub the flour with the butter until you get a coarse sandy texture. Then add just enough cold water to make a smooth dough, about 2 – 3 tablespoons. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.


• 1 1/2 cup wild strawberries • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes, turning the mixture with a spoon once or twice. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/8" thick. With a glass or cookie cutter, trim out 6 rounds that are larger than your molds. Line each buttered mold with the dough and pre-bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Trim out the edges of the dough and fill with the strawberry mixture. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Maple, Apple, and Pecan Turnovers

It's maple syrup season. Time to enjoy some local sweetness. Time to get sappy by surprising your loved ones with turnovers for dessert--or breakfast. It's also time to make more of your own pastry. Practice makes better! I usually make my dough/pastry a day in advance, refrigerate it, and then take it out an hour before using. Also, prepare your sauce while the turnovers are in the oven. You'll have just enough time. Enjoy! Yields 8 turnovers

Puff Pastry

• 250g white flour • 250g unsalted butter • ~100ml cold water • 2 tablespoons sugar • pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and rub in the butter with your hands. Not too much, though--you still want clumps of butter. Add the water and work until you have a smooth dough. Add more water if it’s too stiff. Chill for 30 minutes.

Flour your work surface. Now the trick is to have nice layers of pastry. To do that you just have to roll the dough into a rectangle, about half an inch thick. Fold the left end towards the middle, and then fold the right end on top of it. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, roll again and repeat the folding. Do that 4-5 times. Then chill the dough for another 30 minutes or more.


• 4 medium apples, sliced • 2 tablespoons butter • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the apples with the cinnamon on medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Add the maple syrup and simmer for another 2 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool.

Putting it together

• You'll need 1 egg

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Roll out your dough to a 1/4" thick rectangle and then cut into 8 equal squares. Roll each to about 4" diameter square. Fill each with a heaped tablespoon of the filling. Bring the dough back over and seal with your fingers. Brush the top with the beaten egg and cut up holes on top. Put the turnovers on a pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until crispy. Make sure to keep the juice that's left from the apples.

Maple-Pecan Caramel

• 1 cup pecans • 1 cup maple syrup • leftover juice from the apples • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

You can choose to chop the pecans a bit if you like. Toast them in a pan for a couple of minutes then add the maple syrup and juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

Lemon-Almond Cookies

We wanted lemon cookies, so I took my great-grandma's "mabelle" cookie recipe and added lemon. While at it, I rolled them in ground almonds before baking. The result is a soft but zesty cookie. I also included a variation with a maple-almond filling.

Yields 30 cookies


• 1 cup salted butter • 1 cup brown sugar • 1/4 cup hot water • 1 egg • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • zest of 1 lemon • 3 cups white flour • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 cup almonds, grounded

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients. Add the baking soda to the flour, then add to the other ingredients. Mix well until smooth. If the dough seems to loose, add some flour. Roll balls about 1" in diameter, then roll them in grounded almonds and place them on a baking pan. Tap down each cookie to flatten them a bit. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Maple-Almond Filling

Proceed as above, but mix the leftover grounded almonds with 1/2 cup maple syrup, press a little hole into each cookie, and fill it with the mixture.

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Works great with any sweet tooth.

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie


• 1 cup flour • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 tablespoon sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Rub the flour with the butter until you get a sandy texture. Then add just enough cold water to make a smooth dough, about 3 tablespoons. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough and line a 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Cook in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes.


• 1 1/2 cup milk • 1/2 cup heavy cream • 1/2 cup flour • 1/2 cup sugar • 2 eggs • 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla • pinch of salt

In a bowl mix together the eggs, sugar and salt. In a saucepan, on medium-low heat, bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Whisk in the flour a little at a time. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and sugar mixture and simmer for another 2 minutes, whisking to avoid clumps. Remove from heat and add the coconut and vanilla. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Pour into the baked pie crust. Cover and let cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. Once it's chilled, top with the whipped cream and the toasted coconut.

Whipped Cream
Whipped Cream

Whipped Cream

• 1 1/2 cup heavy cream • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Whisk until you have a nice, thick cream. You can use an electric mixer.

Toasted Coconut

• 1/2 cup flaked coconut

Put in a pan and in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes or until browned, shaking the pan occasionally.

Toasted Coconut
Toasted Coconut
Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Backwoods Pie

Back in the Maritimes there's a dessert called Backwoods Pie. It's a cross between the traditional Canadian dessert, sugar pie, and a standard maple syrup pie.  I found a recipe for  Backwoods Pie in the cookbook Out of Nova Scotia Kitchens.  I tested it and then tweaked the ingredients.  This pie is very sweet, obviously, but if you have some spare quality maple syrup,  it's a good way to use it and a good way to make people happy too.


• 1 cup flour • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 tablespoon sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Rub the flour with the butter until you get a sandy texture. Then add just enough cold water to make a smooth dough, about 2 - 3 tablespoons. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough and line a 9" pie pan.


• 1 cup brown sugar • 1 cup maple syrup • 1/2 cup heavy cream • 1/4 cup flour • 2 eggs • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together except the flour. Sift in the flour a little at a time. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Cook for at least 45 minutes. You want it dry but it must still tremble in the middle. Leave to cool on a rack.

Serve it with a loose whipped cream.