How to Make It
Prepare Crust: Melt 1/2 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat sides of pan. Add 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, and sauté 2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Sprinkle pecan mixture with a pinch of salt. Remove pecans from skillet, and cool completely. Reserve for use in Step
Pulse flour and next 2 ingredients in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until well combined. Add cubed cold butter and cold shortening; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 3 Tbsp. buttermilk over flour mixture, and pulse just until moist clumps form. (Add up to 1 Tbsp. buttermilk, 1 tsp. at a time, if necessary.) Shape dough into a flat disk, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill dough at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare Filling: Place corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes; remove from heat. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Gradually whisk about one-fourth of hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture; gradually add egg mixture to remaining corn syrup mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in 2 1/2 cups lightly toasted pecan halves; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 325°. Unwrap dough, and roll into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle dough with sautéed pecans (reserved from Step 1). Place a piece of plastic wrap over dough and pecans, and lightly roll pecans into dough. Fit dough into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under, and crimp. Pour cooled filling into prepared crust.
Bake at 325° for 50 to 55 minutes or until set; cool pie completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours) before slicing. Serve with Whiskey Whipped Cream, if desired.
*Water or apple juice may be substituted.
We tested with Jack Daniel's whiskey.