Bourbon-Spiked Praline Sauce Will Give Your Pies A Sweet Southern Twist

When we talk about pie, there's plenty of attention put on the flaky crust and gooey filling but very little emphasis on a perfectly primed sauce to coat your slice of pie in. But that doesn't mean that a pecan-punctuated sauce can make all the difference for your dessert. This is especially true if you add a bit of boozy bourbon to the mix, bringing a warm note of complexity. 

Enter a multi-purpose sauce that'll bring several Southern flavors together in one bowl — praline sauce. Not to be confused with a ho-hum caramel sauce, praline sauce features toasted pecans and smoky bourbon, acting as a more runny take on the famous candy from New Orleans, Louisiana. With its nutty-rich caramel notes, this praline sauce would be just as at home on top of an apple pie as on a pumpkin one. Plus, all you really need to pull it together is a saucepan and a whisk. 

How to make your own boozy praline sauce for your pie of choice

All delicious caramel and praline sauces begin with granulated sugar and water melting on the stovetop. Over time, this sugar syrup will become a translucent liquid that'll steadily turn darker, passing from a honey hue to a deep amber. A bit of patience and a keen eye are necessary, but once you get your caramel to the deep golden standard, you'll be halfway done with the sauce. 

Next, you'll add a bit of heavy cream. The caramel will sputter and bubble up (that's what those tall-sided saucepans are for) but will stir down once you remove it from the heat. Here is where you'll add a bit of bourbon and toasted pecans. We recommend using toasted pecans as they will make a world of flavorful difference.

Lastly, add about 1/4 cup of bourbon to one batch of praline sauce for a truly boozy kick, or start with a tablespoon or two for a lighter touch. You can make this delicious sauce in advance and gently reheat it on the day of the pie cutting. To truly send your pie and praline sauce combo over the edge, make sure you serve that pie slice a la mode.