Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie 003

The real food bloggers would have posted this recipe in the weeks before Thanksgiving {i.e. the amazing blog from which I got this recipe}, but I unfortunately did not have time to make and eat an entire pie before Thanksgiving. Here are your options: wait until next year or just make it today. I say you opt for the latter.

Chocolate Pecan Pie 001

I was making another chocolate pecan tart before, which involved a really finicky crust and chopped chocolate. It was pretty delicious, but I really hated working with that crust. This pecan pie recipe popped up in my feed a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and I decided to go for it. Smitten Kitchen has rarely let me down and it used Golden Syrup, which is something I’ve always wanted to try.

Chocolate Pecan Pie 002

I have to say this was one of the best pies I’ve made to date. First off, the crust was delicious and so very easy to work with, which was a relief. Pie crust has always been my personal nemesis. But this was easy to make and a delicious tasting as well! I recommend par-baking it as it makes it for a great crispy crusts that holds up to the filling. And the filling itself is so complex tasting as it uses Golden Syrup and brown sugar. I opted for more chopped pecans as I prefer a less goopy filling. And I highly recommend the chocolate ganache at the bottom. My previous pecan tart opted for chopped chocolate throughout, but the layer at the bottom is delicious. So with that, you probably don’t want to wait until next year–so you may want to do a test run of this pie now.

Chocolate Pecan Pie 004

Chocolate Pecan Pie

from smitten kitchen

Note: Golden Syrup is a UK product. I’ve found it Whole Foods, but you can also find it online. It’s delicious and definitely has a more complex flavor than simple corn syrup. Definitely a pecan pie upgrade.

Crust:
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water, plus an additional tablespoon if needed

Filling
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup golden syrup (see Note up top)
A pinch or two of sea salt
2 cups (225 grams) pecan halves
1/2 cup (56 grams) chopped pecans
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Ganache
4 ounces bitter or semi sweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Crust:

If making the crust by hand, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Then add the butter and work it into the flour until it is looks like a course meal. You can use either a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir it all together using a spoon or spatula. The dough should start to come together into large clumps. Use your hands to knead the dough together in the bottom of the bowl. If you need some more moisture, add the final tablespoon of water.

You can also use a food processor by first combining the dry ingredients and then pulsing the butter in until everything is pea sized. Afterwards dump the dough out and add the water and proceed as above using your hands to bring the dough together.

With both methods, form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can chill it up to 2 days in the fridge or longer than that in the freezer.

Roll out the crust on a floured surface to fit a 9-inch pie pan, which is approximately a 12 or 13 inch circle. Transfer the crust to your pie pan by either folding into quarters or draping it over your rolling pin and unrolling it into the pie pan. Position it in the pie pan and then trim to over hang to 1/2 inch. Fold the overhang under the edge of the crust and crimp decoratively.

At this point, you have to decide if you’re going to parbake the crust or not. I would recommend doing so, as the crust is crispier and stands up to the filling. If you are not going to partake the crust, then put it in the fridge until you’re ready to fill it. If you are parbaking it, then place in the freezer until it is solid. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line the crust with a lightly oiled/buttered piece of foil and fill with pie weights, rice, pennies or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and let your crust cool.

For the Chocolate Layer:
Heat the heavy cream on the stove or in the microwave. Pour over the chopped chocolate, letting it sit for a couple minutes. Whisk until chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Spread over the bottom of the cooled crust, then place the crust in the freezer until chocolate layer is completely heard.

For the Filling:
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F if you just parbaked your crust, or heat your oven to 350. Spread the pecans onto a tray and place in the oven. Toast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once in between to toast evenly. Set aside until you need them.

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pecans, cider vinegar, vanilla and bourbon {optional}. Pour into a bowl to help it cool. Add the eggs, whisking in one at a time. Pour the mixture into your pie shell.

Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes until the edges are set and the filling is slightly puffed up. The center will be firm to touch, but still have some jiggle. Cool on a rack–serve at room temperature.

 

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