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Chocolate Pecan Pie Tested Recipe

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Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe

Chocolate Pecan Pie has a soft and gooey filling that is rich with sugar, corn syrup, butter, eggs, pecans, and chocolate. Southerners often add a splash of bourbon or rum to the filling which enhances the slightly bittersweet, almost caramel-like flavor of the pecans and also counteracts the sweetness of the pie. While Pecan Pie is probably the South's most famous dessert, its' history is unclear. What we know is that recipes started to appear in the mid 1920s, and Jean Anderson tells us in her book "The American Century Cookbook" that since the classic Pecan Pie recipe contains Karo syrup, there is a good chance that the pie was invented by a Karo Economist. 

A Chocolate Pecan Pie starts with a short crust pastry, which has a crumbly texture and wonderful buttery flavor that pairs well with the sweet pecan filling. The pastry crust is not pre baked since the pie is going to be baked in the lower third of the oven. You will, however, need to watch for over browning on the edges of the crust, and if this starts to happen, just cover the edges with foil. 

Pecan Pie is, of course, all about the filling. The chopped pecans used in the filling are toasted which enhances their flavor and to give the pie a more decorative look, whole pecan halves are placed on top of the filling. The filling is unusual in that we add melted unsweetened chocolate, which is also known as baking, plain or bitter chocolate. It is chocolate in its rawest form and does not contain sugar so that is why the filling has more than the normal amount of sugar. Unsweetened chocolate (the type that comes in individually wrapped one ounce squares) can be found in your local grocery store. Other favorites are Dagoba, Scharffen Berger's, or Guittard unsweetened chocolate that you can find in some specialty food stores or else on line. This pecan filling is easy to prepare as the ingredients are just mixed together in one large bowl. Once the filling is made it is poured over the chopped pecans, decorated with the whole pecan halves, and baked in a moderate oven until the filling is puffed but still wobbly. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

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Short Crust Pastry: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 13 inch (33 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself. Use a fork to make a decorative border or else crimp the edges using your fingers. Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes before pouring in the filling. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. 

Pecan Filling: To toast Pecans - Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, and then whisk in the sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Then stir in the cooled melted chocolate.

Remove the chilled pastry crust from the refrigerator and evenly distribute the chopped pecans over the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling evenly over the nuts. Arrange the whole pecans in a decorative pattern on top of the filling. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the filling has puffed but is still wobbly when gently shaken. (If you find the edges of the pie crust are over browning during baking, cover with foil.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes one 9 inch (23 cm) pie.

References:

Anderson, Jean. 'The American Century Cookbook'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 1997.

Barker, Karen. 'Sweet Stuff'. The University of North Carolina Press. Chapel Hill: 2004.

Smith, Art. 'Back to the Table'. Hyperion. New York: 2001.

Thorne, John and Lewis Thorne, Matt. 'Outlaw Cook'. Farrar Straus Giroux. New York: 1992.

Short Crust Pastry:

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water

Pecan Filling:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) pecans

2 ounces (57 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cup (300 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup

2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon rum or bourbon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (50 grams) whole pecan halves

 

 

 
 
     
 

 

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