Call me weird, call me a non-traditionalist–but I’m one of those people who wants something chocolate for dessert at Thanksgiving. I do make a pumpkin pie for everyone else–which is quite good–but I still need my chocolate. For the past several years I’ve been making a chocolate cake in addition to the pumpkin pie. Super-decadent and super-good. But this year I wanted to do something that people considered more Thanksgiving-y.
Throughout college, graduate school, and early adulthood, I made pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why I stopped, because I love pecan pie. On certain levels, it’s really more of a tart than a pie. And pecans are food of the goddesses. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a Southern girl at heart. If I could, I would have a pecan tree in my garden. I don’t think a pecan tree would be so happy in Seattle. Luckily, our next door neighbors have a relative in North Carolina who does have pecan trees at her house (2 different kinds!), and so we get fresh pecans via them. Heaven!
Anyway, this year I’ve decided to do a combo of these two wonderful tastes–Chocolate Pecan Pie. You really can’t go wrong with chocolate pecan pie–I mean, it’s got pecans, and chocolate, plus the flaky pie crust. I also substitute honey for the traditional corn syrup–which gives it a little bit of a different flavor twist. I usually don’t have corn syrup in the house, but I always have honey. My daughter says this tastes like a “yummy candy bar.” I will warn you–this pie is delicious and it’s also as sweet and rich as you’d expect it to be. A little goes a long way (unless you’re my husband who has two slices at a time…)
I know there are a zillion recipes for chocolate pecan pie out there. I chose as my inspiration one from Martha Stewart. My resulting pie is fairly simple–which I like and which is helpful during the busy Thanksgiving season. And, I think it allows the flavors of the pecans and the chocolate to shine through. Even though you mix everything together in the filling, the chocolate and the pecans rise to the top as it bakes, creating layers in the pie.
Chocolate Pecan Pie (edited 11/22/09 to reduce honey and sugar and increase eggs to 4)
Special Equipment Needed
-pie plate (I use an Emile Henry dish or a glass pie dish)
-pizza stone, if you have one
1 Pie Crust(I used 1/2 of the dough from my gluten-free pie crust recipe–you can freeze the other half)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
4 large or extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C neutral-flavored honey
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 C pecan halves
cream for brushing the edges of the crust
Roll and transfer crust to pie plate, press into plate. Press down on edges
-in a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until just smooth; set aside
-in a medium bowl, stir together (do not whisk) eggs, honey, sugar, vanilla and salt
-add melted chocolate a little bit at a time, stirring constantly until it’s incorporated
-pour filling into prepared crust
-brush edges of crust with a little cream (this will help it to brown)
-put pie pan onto rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills) and place into oven (on the pizza stone if using)
-bake for 50-60 minutes, until filling is set. I needed about 55 minutes
-the filling should jiggle slightly when pie plate is tapped; also, the filling will rise up into a kind of a dome as it bakes–this will settle back down as it cools
-cool completely on cooling rack (about 2 hours) before serving
Note about edits: When I first made this pie, it truly was like a candy bar–very sweet. Although good, I felt that it was a bit too sweet for a pie after a big meal like Thanksgiving. So, I went back to my original number of eggs–4, and reduced the sugar and honey.
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