This is no ordinary pecan pie. This is a chocolate pecan pie. I have only ever had pecan pie once before. I was in Connecticut and it was Fall and coming up to Halloween so my family took me apple picking. At the apple farm, we bought a pumpkin pie (so I could try it), a pecan pie (because it is my aunty’s favourite) and I promised to make the apple pie from scratch (with all our picked apples). The pecan pie was traditional and good, but there was so much more that could be done with it and so I vowed to one day give it a try.
A good girlfriend of mine who I hadn’t seen for some months was coming over today and I asked her what her favourite baked goods are. Southern-style pies, she said. So I thought it was time to bake the pecan. I was inspired by the combination of chocolate and pecans when I baked pecan choc chip cookies recently, and went hunting for a great recipe. I found two that I liked. David Lebovitz’s chocolate pecan pie and Dorie Greenspan’s favourite pecan pie from Baking: From My Home to Yours. So I smushed the two recipes together and this was the result.
CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE
Adapted from David Lebovitz and Dorie Greenspan.
This pie is rich and decadent with crumbly pastry, crunchy nuts and a chocolatey-caramel hit. The coffee cuts through the sweetness but you can use a liqueur of your choice if you prefer.
For the pastry
This pastry was super easy to make and roll out, I highly recommend it! Just remember to keep everything cold.
1 1/4 cups plain flour (175g)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
115g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 2cm cubes
60ml ice water (4 tbsp)
In the bowl of your stand mixer and using your paddle attachment (or using a food processor), mix the flour, sugar and salt on a low speed until combined.
Add the butter and continue to mix on a low speed until a coarse breadcrumb consistency forms and the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
Pour in the cold water and keep mixing just until the dough comes together, probably a minute or two. Do not overwork your dough or it will be tough. Gather the dough together to form a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie dish with butter.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface, flouring it constantly and turning it 90 degrees every couple of rolls.
Gently lift the dough and fit it over the pie dish, easing it into the sides and pressing into the edges. Cut the excess dough with scissors to a 1-2cm overhang. Decorate by pinching the crust or indenting it with the tines of a fork.
Rip off a square piece of baking paper and scrunch it up, then lay it in the pastry shell so it covers all the sides. Fill with dry beans, rice or pastry weights until the base is covered. Bake for 25 minutes.
For the filling
Prepare the filling while the pastry case is blind baking. Roast the nuts for 6 minutes or so on a baking tray in the oven and allow them to cool.
1/2 cup glucose (corn) syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
45g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp dutch cinammon
1/2 tsp salt
200g pecan halves, roasted (about 2 cups)
90g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
In a mixing bowl, whisk the glucose syrup and sugar together until smooth. Add the melted butter in a stream, whisking continuously. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Whisk everything until smooth and foamy, then add the coffee mixture, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and whisk it all in. Tap the bowl down against the bench a couple of times in order to remove any air bubbles from the mixture. Stir in the chocolate and the pecans.
When the pastry shell is ready, remove it from the oven and turn it up to 220 degrees. Discard the paper and weights and pour in the filling. Create a shield out of aluminum foil and place it over the crust to protect it from burning.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 170 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes or so, until the pie is browned, puffed and set in the center. A skewer inserted should come out clean. Remove the foil and allow the pie to cool before cutting.
We loved it. It was sooo good. Especially when you hit a pecan. Yum. Much better than plain old pecan pie from the apple farm!