It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when multi-course dinner menus are meticulously created, families and friends gather together, admiration and praise for an otherwise laughably awkward, oversized and basically flightless bird is the small talk du jour. Ovens take over as the central heating system for the home, and spices that may normally be ignored and pushed to the back of the cupboard 9 months of the year are pulled out of their Reserve status and included in the daily rotation of seasonings. And those unique recipes combining favorite seasonal flavor profiles are dusted off and scoured through for the next family or friends gathering.
This time of the year is when I love to see people’s eyes light up when I say the words, “CHOCOLATE – BOURBON – PECAN – PIE.” Those four magical words seem to brighten the dreariest of days and cause people to start dancing in place.
My recipe takes the basic pecan pie recipe, lightens up the corn syrup slightly in favor of rich chocolate and adds a brightness and warmth with a splash of bourbon. I usually make two of these pies at a time, simply because one pie is usually devoured by just a few – yep, it’s that good.
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
– 1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
– 1 ½ tsp sugar
– ½ tsp salt
– 4 oz unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
– ¼ c ice-cold water
1. Add flour, sugar and salt into a food processor, and mix together for 20 seconds. Add the butter cubes, and pulse the mixture until the texture turns into a course meal.
2. Slowly add about one tablespoon of the ice water at a time to the dough, and continue pulsing for no longer than 1 minute until the dough begins to stick together a bit.
3. Lightly flour a clean work surface; remove the dough from the food processor and place onto the floured surface. Kneed the dough together about 4 times, and form the dough into a disk shape.
4. Wrap the disk of dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
5. Remove the dough from plastic wrap, and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle shape. Gently remove the dough from surface and fit the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim the overhang from the edges, and place in the freezer until pie filling is complete.
– 2 c pecans (I prefer pecan pieces for a more rustic pie)
– 3 large eggs
– ½ c dark brown sugar
– 2/3 c light corn syrup
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 TB unsalted butter, melted
– 3+ TB bourbon (I prefer a sweeter smoother bourbon, like Bulleit)
– ½ tsp salt
– ¾ c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Lay pecans into a baking dish or rimmed baking dish in a flat layer, and toast in oven for 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whisk eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract, butter, bourbon and salt until well combined.
3. Add pecans and chocolate chips to mixture, and stir until they are evenly distributed.
4. Remove pie shell from the freezer, and pour the mixture in. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the mixture so that chocolate chips and pecans appear even throughout the filling.
5. Place the pie in the lowest rack in the oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes until the filling sets (and doesn’t jiggle). Be sure to check the pie about half-way through to make sure the crust isn’t browning too quickly. If the edge of the crust is browning too quickly, you can add tented foil over the pie.
6. Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before serving.