October 19, 2008
I was put in charge of baking one of the desserts for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner, so obviously, I used this as an excuse to bake my favourite pie ever – the pecan pie. Amazingly sweet, rich and packed with pecans, I can never say no to a slice of pecan pie.
I had never made a pecan pie, so I didn’t have a favourite recipe for it on hand. So when in doubt, I always know I can trust Dorie Greenspan. She has a recipe for her favourite pecan pie in her book Baking: From My Home to Yours, so that’s what I used.
As usual, it was a perfect choice! Her recipe is different from the standard pecan pie in that it has chocolate chunks in it and is nicely flavoured with cinnamon. I loved these variations – the cinnamon really stands out and combines perfectly with the sweetness, as well as with the chocolate and pecans. The consistency was perfect. The taste was perfect. This is absolutely a “favourite” pecan pie.
She recommends a pie crust recipe, but since I was short on time and ingredients, I went *gasp* the crust mix route. I know my own homemade crust would’ve been better, but if a pie can still be delicious with a store-bought one, then you know you have a winner.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours
3/4 cup light corn syrup (I used 1 cup)
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) pecan halves or pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 9-inch single crust made with Good for Almost Everything Dough, partially baked and cooled (I used a mix for pie crust)
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the corn syrup and brown sugar together until smooth.. Whisk in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until you have a smooth, foamy mixture. Add the espresso powder, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and give the batter a good mix. Rap the bowl against the counter a couple of times to pop any bubbles that might have formed, then stir in the pecans and chocolate. Turn the filling into the crust.
3. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make a foil shield for the crust by cutting a 9-inch circle out of the center of an 11-or 12-inch square of aluminum foil.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Place the foil shield on top of the pie—the filling will be exposed, the crust covered by the foil. Bake the pie for another 15 to 20 minutes (total baking time is 30 to 35 minutes), or until it has puffed (the middle and the edges should be fairly evenly puffed), is beautifully browned and no longer jiggles when tapped. Transfer the pie plate to a rack, remove the shield and cool to room temperature.
Serving: Pecan pie is good at any temperature, and different at each one. It’s softest and most puddingish eaten warm (about 45 minutes out of the oven), most flavorful eaten at room temperature and most candy-like when it is chilled. At any temperature, it’s good with ice cream—vanilla, chocolate or coffee would be my choices.
Storing: Once cooled to room temperature, the pie can be covered and refrigerated for 1 day.
Playing Around: If all you want is a great plain pecan pie, omit the cinnamon, espresso and chocolate. If you want a sweeter pie, increase the amount of corn syrup to 1 cup.
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