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Chocolate Pecan Pie

On an earlier post, Mark asked for a recipe for chocolate pecan pie. Here it is:

Take your favorite pecan pie recipe, melt two ounces of unsweetened chocolate, and stir in before you add the pecans.

The Joy of Cooking had this as a variation on its pie in the last (1997) edition, but they fiddled with the proportions of sugar and added bittersweet chocolate. I think I used unsweetened chocolate because that was what was on hand, and so a recipe was born.

The new Joy of Cooking, which is bringing me Joy, doesn’t include a variation for chocolate pecan pie. It has a version with chocolate chips, but that’s not quite the same. Its pecan pie now has one more egg. So I used that recipe, stirred in two ounces of bitter chocolate, and voila. I mix my pies in the food processor, then sprinkle the pecans in the pie crust and pour the pie goo over them, so the chocolate gets thoroughly emulsified in the pie goo and is very smooth.

You could probably do just fine with the recipe on the back of the Karo jar or a bag of pecans. I mean it. The bitter chocolate only slightly affects the texture of the pie (a little firmer) and pecan pie is so sweet to begin with that adding bitter chocolate doesn’t cut the sweetness. So there’s the recipe: take a pecan-pie recipe, add 2 ounces chocolate.

That said, everyone but me loves chocolate pecan pie. I like my pies less sweet, more fruity–in the pear-cranberry or apple-cranberry or exceptional-pumpkin genre–or fresh cherry pie–mmmm–particularly if the crust is really flaky. Better yet, I go for other kinds of desserts: tiramisu, creme brulee, custards, etc. Though there is something very felicitious about the idea of pie. I remember that in my visit to South Africa this October we all trooped to a restaurant known for its butternut pie, and after a long and wonderful meal we learned that they were out of butternut pie. Oh, the crestfallen faces! No pie? No PIE? I suspect I’ll now never know its joys.

I bake chocolate pecan pies out of love, because Sandy wants me to. They’re always a hit, and they make her proud. That makes them worth baking, quivery overly-sweet sugary goo and all.

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7 Comments

  1. Brian wrote:

    Beware: Some pecan pie recipes are bourbon-free. That is a sin. Gotta have the whiskey in the pecan pie, chocolate or not. Creme brulee is great to do for dinner parties, because how often does one get to fire up a blowtorch in front of guests?

    Friday, December 8, 2006 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  2. Ruth Ellen wrote:

    I agree that most pecan pies are too sweet. The trick is to put very little of the pie goo in – just enough to stick the pecans together. Otherwise you’re just eating sugar-flavored jelly. Ick.

    Bourbon? I put that in my peach pie, but I didn’t know it goes in pecan pie – Yum! Thanks, Brian. Also for the Creme Brulee idea. Now I have an excuse to go to the hardware store and buy a blowtorch. Cool!

    Monday, December 11, 2006 at 3:02 am | Permalink
  3. Too funny, I just posted about pecan pie as well. I’ve never thought of chocolate… I don’t eat the stuff, as it’s too sweet, but I think I’ll try it with chocolate some day.

    My great-grandmother kept a boarding house and was famous for her “hot” pumpkin pie. It’s just a pumpkin pie, sweetened with molasses or cane syrup, spices about double whatever you usually use, plus about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Quite nice.

    Monday, December 11, 2006 at 8:07 pm | Permalink
  4. Yes, bourbon! MMM… what’s even better, especially to bring to a party? Use the little phyllo cups, put little chocolate chips in the bottom, then fill with the regular bourbon – pecan pie filling… mmmmm…
    You’ll be invited back, I guarantee it (recipe courtesy of Southern Living a couple of years ago).

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
  5. Eli Guinnee wrote:

    In some circles I am famous for my pecan pies. I never tell my secret recipe, but am feeling generous: I use the recipe on the Karo bottle, but I always use half dark karo and half Lyles Golden Syrup. It started as a makeshift when I lived in Britain and only had access to Karo dark, but it quickly became my standard recipe. The bourbon addition is new to me- sounds well worth a try!

    Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  6. Mark Baker, Portland wrote:

    Ahhh, I love pecan pie, including the melted unsweetened chocolate. As for the bourbon, I’ve been known to use 2 TBSP of RUM in mine. Has always been a hit.

    Friday, December 22, 2006 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  7. Almost pie season again!

    Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

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