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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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