Now that I live in the South, the DEEP South, I think it would only be appropriate to have pecan pie as my other dessert this Thanksgiving. I have been mulling whether to have pecan pie or chocolate pecan pie or chocolate bourbon pecan pie and the choice was made for me last night by my friend Libby Wilkie who publishes the beautiful blog An Eye for Detail. Isn't that what friends are for? Although I have to admit that the bourbon part is my contribution. Who wouldn't exchange that for vanilla extract, especially on Thanksgiving!
Pecan trees are so abundant in this part of Georgia that they are all over my son's backyard. The area where he lives used to be a pecan farm in the middle of what is now a suburb of Atlanta. Maybe I can get them to gather some for me, since, after all, the pumpkin pie filling is a product of our visit together to the pumpkin farm last month. Talking about home grown pies!
One of the most important things about this pie is toasting the pecans beforehand. Really, do go the extra mile, it makes a world of difference as far as flavor is concerned. Place whole or halved pecans on an ungreased sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring a few times until light brown and fragrant. Let cool and set aside.
Don't scrimp on quality when it comes to making the best chocolate pecan pie for the holidays. As important as toasted and roasted pecans are to this pie, so is the type of chocolate used. Gourmet chocolate would include such brands as; Lindt chocolate, Ghirardelli chocolate and Callebaut chocolate. Mini chocolate chips are easy to use, and shaved or finely chopped dark chocolate works well too. These two ingredients -- toasted or roasted pecans and gourmet chocolate -- will be the deciding factor between a so-so chocolate pecan pie and a knock-your-socks-off, have-to-have-some-now chocolate pecan pie! A few drops of bourbon won't hurt either.
Servings: 8 - 10
1 deep dish 9 inch basic pie crust
3/4 cup gourmet chocolate chips or shaved dark chocolate
1 1/2 cup toasted pecans, shelled and chopped in half if desired
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
3 large eggs
3 TB Bourbon
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F with rack in lowest position. Prepare pie crust ahead of time whether you are making one or buying one already made such as Mrs. Smith's. Place toasted pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell (don't worry, they will rise to the top when the pie is fully baked ). Sprinkle chocolate chips or shaved chocolate over the pecans. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet to prevent drips and set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat. Add brown sugar, stir until dissolved and pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix well with the whisk attachment.
Add corn syrup and mix again. Scrape.
Mix in bourbon and eggs, beating to mix well, but not foamy.
Carefully pour batter over the chocolate chips and pecans, being careful not to disturb them.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until top is slightly browned and puffed up. This will fall during cooling. Make sure you let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours.
Chocolate Pecan Pie cuts best when it is chilled. Use a sharp knife. Let cool completely before wrapping. This pie freezes well, so make extra!