Double Chocolate Pecan Pie
Week Eight: Scott Gets Extra Chocolate on His Birthday Pie
My friend Scott shares a birthday with my mom, which is especially nice this year as it’s our first year without her and this gives us something to celebrate still. Scott, also like my mom, loves desserts, which right away makes him far less defective than my sister and makes the whole birthday thing way easier.
While I’ve never been a big fan of the pecan pie (I know, I’m defective too), it’s his favorite and extremely popular (if my very unscientific sampling is at all accurate). I am, however, quite partial to turtle sundaes, and given that Scott’s an even bigger chocoholic than I am, adding chocolate and caramel to the classic pie seemed like a winning combo.
I highly recommend serving this with ice cream. While there was some debate over the perfect flavor pairing (butter pecan vs caramel vs vanilla), it makes for an amazing deluxe turtle sundae pie.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE
Butter Pastry Shell
(from Cook’s Illustrated’s “Triple Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie”)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dough and rolling surface
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
2 tbsp vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into small pieces (I’m not a big fan of vegetable shortening, so I just used 10 tbsp of butter)
1 large egg white, chilled, thoroughly mixed with ice water (about 2 tbsp) to equal 1/4 cup
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1/8 tsp water
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter and shortening over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle egg white mixture over flour mixture and, with blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on
dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together (Dough should clump together when you squeeze a bit of it in your hand. If not, add a tablespoon or two more cold water.). Shape dough into ball with hands, then flatten into disk. Dust dough lightly with flour, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle and transfer to 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Press dough into
corners and sides of pan, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim edges of dough to make 1/2-inch overhang (best done with kitchen scissors). Tuck overhanging dough under so that folded edge is flush with rim of pan and edge stand up over the top of the pan. Flute the edges with your fingers.
Chill shell until firm, about 1 hour or overnight (cover in plastic wrap if chilling overnight).
Chocolate Ganache Filling
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, medium chop
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Place chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl and place in the microwave at a medium setting (5-7) for about 45 seconds. Remove and stir until glossy and throughly combined. Spread onto the bottom of the chilled pie shell.
Chocolate Pecan Filling
(adapted from “The New York Times Menu Cookbook” “Chocolate Pecan Pie”)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsp butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (salted or unsalted)
Preheat oven to 325°.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. In a separate saucepan, boil the syrup and sugar together for two minutes. Blend the melted chocolate mixture and the syrup mixture and pour slowly over the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Add the vanilla and pecans. Spoon the mixture gently on top of the ganache.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pie is completely puffed across the top. Cool to room temperature.
(from Cook’s Illustrated’s “Classic Caramel Sauce”)
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
pinch table salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Pour 1 cup water into 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; add sugar to center of pot to keep granules from adhering to sides of pot. Bring to boil over high heat, covered. Uncover pot, boil for approximately 20-25 minutes or until syrup turns a medium amber.
While the syrup cooks, at about the 20 minute mark, bring cream and salt to simmer in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. (If cream reaches simmer before syrup turns amber, remove cream from heat and set aside. But make sure that the cream is steaming hot when you remove the syrup from the heat).
Remove sugar syrup from heat. Pour about one quarter of hot cream into sugar syrup; let bubbling subside. Add remaining
cream; let bubbling subside. Stir gently until smooth; whisk in butter. Let cool until warm; serve. (Can be covered and
refrigerated up to 1 month; reheat in microwave or small saucepan over low heat.)
Slice and serve pie with caramel sauce drizzled over it, or, better yet, a la mode with caramel.