Chocolate Pecan Pie



The chocolate filling for this pie is adapted from my dark chocolate brownies and put inside a perfect pie crust. It  makes a rich and delicious dessert. 

Pair it with creamy vanilla ice cream and warm caramel sauce.


Make the pie crust.  Cover and freeze until ready to use.

Heat the oven to 425.  Make a crust shield by placing a piece of foil that's a little bigger than the pie pan under the pan. 

Trace the foil an inch or so wider than the top of the pan.  Trace another circle along the bottom of the pan. 

1/2 recipe perfect pie crust
1 cup minus 2 t (4.75 oz) all purpose flour (if you sift the flour, measure 2 cups plus 2 T)
1/2 t salt
 1/4 c (2 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 c (2 oz) Crisco (butter flavored or original)
2 T (1 oz) cold water

Cut out the larger circle then carefully cut the center out.  Set aside.  Melt the butter, and both chocolates over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Be careful not to burn.  Cool 5 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

2/3 c (5.33 oz unsalted butter)
2 squares (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate (Baker's brand)
2/3 c (5.33 oz) semisweet chocolate (Hershey's brand)

In a medium bowl add eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Mix lightly and stir into melted chocolate.  Place bowl in an ice bath and cool, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or so.

2 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 t kosher salt

The mixture needs to be cool before pouring it into the crust for three reasons
First, if the mixture is warm, the chocolate chips will melt and incorporate into the mixture.
Second, it is best to fill the crust with a cold mixture so it doesn't melt the butter in the crust.  This will make the crust more crisp and flaky. 
Third, the filling will bake more evenly with the crust if it's cooled, giving the pie a better consistency.

The mixture needs to be stirred frequently if it is in an ice bath or the chocolate will harden around the bottom of the bowl and will have to be remelted to pour it into the crust.


In a small bowl combine flour and chocolate chips.  Stir into cooled chocolate mixture. Pour into pie crust.

1/2 c (4 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (Hershey's brand)
2 T (.4 oz) all-purpose flour

Place pecans on top of the chocolate, starting at the edges and working in to the center. 
Place the foil shield on the pie to cover the edges.   Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil shield and reduce the oven temperature to 350.  Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the center is set and springs back gently.  Place on a cooling rack and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.  Great served warm or at room temperature.
 
2 c whole pecans
If you start in the middle and work your way out, the pecans may be off-centered.  It is easiest to start at the edges and work in to the middle.

The filling is done when it doesn't jiggle in the center when touched.  It should lightly spring back.  If it is very firm it is overdone and the flavor won't be as good.
Try with....
 
Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream Caramel Sauce          

Tips and Tricks

Make Ahead
The pie crust can be made and refrigerated 2 days in advance, or frozen for up to 6 months.

The mixture can be made and poured into the pie crust, then refrigerated up to 2 days in advance, or frozen for up to 4 months. 

The chocolate mixture needs to be poured into the crust before refrigerating because it hardens and would have to be melted down before transfering. 

Problems

over-baking- the chocolate will lose its flavor if it's over-baked

under-baking- the chocolate will be mushy

foil shield- the edges will burn if a foil shield isn't used.

oven temperature- for the best crust it is good to bake it at a high temperature.  The pecans will burn though if it's not turned down after the first 30 minutes.

not cooling the mixture- this causes problems for three reasons
First, if the mixture is warm, the chocolate chips will melt and incorporate into the mixture.
Second, it is best to fill the crust with a cold mixture so it doesn't melt the butter in the crust.  This will make the crust crisper and flakier. 
Third, the filling will bake more evenly with the crust if it's cooled, giving the pie a better consistency.




Chocolate Pecan Pie
makes a 12 inch pie

1/2 recipe perfect pie crust (recipe and instructions below)

2/3 c (5.33 oz unsalted butter)
2 squares (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate (Baker's brand)
2/3 c (5.33 oz) semisweet chocolate (Hershey's brand)

2 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 t kosher salt

1/2 c (4 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (Hershey's brand)
2 T (.4 oz) all-purpose flour

2 c whole pecans

1.  Make the pie crust (instructions below).  Cover and freeze until ready to use.

2.  Heat the oven to 425.  Make a crust shield by placing a piece of foil that's a little bigger than the pie pan under the pan.  Trace the foil an inch or so wider than the top of the pan.  Trace another circle along the bottom of the pan.  Cut out the larger circle then carefully cut the center out.  Set aside. 

3
Melt the butter, and both chocolates over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Be careful not to burn.  Cool 5 minutes.

4.  In a medium bowl add eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Mix lightly and stir into melted chocolate.  Place bowl in an ice bath and (1)cool, (2)stirring frequently for 5 minutes or so.

5.  In a small bowl combine flour and chocolate chips.  Stir into cooled chocolate mixture.  Pour into pie crust.

6.  Place pecans on top of the chocolate, starting at the (3)edges and working in to the center.  Place the foil shield on the pie to cover the edges. 

7.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil shield and reduce the oven temperature to 350.  Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the center is (4)set and springs back gently.  Place on a cooling rack and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.  Great served warm or at room temperature.
Single Pie Crust
1 cup minus 2 t (4.75 oz) all purpose flour (if you sift the flour, measure 2 cups plus 2 T)
1/2 t salt
 1/4 c (2 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 c (2 oz) Crisco (butter flavored or original)
2 T (1 oz) cold water

Measure the water and set aside in freezer.  In a large bowl measure the flour and salt.  Stir well to break up any flour lumps.  Set aside.  Measure the shortening then cut the butter into 1-2 T pieces.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized.  Do not over or under-mix this.  Pour the cold water evenly on top of the mixture.  Stir gently until just moistened.  Divide dough in half.  Set the first half on the work surface and push gently together to form a rough ball.  It will be crumbly, but this is how you want it to be for a flaky crust.  Roll out to desired size.   Use a pizza cutter to cut off excess and form a circle.  Slide a spatula under all sides of the dough to make sure it isn’t sticking.  Place the rolling pin a few inches into it and gently lift the dough with a spatula onto the rolling pin.  Roll the pin until all of the dough is around it.  Lift and place on the side of the pie pan.  Gently unroll into pan.   Fit the dough into the pan patching up any holes or weak spots.  Trim the excess or form it for a decorative look.  Try to touch the dough as little as possible as the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
Notes

1.  The mixture needs to be cool before pouring it into the crust for three reasons
First, if the mixture is warm, the chocolate chips will melt and incorporate into the mixture.
Second, it is best to fill the crust with a cold mixture so it doesn't melt the butter in the crust.  This will make the crust crisper and flakier. 
Third, the filling will bake more evenly with the crust if it's cooled, giving the pie a better consistency.

2.  The mixture needs to be stirred frequently if it is in an ice bath or the chocolate will harden around the bottom of the bowl and will have to be remelted to pour it into the crust.

3.  If you start in the middle and work your way out, the pecans may be off-centered.  It is easiest to start at the edges and work in to the middle.

4.  The filling is done when it doesn't jiggle in the center when touched.  It should lightly spring back.  If it is very firm it is overdone and the flavor won't be as good.

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