Pecan Pie

Over the years, we’ve developed several traditions among our group of friends.  Without a doubt, my favorite is our annual Friendsgiving.  It’s a potluck event the weekend before Thanksgiving that’s been hosted by the same couple for the past 6 years.  Good friends and good food always make for a good time :)  This year I was tasked with making the stuffing (more on that later this week) and, of course, I also wanted to make a dessert.  This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays, chosen by Jennifer of Oh, Sweet Day, was chocolate bourbon pecan pie and as much as I wanted to participate, I was too nervous to make an untested recipe for Friendsgiving, especially since I was baking at the last minute and wouldn’t have time to make a second pie should things go awry with the SMS recipe. 

Pie

So although I didn’t make the chocolate bourbon pecan pie, I didn’t stray far.  Instead, I chose a chocolate pecan pie I’d seen over on Kristin’s blog a week ago.  Truth be told, I’m not big on pecan pie, but I know it’s a favorite of many and I couldn’t resist the concentric circles of pecans Kristin had created atop her pie (which I imitated on mine), they were stunning!  She’d vetted the recipe and declared it a winner so I felt confident it would be a good choice for Friendsgiving.  The pie came together easily with just a few bowls and spatulas.  Unlike many single crust pies, the recipe did not call for pre-baking the crust and while I enjoyed avoiding the hassle of pre-baking, my crust didn’t take on much color in the oven.  Were I to make this pie again I might partially bake the crust before adding the filling.  I’m never quite sure what it means when a recipe instructs to bake “just until set” (most say until the filling jiggles “slightly” when the pie plate is tapped, but that doesn’t really clarify things much for me) so I was a bit unsure about the baking time for the pie.  I wound up pulling it out at about 55 minutes mainly because the filling was cracking like crazy and seemed set.     

Pie

Despite my concerns, the pie was a hit at Friendsgiving!  The nice thing about it, especially for people who dislike nuts, is that the pecans only sit atop the pie so they’re easy to avoid.  Adding chocolate to pecan pie definitely ups the deliciousness factor for me.  It was sweet and gooey, rich but not too much so.  It’s a pie with a wow factor, and would surely make a great addition to any dessert table at Thanksgiving.     

Jennifer will share the SMS recipe for chocolate bourbon pecan pie on her blog today.  I still hope to try it eventually, but for now, you can check out the list of bakers this week to see how it turned out for everyone else.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
from Everyday Food, November 2008 (via The Kitchen Sink Recipes)

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 recipe Basic Pie Crust, rolled and fit into a 9-inch pie plate
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F, with a rack in lowest position. 

 
Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.  Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave – I usually do 30 second bursts at 50% power, stirring after each.  
 
In a medium bowl, stir together (do not whisk) the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stirring constantly, gradually add the melted chocolate to the bowl.  Pour the filling into the prepared crust.  Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet then arrange the pecans in one even layer over the filling. 
 
Bake just until set (the filling should jiggle slightly when pie plate is tapped), about 50 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack, at least 4 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.