Zesty Chocolate Pecan Pie – a Thanksgiving favorite
This rich and decadent pie combines some of the great flavors of the Southern US and Central America. Pecans are the state trees of Texas and native to the US, chocolate and vanilla come from Mexico. We use the classic Karo corn syrup which is not high fructose. A hint of hot pepper adds warmth and depth of flavor for a delicious ending to a festive meal. Serves 10-12.
For the crust: use one frozen or refrigerated pie crust or your favorite recipe. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9” or 10” pie plate with crust. Partially bake crust for 7 minutes. Remove and set aside, if any areas have bubbled up gently press down with the back of a fork. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2 cups fresh pecans lightly toasted
1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 cube)
3 tablespoons milk
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
When pecans have cooled, break them into small pieces. If you are working with pecan halves, set 12 perfect ones aside for garnishing. Place pecan pieces in a large bowl add chocolate chips and flour and toss until chips and nuts are coated.
Use your mixer or food processor to mix filling ingredients. Place butter and brown sugar in container and cream until light and fluffy. Add milk and then add eggs, one at a time so that each is completely incorporated before adding the next. Add vanilla, corn syrup, salt and cayenne and beat until evenly mixed. Pour this egg syrup mixture into bowl with the nuts and chocolate. Stir well until combined. Pour mixture into the partially baked crust. Place reserved pecan halves on top of filling evenly spacing.
Set pie on rack set at second level from the bottom. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted 2 inches from the edge comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing. This pie can be made ahead and frozen.