Maine Pie Line's Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Pie
Many people say they don't like Pecan Pie because it is too sweet or leaves a strange aftertaste. That sticky strange sweetness is corn syrup. Pecan pie was made in the U.S. long before the invention of corn syrup - and, in this case, the old-fashioned pecan pie is smoother, lighter and...well...better! Here is the Maine Pie Line's not-so-secret recipe for a better pecan pie - without corn syrup and with a healthy dose of bourbon and chocolate. The browned butter gives the pie a nice deep flavor.
• 1.5 C All Purpose Flour
• 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ C butter cut into small pieces
• ¼ C ice water
• 2 cups pecans
• ½ stick regular (salted) butter
• ¼ C bittersweet chocolate (chopped into small pieces or you can use bittersweet chocolate chips)
• ¾ C water
• 3 eggs
• 1.5 C brown sugar
• 1.5 T bourbon (If you don't have bourbon, any whisky will do here)
• 1 T vanilla extract
1) For the crust, mix flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add cold butter and cut into flour with two forks, a pastry cutter, or your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal (Note: be careful to not over mix the butter - small chunks of butter will make the crust flaky. You should be able to see streaks of butter in an unbaked pie crust.) Add ice water and knead dough until it just comes together in a semi-cohesive ball. Do not overwork it or the crust will become tough.
3) Flatten into a thin round of dough and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. If you would like to make the dough in advance, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days before being used.
4) Preheat oven to 375F
5) Partially pre-bake pie crust by covering the pie crust with foil and weigh down with pie weights. Cook for 15 minutes with foil. Remove from oven and remove foil and pie weights. Put the pie back in the oven for 7 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
6) Reduce temperature to 350F.
7) Put pecans on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6 minutes or until fragrant.
8) Brown the butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan stirring constantly. You will know the butter is browned when the foam from cooking subsides and there are small brown speckles on the bottom of the pan (Note: if there are black speckles, you have cooked it for too long).
9) When the butter is browned, add the water and cook for a minute longer until water is hot, but not boiling. Remove the pan from the stove and add the bittersweet chocolate. Let sit in the water/butter mixture to melt for 3-5 minutes. Whisk the mixture together until smooth.
10) In the meantime, mix the eggs and brown sugar in bowl until frothy.
11) Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, stirring vigorously. Mix in the bourbon and vanilla until fully blended.
12) Place the pecans into the bottom of the partially pre-baked pie shell then pour in the filling mixture.
13) Bake the pie for 40 minutes or until the center of the pie is semi-firm and now long wiggles when the pie is moved.
14) Let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting into the pie (this is the hardest part!)
(Notes: If you would like to have a more golden crust, brush an egg wash on the crust about 15 minutes before it is done baking. You can make this pie a day in advance.)