The first time I heard “chocolate” uttered as an adjective preceding “pecan pie,” I had an aha moment! What decadent brilliance! The dessert course for our Harvest & Gather Thanksgiving had to provide the type of finale that would leave each guest with fond memories and full, content stomachs. A chocolate pecan pie was just the right choice.
The love this pie received made my heart swell. The two main tricks to its success were maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and a minimal accent of rich, dark chocolate chunks. The creamy, bourbon whipped cream and deep-dish, whole-wheat pie crust balanced the indulgent sweetness of each bite. Additionally, a slice of this pie and a large mug of coffee make the perfect post-Thanksgiving, recovery breakfast because after cooking for ten, there surely will need to be some recovery time.
Flaky, Whole-Wheat Pie Crust
*This might make slightly more pie dough than necessary. When baking for the holidays, anything extra is difficult to discern, since the excess will quickly be claimed by another dessert’s preparation.
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup organic, unsalted butter, chilled
5-8 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar, chilled
Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Cut butter into 12 pieces and rub into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some pea-size pieces.
Sprinkle apple cider vinegar over mixture, one Tablespoon at a time and knead lightly just until dough forms.
Form dough into a ball. Cut in half and press each into a disc shape. Wrap each disc in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.
Makes two 9-inch pie crusts (16 slices).
Deep Dish Chocolate Pecan Tart
6 large organic eggs
1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cups packed, organic dark-brown sugar
5 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped roasted & salted pecans (about 10 ounces), for filling
2 cups pecan halves (about 8 ounces), roasted & salted, for topping
1/2-1 cup dark chocolate chunks, to taste/design
Set a 9-inch cake ring (with 1 1/2-inch sides) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch round. Fit dough into ring; trim edges. Freeze 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together eggs, syrup, and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.
Whisk in butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt.
Stir in chopped pecans.
Pour filling into shell. Arrange pecan halves and chocolate chunks on top, in concentric circles or in the design/pattern of your choice.
Bake, tenting with foil after 15 minutes, until filling is set, about 1 hour.
Let cool at least 2 hours on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream.
Bourbon Whipped Cream
makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups whipped cream
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons bourbon, to taste
Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the freezer. Add the whipping cream and vanilla. Use a mixer to beat until light peaks form. Add the bourbon, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over mix.
Chill until ready to serve.
All photos in this post were taken by my talented friend Chris Goodman.