Monday, 19 April 2010

American dreams: chocolate pecan pie


chocolate pecan pie 1
pecan pie goodness ready to go into the oven

Back in the rose-tinted hazy mists of time, when I was barely taller than a grasshopper's knee and CHiPS (or rather, Erik Estrada) was the hottest thing on telly, my dad took me on my first holiday to the States.

To say I loved it would be an understatement. For a kid of my age, it was paradise. Huge cars, fast food, seemingly limitless Coke, McDonald's, 24-hour TV, endless sunshine... Never mind that those are all the things I'd go out of my way to avoid now (well, perhaps not the sunshine) - back then, it was an utterly, mind-bogglingly wonderful revelation.

Food memories stand out, even after all these years... of lots of firsts - my first 'easy-over' egg, giant chocolate chip cookie, hamburger, fried chicken, real coffee, peanut and jelly sandwich, 'fries', and... pecan pie.

Of all of them, pecan pie has endured as one of my food loves. Until recently, I've scarcely seen it over here, and given that for the most part, I can rarely be bothered to make pastry, I've never made it myself. But now, all that's going to change. For I've found a recipe that (a) makes pastry a doddle, and (b) also adds chocolate to the mix. And it's no secret that when chocolate goes into a cake or pudding, I can offer no resistance. NONE. WHATSOEVER.

This recipe, from Linda Collister's Chocolate book hit the spot for me. Some of the sugar and butter combines to form a thin fudgy layer on the bottom of the pie, while above it sits the light, almost fluffy chocolate and pecan filling. If you use (as I did) dark chocolate with around 70% cocoa solids, the taste is wickedly dark and rich.

You'll need:

Pastry - 1.5 cups plain flour, more for dusting; pinch salt; 1 tbsp sugar, 1 stick unsalted butter; 1 extra large egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Filling - 3 tbsps unsalted butter, softened; 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar; 2/3 cup corn syrup or golden syrup; 3 extra large eggs, beaten; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 3.5oz bittersweet chocolate, melted; 1 cup pecans

Method - put flour, salt, sugar and butter in food processor, and process until you have fine breadcrumbs. With processor still running, add the egg yolk and water through the feed tube. Run machine until dough comes together. If there are dry crumbs, add teaspoon or so extra water.

Put dough on floured surface and roll out to a large circle about 2 inches bigger than the tart pan, then use to line the pan. Prick with a fork, then chill for 15mins. Line with parchment paper and baking beans, and back blind at 350F for about 12 minutes. Remove beans and paper, and bake for another 12 minutes. Let cool.

Put better, sugar, and corn syrup in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the eggs and then the vanilla extract. Stir in melted chocolate followed by the pecans. Pour into pie crust and bake at 350F for about 35 minutes until just firm to touch. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Best eaten within 4 days.)

It's great on its own...

chocolate pecan pie 2

yep, it's mighty fine...

... but really, it's just all the better and so much more of a complete, authentic experience if you go the whole American hog and have it with a generous scoop of the best vanilla ice cream you can buy.

chocolate pecan pie 3

but, ah, that's the baby...

So, go on. Make, eat, then lie back and think of, er, the United States...

22 comments:

Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) said...

That looks and sounds amazing and the food processor pastry sounds a breeze. I hardly ever make pastry and usually cheat and buy it - I shall have another go.

meemalee said...

Pecan pie looks incredible!

I used to fancy Erik Estrada although I was probably too young for him. Did you see him turn up on My Name Is Earl? It was genius.

The Little Welsh said...

Yum yum yum! that brings back memories of my time in Canada, LOVE this recipe and looking forward to trying it, the pics are HOT :)

things we make said...

Ooh, Helen. That looks reet good! I might have to try it too. I love the idea of a choccy one as sometimes the toffee based ones can be too cloying.

The Grubworm said...

Golly, that looks like a brownie in pastry. What's not to like there?! Sounds fab, and dangerous for the waistline. Oh well, c'est la vie. What's a waistline when it comes to pecans and chocolate ;-)

The Ample Cook said...

Oh that looks amazing. Pastry looks excellent too.

Bellini Valli said...

I have always been a huge fan of this Southern treat..have never tried it with chocolate though.

michelle@TNS said...

the whole american hog, indeed. whoa.

Pia K said...

mmm, sounds mighty fine, would eat it with whipped cream. and most certainly not think of usa. but enjoy.

Manggy said...

Yee-haw! ;) I must check out that book. Chocolate is strangely the thing to cut the overt sweetness of pecan pie!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Helen - do! That's what I did, and was well pleased with the results

meemalee - Erik was lovely, wasn't he? ;)

The Little Welsh - ah, yes, I can imagine it's popular in Canada, too

Claire - the chocolate really cuts through the sweetness, strangely enough. Definitely not cloying

Grubworm - actually, I also have a recipe for a brownie pecan pie. Perhaps I should give that a whirl, too, and report back...

The Ample Cook - thank you! Pastry was lovely and short

Val - now's your chance!

Michelle - yup, HOG

Pia - whipped cream or even creme fraiche

Manggy - absolutely right, it does

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

That looks fantastic, I have never made a pecan pie and I love the idea of a chocolate one.

Nicisme said...

Dribbling away here because that looks so delicious!

Sarah said...

The second Erik Estrada reference in my reader today...coincidence?? ;)

There really isn't much better than pecan pie...unless it's chococlate pecan pie!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Sarah - chocolate and pecans were made to go together...

Nicisme - it IS delicious, and very moreish, too!

Sarah - couldn't agree more!

Sophie said...

Waw!! What a perfect chocolate pecan pie this certainly is!!


I am truly GOBSMACKED!!!!!!!!!!


MMMMMMMMMMM,...lovely food!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

What a heavenly pie! Chocolate and pecan throw some ice cream on top and i'm asking for trouble :) mmm

Foodycat said...

Now you mention it, you don't often see pecan pie in the UK do you? You get it in every cafe in Australia, and I do like it as an occasional treat. But with chocolate just makes it that bit more decadent!

vincent said...

Hello,


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,

Vincent
petitchef.com

George@CulinaryTravels said...

The pecan pie looks incredible and brings back many happy memories of stateside holidays for me.

groupon clone said...

Nice post. Great blog. Thanks for sharing.
Angry birds clone| Groupon Clone| Groupon Clone Script|

saim said...

That’s an interesting point of view you’ve got there. Really makes me think and re-evaluate my priorities. Thanks for the inspiration.




natural supplements