I have no idea who Mencius was, but he’s attributed with the quote, “The best things in life come in threes.” I decided to make a pie this weekend and it just so happens that my favorite pie crust recipe makes three crusts. Rather than scale the recipe down and attempt to divide a large egg by 3 (50 grams / 3 = 17ish grams), I decided to make a whole batch and go on a pie spree for the week.
A coworker described this first recipe, Chocolate Pecan, as tasting like a candy bar – loaded with toasty nuts but not too sweet. It’s definitely rich; a little goes a long way. Even moi, the consumer of all things dessert, only needed a small slice to satisfy my ever-aching sweet tooth.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
- 1 cup Crisco
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 5 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup Karo syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups toasted pecan halves
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Chill butter and Crisco until very cold by placing both in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and Crisco to flour and pulse on/off until mixture resembles coarse meal (you can also combine the flour and fats using a pastry blender if you don’t want to drag out your processor – more effort, less clean-up). Scrape mixture into a large bowl, add egg mixture, and stir until combined. Don’t overwork dough.
- Separate the dough into thirds (If you prefer a more substantial crust, separate in half) and roll into balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and freeze for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill. (If you will be storing the dough in the freezer for a longer period, form dough into a disk and seal in a Ziplock bag. Thaw 15 minutes before using).
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium bowl, beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, Karo syrup, eggs, bourbon, vanilla and salt until frothy. Stir in pecan halves and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350⁰. In between two sheets of waxed paper, roll out the crust, starting at the center and working your way out into a 11” – 12” circle. Once the dough is the correct size, peel off the top layer of waxed paper and, using the bottom sheet, transfer the dough to a 9” pie pan. Flip the dough over, peel off the bottom sheet, and gently press the dough into the pan. Go around the pie pan tucking the dough to make a clean edge and then crimp. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the freezer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and cover with filling. Bake 40-50 minutes until the topping is firm and dark golden brown. Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. Cut yourself a slide – you done good.