Chocolate, Bourbon, and Pecan Pie


While my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing, I’m always eager for the main meal portion to be over so that I can make a pig out of myself eating dessert. Ever since I can remember there have been copious amounts of pies, candies, chocolates, cake, cookies, and other dessert items to enjoy after the turkey.

In previous years we’ve had a large family meal, but this year since relatives are out of town there will only be four of us. While that won’t stop me from making an excessive amount of food, anything more than two or three desserts seems a bit ridiculous, which is why I wanted to really think hard about what desserts to choose as I can’t really justify making 8.

Something pumpkin was a given, but I was having a difficult time choosing between something chocolate (I come from a family of chocaholics) or another Thanksgiving classic, pecan pie. Thankfully, The New York Times published an excellent Thanksgiving Essential guide that included a chocolate bourbon pecan pie recipe (as well as a ton of excellent sounding recipes).

After doing a test run I have to say it’s one of the best pies I’ve ever had! I typically find pecan pies cloyingly sweet, but the addition of bittersweet chocolate and booze cut the sweetness but still left an incredibly decadent and rich pie. Make this and I promise it will be a hit!

Just a few notes:

  • I followed the original almost exactly, but I used light corn syrup instead of dark and dark brown sugar instead of light. My recommendation is to use whatever you have.
  • I’m on the quest to find the perfect pie crust. If you have one that never fails you, feel free to share! I’m currently using an all-butter recipe that turns out pretty well. I’ve tried tons of recipes and have yet to find one I truly love. For this recipe, use whatever works for you. Most recipes make a top and bottom crust so you’ll only need to use half, as this only calls for a bottom crust.
  • I didn’t technically use bourbon (which is made in the U.S., most commonly as Kentucky whiskey). I chose to use Pendleton, which is Canadian. I really enjoy the taste and I can almost always find it on sale somewhere. Use whatever whisk(e)y you enjoy.

Chocolate, Bourbon, and Pecan Pie

From The New York Times

  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Using a pie crust recipe of your choice, role out enough for a bottom crust (typically one half recipe) on a floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork. Chill crust for 30 minutes.

While the dough chills, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until very pale golden, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth; cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together cooled chocolate-butter mixture, corn syrup, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, bourbon and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Arrange pecans over filling. Bake until the filling is just set when the pan is jiggled, 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove pie from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

I found this was delicious the second and third day, so it’s definitely something you can prepare well in advance for your Thanksgiving dinner, just cover and refrigerate. I also preferred it being served slightly chilled.

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