I have a love/hate relationship with pecan pie. I love the crunchy, sugar crusted pecans on top. In fact, I love them so much i’ll pick them off my piece, one by one. The problem lies between the crunchy topping and the bottom crust. It’s the sugary, gelatinous gloop that I can’t stand.
Naturally, I gravitate towards pecan pie recipes that incorporate more than the standard corn syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. I look for sweeteners like golden syrup, honey, or raw sugar, and flavors like alcohol, chocolate, or spices. My go-to favorite has been Richard Sax’s recipe from Classic Home Desserts. Another way to avoid the filling is to make a variation like pecan bars or pecan tassies. If you’re not wedded to pecans, you can also try a caramel+nut pie, like this honey caramel walnut tart.
Criticisms aside, this pie was pretty good. It ranked high on the ‘speed of coworker consumption’ scale. The filling rather looked liked melted chocolate- it even oozed a bit when I cut into it. Note that this isn’t a pecan pie with chocolate chunks- it’s a pecan pie with melted chocolate mixed into the filling.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Bittersweet”
1 prebaked 9-inch pie crust (it should be golden brown for maximum crispness)
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
2 oz bittersweet chocolate (50-64% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsbp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, combine the chopped chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. When the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, add the brown sugar, salt, rum, and vanilla. Then whisk in the eggs. When the mixture is well blended and hot to the touch, remove it from the heat. Pour the nuts into the crust and pour the filling over the nuts.
3. Bake until the filling is puffed and cracked, but slightly wobbly in the center, 10-12 minutes. (Mine took closer to 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.