I have two superhero skills. Two! So good, really… that I’m tempted to call them skillzzzz.
My two superhero skills are: catching things that are falling (anything really, it’s cat-like agility) and making PIES! Sometimes you’re just endowed with talents beyond your ability to learn them. That last sentence I totally made up and it can’t possible be true. Suffice it to say, I can catch a falling wine glass without spilling a drop, and I can whip up a rich chocolate pecan pie in the blink of an eye. Do not, however, throw a baseball my way (I can’t catch that!!!) or ask me to make you croissants (not in my superhero wheelhouse!!!).
What’s your superhero skill? If your answer is ‘long division’, I’m super impressed. Maybe your answer is ‘dish washing like a ninja’, in which case please come over, flex your skills and eat this pie.
Maybe your superhero skill is ‘not eating all the cookie dough before it’s baked’. That really would be something.
Maybe your superhero skill can be pie baking. I really think it should be. It’s just butter+flour, pecans+eggs. Rub it together. Whisk it up. Be a pie ninja. It’s all so very possible.
Let’s make this Bourbon Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate. We’re showing off for the Kentucky Derby. Flexin’ because we can.
I like where this pie starts.
Pecans and chocolate. To chop and to snack profusely upon. Eggs are the large variety, and here in New Orleans they sweat. Melted butter meets sugar meets dark corn syrup. A good butter and buttermilk pie crust. Bourbon, for always.
Some people think corn syrup is a naughty word(s). It’s got a reputation it can’t shake.
When paired with eggs, pecans, and chocolate… I think corn syrup (especially the dark variety) is elevated out of its unfortunate reputation.
Eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and bourbon are whisked together into a… goop (for lack of a better word). Sweet and sticky (super delicious) pie filling goop. Don’t tell Gwyneth Paltrow.
This Bourbon Pecan Pie is a single crust pie.
Here’s the oldest trick in the book: when making one pie crust from scratch… just make two.
Cutting butter into flour for two crusts is just as easy as it is for one. Use one crust… and then be the kind of baker that has an extra homemade pie crust just hanging out in the freezer for when, you know… you need to just whip up a random pie.
Chopped pecans and lots of dark chocolate are sprinkled across the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. It’s pretty.
Sweet and thick pie filling is poured over the chocolate and pecans. Yes it is.
Pecan pie is sweet and thick. The filling is like a soft, sweet, sugar pudding… without the cream. The chocolate adds a nice, smooth bitterness. The pecans add a big, toasty crunch.
I enjoy this pie two times a year, during the Winter holidays and on Kentucky Derby day. Here’s to our super hero skills paying off, and here’s to hoping our measly horse bets pay off too!
Bourbon Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate
makes 1 9-inch pie
adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Garden & Gun
For the Crust:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 heaping cup chopped pecans
3 ounces coarsely chopped dark chocolate
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers (or a potato masher), work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.
On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.
To roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.
To make the filling, in a medium bowl whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, bourbon, and unsalted butter. Whisk until well combined. The mixture will be thick and syrupy.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle pecans and chocolate around the bottom of the pie shell. Whisk the liquid filling and pour over the chocolate and nuts.
Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Pie will bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the pie no longer jiggles in waves, but is rather puffed and jiggles uniformly.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. I think this pie is best served cold the following day.