Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie

As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite food magazines is Fine Cooking. During a recent visit with my auntie, she said that what sets this magazine apart is that she saves the entire issue. When it comes to other cooking magazines, she tears out pages that interest her, and she tosses the rest of the magazine.

Well said.

This past Thanksgiving, I decided to add a chocolate pecan pie to the menu, in addition to my favorite pecan pie. I'm just getting around to posting about it now, in part because the making of said pie was traumatic:
Yes, that's my homemade tart shell on my kitchen floor. This is why I have commercial crust back-ups in my freezer. The pie weights left dents all over the bamboo - it looks like someone shot it up with a BB gun. But I'll deal with that at some point in the future!

Rose's tart on the left, chocolate espresso tart, in production, on the right

So, I used a Pillsbury pie crust for a recipe by pastry chef Karen Barker in Fine Cooking's issue #88. Boy, this is one rich, sweet, fudgy pecan pie. Too sweet, I thought, but I noticed an odd thing: folks would take a small bite and, overwhelmed by the richness of the pie, they would set it aside. And then come back for another bite. And another. Hhm. I guess some folks like really sweet, chocolatey pecan pie. Imagine that!

I've tweaked the recipe a bit to tone down the sweetness, but trust me, it will still be very sweet. And do not be tempted to use anything but unsweetened chocolate, or your teeth will ache!
The original recipe used corn syrup and a cup of sugar.

Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie
Adapted from a recipe by Karen Barker, in Fine Cooking #88
One 9-inch pie crust, homemade or purchased, and blind-baked until a light golden brown
For the filling:

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Valrhona. Boy, is it good!)
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup Lyle's golden syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. instant espresso powder (I used Megdalia D'Oro)
2 Tbs. coffee liqueur
2 cups lightly toasted, coarsely chopped pecans
About 1/2 cup perfect pecan halves

To make the filling:

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a small metal bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Set aside and allow mixture to cool slightly

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, Lyle's golden syrup, sugar, and salt. Dissolve the instant espresso in 1 Tbs. hot water and add to the egg mixture, along with the coffee liqueur and the melted chocolate and butter. Whisk to blend.

Evenly spread the toasted pecan pieces in the pie shell. To form a decorative border, arrange the pecan halves around the perimeter of the pie shell, on top of the pecan pieces, keeping the points of the pecans facing in and the backs just touching the crust. Slowly and carefully pour the filling into the center of the pie plate and over the pecans until the shell is three-quarters full. Pour the remaining filling into a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher. Transfer the pie to the oven and pour in the remaining filling. (The pecans will rise to the top as the pie bakes.)

Bake the pie until the filling puffs up, just starts to crack, and appears fairly set, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer it to a rack and allow it to cool completely (at least 4 hours) before serving. The pie is best if you refrigerate it overnight - the filling sets and the flavors develop.


Blogger Brilynn said...

Fine Cooking is one of my favs too! I had initially planned on making this pie but never got around to it.

January 23, 2008 4:20 PM  

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