Monday, June 09, 2008

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
From Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour or so
Cooling time: 1 hour
Serves 8-10

3 large eggs, plus 1 egg of any size (for brushing the edges of the pie shell)
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp kosher salt, divided as directed
¼ cup Steen’s cane syrup ( I used maple syrup instead)
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp dark corn syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 tbsp good quality Bourbon whiskey, preferably Jim Beam
¼ lb/113g/1 stick unsalted butter, plus butter for greasing the pan
1¾ cups all purpose flour, plus flour to dust pan & roll out dough
1 tsp Steen’s cane vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, other option is distilled white vinegar)
1/3 cup cool water
3 tbsp whole milk
2 cups pecan pieces or chopped pecans
1 cup good quality semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
Options for accompaniments and garnishes:
Caramel sauce
Vanilla ice cream (my choice)
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Mint leaves
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the 3 large eggs until frothy. Add the sugar, plus 1 tsp kosher salt, whisking vigorously until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Whisk in the cane syrup (or maple since I can’t find cane sugar locally), corn syrup, melted butter and bourbon. Set this filling aside.

3. Cut ¼ lb butter into ¼ “ cubes. Let the cubes soften at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile generously butter a 10” metal pie pan. (I used a tart pan with removable bottom). Dust the pan with flour and set aside.

4. In another large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine 1¾ cups flour with ½ tsp salt. Add the slightly softened butter cubes and quickly work them into the flour using a pastry blender or fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse meal with just a few pea-sized lumps of butter in it.

5. Add the vinegar to 1/3 cup cool water. Gradually add the vinegar water to the flour. Tossing lightly with your hand or fork until blended in. Gently gather the mixture together to form a ball. If it doesn’t hold together, add another ½ tbsp water at a time until the mixture is sufficiently damp to hold together, using as little water as possible.

6. Shape the dough ball into a smooth 5” disk. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, into a circle about 14” in diameter and 3/8” thick. Very lightly flour the dough, fold it in half and carefully transfer to the prepared pie pan. Unfold the dough and gently fit it into the pan.

7. With a small serrated knife, trim the excess dough flush with the outer rim of the pan (I pressed the rolling pin over my tart pan). Chill the pie shell for 3 minutes to firm it slightly. Then crimp the edges if you’re using a regular pie pan.

8. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and milk, blending well. Brush a generous amount of the egg wash on the crimped edges using a pastry brush.

9. Evenly scatter the pecans and chocolate chips over the bottom of the shell. Thoroughly stir the reserved filling mixture, then slowly pour it over the pecans and chocolate chips. Use a finger tip to gently stir the filling to coat all the pecan bits and chocolate chips with filling and evenly distribute over the filling.

10. Bake on the middle shelf (I placed the pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean up) until the center feels firm and bounces back when gently pressed with your fingertips and the crust is golden – about one hour.

11. Transfer the pie to a metal rack to cool to warm room temperature before serving (about one hour).

Serve at room temperature or warm. It’s wonderful as is, but a drizzle of caramel sauce, dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream is another way to go.

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