Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chocolate chip pecan pie

Because I can't leave well enough alone, I had to give you another dessert.  I know there are more than enough ideas here, but are you really going to fault me for giving you just one more?  I think not.  Especially when it's a pecan pie with chocolate chips!  In other words, my new favorite pie.  Hands down, no contest.

I've made pecan pies before, and they've been darn good.  Disappearing good.  But not great.  Pecan pies have the reputation of being too gooey and runny, and so sweet that your teeth ache with only a few bites.  And those whole nuts on the top of the pie?  Gorgeous, sure, but a nightmare to cut through for pretty slices.  Nothing pisses me off more than an ugly piece of mediocre pie served to guests.

What?  Some folks have road rage.  I have pie problems :)

And nut problems, seen manifesting themselves in my kitchen cabinet.  But we'll save that excess and subsequent pathos for another post.

Nut problems aside, there are no pie problems to speak of here!  Chopped nuts yield easy-to-cut, photo-friendly slices.  And a filling that couldn't be farther from those bad words I wouldn't dream of using (ahem, runny and goopy).  Instead, it's a pie that's delicious all the way through.  Buttery flaky crust, chewy and crunchy filling with a hint of salty butter amidst the obvious sweetness.

Oh, and those chocolate chips were no accident.  I've noticed an uprising of traditional desserts with a chocolate twist, so I decided to take some liberties with this recipe.  Watching my friends faces as they ate confirmed that I made a darn good call.  As they said, the chocolate didn't jump out at you and overpower the pecan party.  Instead, it provided a subtle enhancement.  Because the chips were only semi-sweet, the chocolate kept the overall pie from being too sweet, as in just right!  

Go ahead and make this for people you love and appreciate!  They'll have no choice but to show their gratitude for their genius baking friend.  (No kiddin', one guy even said he didn't normally like pecan pie and devoured his slice.  Polite gentleman or honest fan?  I'll go with the latter, thankyouverymuch.)

Two Years Ago: Quiche, infinitely adaptable

A few notes: The chocolate chip part of this recipe is easily omitted to yield a perfectly scrumptious pecan pie, if you like.  And, a note from Ree herself, "The baking temperature required seems to vary widely from oven to oven. Mine bakes perfectly in 50 minutes, but some are reporting that the pie is still soupy. If the pie is very jiggly when you remove it from the oven, cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until mostly set."  For the record, mine needed 30 minutes covered + 20 minutes uncovered + 20 more minutes covered.

Pecan Pie with Chocolate Chips
(adapted slightly from The Pioneer Woman's recipe)
-makes one 9-inch pie

1 whole unbaked pie crust, easily homemade or store-bought
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tablespoons) salted butter, melted
3 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1 heaping cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Fit rolled out pie crust to 9" pie plate.  Trim excess and shape edges, if desired.  Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.

Mix sugars, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.  Spread chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.  Pour syrup mixture over the top.

Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil.  Bake pie for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.  If necessary, cover

Allow to cool for several hours or overnight.  Cut and serve in thin generous slices.

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