Monday, September 2, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Day 45

With fall and winter just around the corner, I find myself looking for richer, more decadent dessert recipes. While flipping through a Ladies’ Home Journal supplement, I found this twist on a pecan pie. Rich, creamy, and absolutely sublime, this pie will be the highlight of your next dessert presentation.

It’s very necessary to share that the magazine in which I found the recipe did not correctly print it, and it was only after I made the first batch of pies that I realized the discrepancy between the magazine’s printed version and the correct online recipe. Below is the correct version that will come out perfectly
Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
every time. Interestingly, the magazine’s misprint still produced a delicious pie, although the filling was decidedly runny.

In a way, I’m glad to share that my first four pies were not as I had anticipated since—especially on television cooking programs—we home cooks are not usually privy to the mistakes. As a result, when we try a featured dish from television, it doesn’t always turn-out as anticipated, thereby making us feel like failures in the kitchen. Often, we become timid to try another recipe, but the entire mishap could have easily been avoided if the chef had shared some particular tricks to avoid pitfalls, based on his/her test kitchen trials.  I find that, for every recipe I successfully try, there are two that don’t work. It’s important to remember this, especially if you find yourself exploring a new passion for cooking.

You know, though, failures are still pretty tasty, truth be told. To avoid any confusion with this relatively easy pie, make sure that you only use 1 ¼ cups of the butterscotch sauce in each pie. The remaining sauce can be refrigerated to be used as an ice cream topping or a drizzle for apple pie.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
3 cups pecan halves, toasted (see below)
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/3 cup butterscotch-flavored pieces
1 ¼ cups Butterscotch Sauce (*see recipe below)
Whipped cream (optional)
9-inch pie crust

*Butterscotch Sauce
½ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup light-colored corn syrup
2 tbs. water
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla

Prepare the pie crust by baking empty in a 350 degree oven. Line pie pan of raw crust with aluminum foil and pour 2 cups of dry, uncooked kidney beans on foil to keep crust from bubbling while baking. Bake for 15 minutes with foil/beans and 5 minutes with foil and beans removed. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To toast pecans, spread the pecan halves in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven, tossing occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat and stir 1¼ cups of the butterscotch sauce over low heat until warm. Remove from heat. Stir hot nuts, chocolate, and butterscotch-flavored pieces, stirring until the pieces are melted. Pour filling into prebaked tart shell. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 14 to 15 minutes or until edges are bubbly.

Cool on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if you like. Makes 10 servings.

Butterscotch Sauce

In a heavy saucepan, melt unsalted butter over low heat, stirring often. Increase heat to medium. Stir in sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring to boiling; stir constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring often (you'll see big, slow bubbles as it boils). Remove from heat. Carefully whisk in whipping cream and vanilla (the sauce may sputter). Use 1¼ cups of the sauce for the pie. Allow remaining sauce to cool. Cover; refrigerate remaining sauce. If you like, reheat over low heat and stir before serving over ice cream. Makes 3 cups sauce.

(Recipe borrowed from Ladies’ Home Journal “Delicious Desserts” supplement to Ladies’ Home Journal Magazine, 2011. )

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