Chocolate Fudge Pie with Salted Caramel Pecans

Chocolate Pecan Pie 1

When a friend showed me this pie on the cover of Southern Living recently, I knew that we had to try it and the results were quite spectacular.   We made a couple of minor changes (improvements, dare I say).

First of all, the name…this is actually a chocolate pie with pecans on top. The original name “Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie” leaves one expecting a more traditional pecan pie filling.

Secondly, we didn’t care for the lemon juice in the caramel of the original recipe .… gave  it a curious taste,  so we tossed it and made it again without.  (very quick process, don’t be afraid of the caramel!)

Thirdly, the recipe calls for a deep dish pie crust. But please don’t use the frozen ones in the disposable tins.  It is almost as easy to use the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts and set it in your own pie plate and crimp the edged for a more homemade look.

One more note…if you want to make sure to have gorgeous pecans for your pie, order these  Natural Extra Fancy Mammoth Pecan Halves from Sunnyland Farms.  They are amazing!  We ordered the large economical box and split it up so we will both have fresh pecans in the freezer year round.

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Chocolate Filling

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 large eggs

1 cup toasted chopped pecans

1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust

Salted Caramel topping

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups toasted pecan halves

flakey salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Unroll pie crust and set into a deep pie dish and crimp the edges decoratively.  In a large bowl, stir together the first 6 ingredients of the filling.  Add the eggs and stir until well blended.  Fold in the chopped pecans and pour the filling mixture into the pie shell.

Bake for 35 minutes.  The filling may still seem a bit loose just in the center but will continue to set as it cools.

For the caramel, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over hight heat.  Do not stir.  Boil until sugar begins to change color and then swirl the pot to “stir”.  Do not walk away from the pot at this point because the sugar can go from just right to burnt very quickly.  The whole process will take about 6-8 minutes.  When it is a dark amber color, remover from heat and immediately stir in the cream and butter and salt. Set aside to cool slightly.

Arrange the toasted pecan halves on top of the cooled pie then drizzle all over with the caramel sauce.  Sprinkle with the flakey salt and let cool before serving. (serves 8)

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Deep South Chocolate Bourbon Chess Pie


The saying “easy as pie” must surely be referring to a Chess Pie.  There are hundreds of variations but as far as I can tell, they all involve a bowl, a whisk, and ingredients that you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator right now.  This particular one comes from  Charleston Cooks!  a charming cooking shop and school on East Bay Street in Charleston, SC.

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Pie Crust

1 stick cold butter

1 1/2 cups flour

one pinch salt

whole milk, about 2/3 cup

1.  Stir together the butter, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas.

2.  Add milk, one splash at a time to the flour and stir. Continue adding the milk until the mixture forms a  ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk shape.

3.  Chill dough about 15 minutes.

4. Roll dough, place in a pie place and trim and crimp the edges.

5.  Chill dough while you make the filling.

Filling

1/2 cup butter

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

1-2 tablespoons Bourbon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2.  Place butter and chocolate in a small glass bowl or Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 45-60 seconds.  Stir and let sit to finish melting the chocolate and then to let it cool a bit.

3.  Place sugar, eggs, flour, bourbon, salt and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whisk well to combine.

4.  Add chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.

5.  Pour filling into pie crust and bake in preheated oven until edges are browned and filling is puffed and set (but still wiggly in the center), about 30 minutes.

Let cool and serve alone, with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

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