Oh my goodness….this PIE!!  The chocolate layer is optional, but please…the chocolate layer is not optional.  Perfected by Deb at Smitten Kitchen, her rules must be followed (toast your pecans, golden syrup, chocolate layer), but I elected to use my trusty (and indestructible) Brown Sugar Pastry for the crust, and I gambled on doing a few steps the day before…and it still worked out brilliantly.

The recipe is below, but here are the steps I recommend; roll out a single crust of Brown Sugar Pastry, transfer to a pie plate with a half-inch overhang, decoratively crimp the edges (I’m pretty sure I’ll never quite get this right), freeze it solid for a half hour, line the crust with lightly oiled foil and fill with pie weights, bake at 400 for 20 minutes, allow it to cool, pour on the chocolate layer, cover lightly and place in the fridge overnight and then you’re all ready to bake your sweet pie perfection the following day!  Your heavenly dessert countdown is now down to 1 single hour…including baking time (you can even whip the cream while it’s cooking!) – enjoy!

Pecan Pie

1 single pie crust – your choice (Brown Sugar Pastry) – par-baked and cooled

Chocolate Layer – 4 oz. good dark chocolate melted with 1/4 c. whipping cream and stirred until smooth

Follow the instructions above, with or without the optional chocolate so that you now have a par-baked crust (+chocolate), and this is waiting for you in the fridge so that it’s nice and cold.

Filling

6 T. butter AND 1 c. packed dark brown sugar

3/4 c. golden syrup AND a large pinch of sea salt

2 c. pecan halves, lightly toasted for about 8 minutes in a 350 oven

1 t. apple cider vinegar AND 1 T. bourbon

2 t. vanilla AND 3 eggs

whipped cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment.  In a medium pot, combine the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and salt and bring this mix to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pecans, vinegar, bourbon and vanilla and then set the pot aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

When the filling has cooled down, whisk in one egg at a time, and whisk well between each addition until well combined, and then scrape the filling into your cold par-baked (+chocolate layer) shell.  Place on your prepared baking sheet and add a ‘crust protector ring’ because the crust has already been baked.  Bake for about 45 minutes until the center is slightly firm to the touch but still has some jiggle.  Allow the pie to cool for at least an hour.  Pecan pie is tastiest slightly warm, but cuts the best at room temperature.  Serve with whipped cream!

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