Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

One fall day I woke to the realization that Tyler Florence was going to be doing a book signing at Meier and Franks that morning.  That was the original huge department store in Portland, which has since been bought by Macy's.  Well I swung into action.  I was babysitting my one year old granddaughter that day so I got us both ready and we headed down town.  When we got there the line was very long, but no matter, we found the end and began our long wait.  Emily was a very good girl, and we enjoyed ourselves for the hour it took before it was my turn to talk to Tyler.  He was quite taken with Emily, as he had a 6 month old son at the time.  He especially liked her hat, and took down the information about the store in hopes of getting one for his son.  But I managed to get a question in: "What's your favorite Thanksgiving pie?"  He immediately said, "Chocolate  Bourbon Pecan Pie."  Well I was right on that as soon as I got home.  I served it at my Thanksgiving dinner that year (43 guests) and it was the first pie finished.  I'm not even sure I got a piece.  No, I did.  It was very small and I hid it in the cupboard for later.

Pie Crust:
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 stick butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 Tbl shortening (this helps keep the crust consistent)
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Filling:1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Crust: combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and shortening and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle on the ice water and work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Use your hand to press the whole thing together when done. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten to a disc, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cover the disc of dough with flour and roll out on a piece of waxed paper into a circle. It will be a little bigger that the waxed paper. Using the waxed paper, flip the dough over and into a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully press the dough into the plate so it fits tightly and tuck under the excess dough and crimp the edges.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Filling: melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, remove from heat and let cool. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy and then blend in the sugar. Stir in the corn syrup, vanilla, bourbon, salt, and the melted butter mixture until well blended.

Arrange the pecans on the pie crust and carefully pour the egg mixture over them. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set and rather puffy. Cool the pie completely.

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