Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie


I could lie and say I’ve been too busy.  With the holidays.  You know, everyone understands that.  I could say that I haven’t been cooking much lately.  Also a lie. Not even a very convincing one for those who know me.  But the real reason I have been on hiatus is camera shame.  Plain ol’ fashioned camera shame.

Let’s get it out there.  I’m taking pictures with this –

http://www.amazon.com/LG-VX9200-Verizon-Camcorder-Bluetooth/dp/B004IS03FW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322836061&sr=8-2

As in little pink phone that my dogs kindly janked up, with their teeth.  As in 3 megapixels. As in, at the mercy of every shot.  Sparse apartment lighting, blurriness in low light, using water glasses for a tripod.  I just was tired of looking at all the sharp glossy photos of other blogs and then looking at mine.  I certainly have a lot more to learn about photography – oceans, ravines housing chasms filled with many oceans, but my sad little phone is helping me not at all.  Not to mention that to retrieve these photos, I have to email them to myself.  One by one.  This is less fun than I’ve probably made it sound.

So, a new phone (with a 5 megapixel camera minimum) is headed my way in the next month, I’m going to see to it.  Thanks, Christmas, for having my back in the indulgence-excuse arena.  Love you, man.  However, until then, please bear with me.  I need this blog – this is how I store my favorite recipes. Like this one –

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

So for thanksgiving, I made bourbon pecan pie without the corn syrup.  Which made me not a little pleased with myself. But it was missing something.  Chocolate.  And more booze.  Be warned – this pie is boozy in the best way, but if bourbon is not a flavor you like, this pie is going to come on way too strong, like awkward-hand-on-your-knee-overly-coquettish-glance-aways strong.  Which is cool if you like that sort of thing.  I do, where bourbon is concerned.

Crust

Mostly your standard pie crust, but with the addition of bourbon.  This pie dough needs to chill a lot because of that.  Minimum 2 hours. Or it’s unworkable, like mine was at twenty minutes.  Which is why my edges are so rustic when I would normally do this –

the not quite perfected thanksgiving pecan pie

If this dough sat in the fridge for a day, so much the better.

makes 1 pie crust.  Freezes well for about 6 weeks.  Thaw in fridge before using.

1 ounce cold bourbon
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons lard, goose or duck if you have it around (or vegetable shortening, if you must)

I put the bourbon in the freezer while I prep the other ingredients.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter and lard into the flour until you have pea sized bits.  Pour in bourbon and gently knead, just until dough comes together. Chill for 2 hours in fridge before rolling.  More detailed instructions, if you need them.

Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips

Heat cream in a high sided pot until bubbles begin to form around the edge.  Do not boil.  Take off heat.  Add chocolate.  Wait for one minute.  Whisk until smooth.  This can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.

Pecan mixture

5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted if desired
1/3 cup of bourbon
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
3 large eggs, beaten

Melt butter in pan.  Add brown sugar and salt.  Turn heat to medium and stir continuously until sugar comes to a boil.  Keep stirring and cook one minute. Take off heat, add bourbon and stir until incorporated.  Add vanilla bean paste and nuts and stir.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Stir in eggs.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough and let chill in fridge for 10-20 minutes.  Add ganache in an even layer on bottom of crust. Add pecan mixture.  Bake until edges are brown and pecans are set. 40 – 50 minutes.

For a crispier crust, blind bake shell for 15 minutes.  Then add fillings, and check at 25 minutes to see if you need to cover the edge of the pie with foil to prevent further browning.

I topped mine with some heavy cream I whipped with a little powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla paste, but bourbon would have been a nice addition to that whipped cream.

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