She’s baaack! (so let’s eat pie)

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One small excuse for not sharing our culinary adventures in some time: half of our esteemed enterprise, Joni, decided to pull a full Eat Pray Love on us and travel the globe for 5 months. She left us with another delightful blog during this time, which provided some comfort, but I still found myself with an empty hole/crippling inability to post anything. But all’s well that ends well y’all – SHE’S BACK. And within a week she was in San Francisco visiting me, and within about an hour of that, we were baking.

Being reunited with your best bud of 25+ years is an extremely chill experience that only decades of “we cool” can cultivate. Joni showed up in my city, brought me chocolate, I ate it, said I was tired, and she sent me to my room for a nap. When I got up though, I was really stoked and we ate pie. Chocolate bourbon pecan pie, to be more specific.

This pie was originally just another vehicle on which to put whipped cream, because I’m on a serious home-made whipped cream kick these days (more on that later). But this ended up being a lot more than that because chocolate, bourbon, buttery dough…you get the picture.

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Whipped cream on erry’thang

As many of you know, I have struggled over the years with a serious case of culinary F.O.D. (fear of dough), but I’m working through it with the help of good friends, a pastry blender, and a bottle that I use as a rolling pin (Hey, I may be visiting the world of baking, but I haven’t moved in). But you know what? I’ve realized that even when you make the seemingly unspeakable mistakes they warn you about in all the Super Uptight Baking Recipes, what you get is still pretty damn good. All this “careful not to let the butter melt or your crust won’t be flaky!” – I mean, it is true, but not-as-flakey-as-it-could-be pie dough is still pie dough, knowwhatImsayin?

This recipe is a bit time consuming, but overall straightforward if you go by the book. I paired it with maple whipped cream, but you could easily do vanilla ice cream, cool whip, silly string…hey, I don’t judge. Just add best friend and serve.


Chocolate bourbon pecan pie
Adapted from Food&Wine

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Filling

  • 2 cups (about 7 ounces) pecans
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chip


Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


Directions

  1. In a food processor or by hand with a pastry blender, blend the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the ice water. Knead the dough 2 or 3 times on a lightly floured surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Fit the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch, fold the edge under itself and crimp to decorate. Refrigerate until firm (maybe 20 minutes).
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pecans for about 8 minutes, until just toasted, and coarsely chop. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon and salt until blended. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  4. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Tent the crust with foil if the edge is browning too quickly (it didn’t for me). Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool before serving.
  5. To make whipped cream: combine cream and maple syrup and beat until firm peaks form, about 8-10 minutes. It’s easier with a small amount of cream, a big bowl, and a healthy level of confidence.

 

 

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