– Mel’s awesome, excellent, amazing chocolate pecan pie recipe –
I love pie more than words can express, and there are few things more decadent that a truly special chocolate pecan pie recipe. Regular pecan pie is lovely, of course – but if you’ve never had a chocolate pecan pie, well, you’re seriously missing out. Especially when it comes to this particular recipe.
Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this dish. All kudos should be passed onto my friend Mel, who left a slice of this treasure on my desk at work. I happened to be working at home that day, and an email appeared in my inbox telling me that I’d better get my butt into the office because people were eyeballing my slice of pie. I hemmed and hawed, dragging my feet, until I somehow managed to drag myself back to my desk. After my first bite, I swore allegiance to Mel forever. Let me tell you dear coworkers: if anyone ever needs to get me into the office immediately, this pie is the perfect bribe.
You’ll find this recipe rich, filling, and incredibly sweet, so Mel opted to use unsweetened chocolate to temper the sugary filling into a more manageable place. You could potentially increase the amount of salt as well for some additional taming of the sweet, and now that I think about it, a salted pecan pie sounds like just about the most amazeballs thing ever. (Thank you Adam Weingarten for my new favorite word.)
Make no mistake. This chocolate pecan pie needs to be on your holiday dinner table. If you deny your family this superlative dessert experience, you’ll have to carry the weight of your actions into eternity.
Original credit for this recipe goes to Alix Thompson, Mel’s brother-in-law’s mom. Apparently it’s been in their family for three generations, and I’m eternally grateful to her for sharing it with us.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
- 2 tablespoons lard or shortening, frozen
- 1 1/4 cup flour, sifted (6 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped and melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Use a cheese grater to shred frozen butter and lard (or shortening) into a bowl. Place back in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Add flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 minute until well aerated. Add frozen butter, pulsing 8 to 10 times, or until flour is light and crumbly.
- Add lard (or shortening) and pulse 5 to 7 more times.
- Add ice water, pulse 3 more times. Wait 30 seconds, pulse 3 more times.
- Quickly shape dough into to a ball and place in a zip-top bag. Seal and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Roll out dough to a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Carefully lay the dough over a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges, leaving an extra inch hanging over the lip of the pan. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Use your fingers to flute the edges of the crust. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes, while you make the filling.
- Center a rack in the over. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, toast pecans over medium heat, flipping every 30 seconds or so to prevent burning. Toast the pecans until they are fragrant and a deeper golden brown than they were when they started out. Be careful not to let them burn, and they will make every attempt to do so if you walk away. Remove the nuts from the heat and allow to cool.
- Whisk corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, melted chocolate, vanilla, and eggs until completely blended. Stir in pecans.
- Pour filling into frozen pie shell and slide into the hot oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until filling is set around edges (a 3-inch diameter area in the center of the pie should jiggle slightly).
If you like this recipe, you might be interested in the following resources:
- I never thought to question pecans, but these good folks have some great advice on making sure you get the right pecans for your baking project. Fascinating!
- A brief history of pecan pie.
- Looking for something a little more different? How about pecan pie brownies?
- Um, how about a Kahlua pecan pie? Yes, please!