Just look at this beauty. It is my contribution to a Thanksgiving feast to which I’ve been invited. A chocolate-pecan pie with a healthy dose of bourbon. The original recipe was given to me by a former roommate from college. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it and adapted the ingredients until I think it is fool-proof and a little bit more like me. It is a great dessert to bring to share for any dinner.
This pie is a bit rich, and made even more so by the optional addition of whipped cream at the end. It is always completely devoured at any dinner to which I’ve brought it, no matter in what city or country I’ve lived. I’m bringing it to what another former roommate had years ago termed an “Orphans’ Thanksgiving.” This is just a roundup of friends, co-workers and associates who would not have anywhere else to go to share a meal with which to celebrate the holiday.
When talking on pre-Turkey Day catch-up calls with a few friends, we all agreed that these get-togethers of assorted folks that we’ve all been at in past years were some of the most enjoyable meals that we have shared. It somehow really captures the essence and spirit of the holiday, not to be sappy about it or anything, to bring people around a table to share a dinner to which everyone contributed something.
Having it as a potluck, with each person chipping in to feed the others, is somewhat similar to what we are told happened between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. I’m sure that they didn’t bring this particular dessert, pecans and bourbon being a bit more Southern, but I like to think that they served something sweet that day. Pie just seems integrally linked to this holiday.
Total prep time: 15-20 minutes with an additional 45 for baking
1 prepared pie shell (use your favorite recipe)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3-4 Tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3.5 ounce bar of semi-sweet (70% cocoa) chocolate, broken into small pieces
Melt butter and set aside to cool. Beat eggs, gradually add sugar and beat until pale. Pour in bourbon and incorporate fully. Add melted butter a little at a time and whisk completely.
Add cornstarch. Whisk again. Sprinkle in salt. Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate pieces. Blend thoroughly. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Centigrade / Gas Mark 4) for 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden brown.
Allow to cool and serve room temperature or just slightly warm. This pie can be transported cold and then warmed up (not reheated). It can also be made a day or a morning ahead of time and refrigerated until warmed up for serving.
Buon appetito e buona festa!
Kitchen Witch Tip:
That serrated knife that you have in your drawer? Guess what. Its jagged edge is the perfect tool for cutting up nuts and hacking up a bar of chocolate into small enough pieces for baking into this pie. Don’t overlook it just because it is normally kept safe for slicing up bread.