One of the projects that the Rotary Club of Napa supports is the Pathway Home. Our club hosts the annual "Cycle for Sight & Rotary Ride for Veterans". Members of our club are very involved in activities with Pathway Home veterans, including special outings, regular bowling nights, volunteering at the Veterans Home, distributing a home made quilt to each veteran, and of course raising money for this privately funded effort. Veterans in the program may have traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, physical injuries, and sometimes disfiguring injuries. Please click on the links to learn more about the program, and plan on riding or volunteering at the next Rotary Ride on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
One of the little things we do is make homemade pies for the Pathway Home veterans for Thanksgiving. Yesterday the Rotary pie delivering crew requested the recipe for the pie I brought - so here it is. I hope the pie made the trip safely all the way from Napa to Yountville. There were some hungry looking fellows driving the truck.
I used the recipe published by David Lebovitz on his blog. I generally followed the recipe, as David recommends that practice when first making a recipe. This kind of pie - containing pecans, chocolate and bourbon - is one that I have known for years as a "Kentucky Derby Pie". There is a similar trademarked name. A lovely recipe for a similar pie can be found in "The South, the Beautiful Cookbook" - which uses ground pecans in the crust as well as unsweetened chocolate and dark corn syrup in the filling. Since I have always made a pie crust with a pastry blender, I thought I would try this method for making the crust. David also recommends NOT pre-baking the crust so that the filling and crust fuse together. We have not cut the second pie I made for our Thanksgiving, so I will report on the results in the comments section.
I did not have quite enough light corn syrup, so added a bit of dark corn syrup. The dark chocolate chips I used were 60% chocolate by Ghiradelli. These are large chips.
Chocolate Pecan Pie by David Lebovitz
1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1-inch (3cm) cubes
4 tablespoons (60ml) ice water
The chocolate-pecan filling:
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup (200g) light corn syrup, rice syrup or golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (30g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 2/3 cups (190g) toasted pecans, very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (120g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1. To make the crust, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. (Or use a food processor.)
2. Add the cubed butter and mix until the butter pieces are broken up and about the size of small peas.
3. Add the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch (30cm) round. Transfer the dough into a 9-inch ( cm) pie plate letting the dough ease into the pan, rather than pressing it in. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath the area above the rim of the pie plate, to create a double width of dough, then crimp the edges and refrigerate until ready to fill.
5. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and position the oven rack to the center of the oven.
6. In a large bowl, which together the eggs, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, salt, melted butter, and bourbon.
7. Stir in the pecans and the chocolate chips then scrape the filling into the pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling puffs up slightly but still feels slightly jiggly and moist in the center.
Let pie cool completely before slicing.
Serving: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream is a good accompaniment to pecan pie.
Storage: Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to two months.
The pie is best eaten the same day although will keep for up to three days, at room temperature.
To go with the pie, my dear husband John made some of his special vanilla ice cream. We may have enough left for our Thanksgiving dessert later today!