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Pecan, Bourbon & Chocolate Pie

Dark chocolate and bourbon make this pie extra decadent.

Few holiday desserts don’t benefit from a splash of bourbon, but this pecan pie from Annie Rigg’s book Pies & Tarts is an especially good match for a bit of whiskey. Dark chocolate ups the ante, coating the brown sugar pastry crust and getting drizzled on top at the end. Want to take it even further? “This pie is begging for vanilla ice cream,” says Rigg.

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1⁄2 cup minus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. ice-cold water
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ***
  • FILLING:
  • 3 cups pecans
  • 1 3⁄4 oz. dark chocolate, plus another 1 oz. to decorate
  • 4 medium eggs
  • Scant 2⁄3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. golden or corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or bean paste
  • 3 1⁄2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • A good pinch of sea salt flakes
  • Tools:8 3⁄4-inch tart tin with removable base, mixing bowl, palette knife, pie weights, baking sheet

Preparation

Start by making the crust. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and diced butter, and cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or palette knife. When the butter pieces are coated in flour and about half their original size, switch to using your hands to rub the butter in, working quickly and lightly. When there are only very small flecks of butter still visible, add the sugar and mix again to combine.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture, drop in the egg yolk, water and vinegar or lemon juice. Using the knife again, cut the wet ingredients into the dry. Then use your hands to continue mixing, but do not overwork the mixture. Turn the dough out onto the work surface, gather into a ball, flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour until firm.

When firm, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/16- 1⁄8-inch thick and with a diameter about 3 inches wider than the tart or pie tin. Carefully line the tin with the pastry, pressing it neatly into each groove and corner. Trim any excess, prick the base with a fork and chill for 20–30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dry rice, place on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden. Remove the foil and weights, and bake for a further 3–4 minutes to dry out the base. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.

On a baking sheet, toast the pecans in the oven for 3–4 minutes, then roughly chop. Reduce the oven temperature to 330 degrees F. Melt the chocolate either in a heatproof bowl in the microwave on a low setting or over a bowl of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate until smooth, pour into the tart shell and spread to evenly cover the base.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, golden syrup, bourbon and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the melted butter to the bowl along with the lemon juice and salt flakes. Add the chopped pecans and mix to combine.

Scoop the filling into the tart shell and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, after which time the filling should have the faintest wobble in the middle. Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature; the filling will continue to cook and set as it cools.

Once the tart is cool, melt the remaining chocolate and, using either a disposable piping bag or a teaspoon, drizzle the chocolate in a haphazard fashion over the top. If you like, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Reprinted with permission from Pies & Tarts: For All Seasons by Annie Rigg, published by Quadrille, October 2018.

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