January 14th, 2010
I warned you. More decadent sweets. Today: Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie (aka the best dessert at our big, dessert-filled family Christmas). Like I said yesterday, you’ll thank me when you find this in your bookmarks. Trust me!
I decided to make a chocolate pecan pie when I overheard the ChowPapa say that it is one of his favorite desserts. I’d heard him say it before, but never took it in because I didn’t want to have to bake one. See, I don’t usually like pecan pie and when I make a pie from scratch, I want it to be something that I’m excited about. Pecan never made the cut. (Yea, yea. Selfish me.)
Why the change of heart? The Christmas spirit of giving? NOPE! I made a chocolate pecan pie for him because I got excited about adding instant coffee. (Yup. Me. me. me!)
See, Starbucks must have had a food blogger giveaway because more than one posted about baking with Starbucks VIA instant coffee and reported favorable results. Of course! Coffee + chocolate = a beautiful thing. Coffee enhances chocolate flavor was just the thing to finally get me on board with this classic southern treat.
So, thank you instant coffee. You turned out to be a gift that’ll keep on giving, because this is definitely a pie I’m willing to make (and eat) any time the ChowPapa wants it.
Oh. And before I sign off, if anyone from STARKBUCKS is reading, I—ahem—love coffee, too. Thank you. (And maybe hear from you soon?!).
Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie
(barely) adapted from Mark Bittman
(can be served to kids 12+ mos)
your favorite pie crust
2 c organic shelled pecans
2 oz organic semisweet chocolate
3 tbsp organic butter
1 tsp strong instant coffee (like Starbucks VIA Extra Bold Italian Roast), possibly more if using a milder coffee
5 organic eggs
1 c organic sugar
1/2 c organic brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1. Prebake your crust. As you do that, place pecans on a baking sheet and bake, shaking and stirring for about 5 minutes or until pecans are hot. (You can put the pecans in the oven before it reaches the temp you need to prebake your crust.) Cool pecans and then coarsely chop half and leave the other half as is.
2. Start making your filling while the crust is in the oven. When the crust is done, turn your oven to 375 degrees.
3. Melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Add instant coffee. (If you’re using a mild instant coffee, you may want to use more than a teaspoon—taste and see.) Let cool while you beat eggs until they are foamy. Beat in sugar and salt.
4. Combine chocolate and egg mixture and warm gently in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot to the touch; do not boil. Stir in vanilla and pecans.
5. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and pour pecan mixture into the still hot crutst. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the mixture shakes like Jell-O but is still quite moist. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temp. (I made mine a day ahead, refrigerated overnight, and allowed the pie to come back to room temp on the counter before serving–it worked great.)