Wednesday, October 18, 2006

pecan pie.

A while ago at East Coast Grille I had the good fortune of enjoying their chocolate pecan pie, a deceptively simple gooey, chocolately piece of straight-up pie. While the food at East Coast Grille is spiced up, seared, and fussed with as chefs are wont to do, all the desserts I've eaten there are straightforward classics. Banana split. Pecan pie. And since that visit I've been craving a chocoalte pecan pie of my own. My original impression was that they just made a pecan pie with a little cocoa powder in the mix. But when I decided to do some research on the topic, most of the recipes specified melted chocolate.

Wanting to keep it simple I followed a Tyler Florence recipe from the food network. I nixed Emeril's version cause it called for store-bought pie crust and chocolate chips, and I figured hell, bitch, if I'm making a pie I'm making some pate sucree...So I did, using the Joy of Cooking cause the batch size is much more manageable than Delphin's "3 lbs. of butter" version...

And then filled it with the Tyler Florence non-fussiness of chocolate, butter, pecans, corn syrup, etc. And having never made pecan pie before (too American for cheffy) I figured the nuts I put on the unbaked crust would rise up through the corn sryup before baking...why else would they be placed on the bottom yet always seen on top? Maybe not my brightest moment.

Here's the recipe for the filling:
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, lightly toasted

For filling:
Stir chocolate and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool slightly.

Whisk brown sugar, eggs and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in corn syrup and chocolate mixture. Sprinkle pecans over unbaked crust. Pour filling over pecans. Bake until crust is golden and filling is puffed, about 55 minutes.

Cool pie completely on rack.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

I ended up with a big fudgy gooey brownie type confection glommed onto some pie crust! It wasn't pecan pie with delicate chocolate whispers, it wasn't the sort of thing that confounds the mouth (pecan pie? or warm melty chocolate?). It was a glorified brownie with over-large nut slivers...So I'm going back to East Coast Grille tonight to at least sample the original version again and plot some more...

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