The fall season has arrived in true southern California fashion here in North Hollywood, and by that I mean that it's come irritatingly late. The time has come where I can no longer shower comfortably without shivering, and where I dread walking across the cold hardwood floors in the morning on my habitual trek to the bathroom. This is our first fall in our new triplex unit, and while I love the antique feel of this 1950's abode, I can definitely feel the age of the building in its insulation, insofar as there is none. We're definitely going to invest in a space heater, but in the meantime I made not one, but two pies to warm up the place this weekend (hurray oven heat!!) I made this tasty chocolate pecan pie and a chocolate chess pie, the latter of which I'll post about next month (got to spread out the pie lovin'!), and the former of which came out rich, warm, gooey, and full of exquisite chocolatey pecans. There's something soothing about a hot piece of pie in cold weather, like a soft blanket that wraps you up and warms you from the inside out, and that also happens to taste simply delightful. For this reason, I plan on eating a slice of pie (or two) every day until our heater arrives...and maybe making a few more pies if my current batch runs out. You know, for the oven heat.
Also! Do you see the beautiful pie pan the pastry is resting in? Well BigKitchen.com is giving away one Chantal Easy-As-Pie dish to one of you just in time for the holidays! The pie dishes are ceramic and have a small lip that comes up around the edge of the pan, giving you the perfect circular guide when trimming the excess crust off your pie. The interior border is also slightly ridged to give a nice texture to the crust and provide a gentle thumbprint model. Using it made crust insertion much, much easier, and I'm very excited to share this ease with one of you!
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below about your favorite type of pie. For extra entries, you can:
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If you already do any of those things, just leave a separate comment on this post saying you do. The deadline for entries is 11:59 pm PST November 18th, and the winner will be announced November 19th. Only open to United States residents.
*Disclaimer* BigKitchen.com sent me this pie pan to use as a part of the giveaway. All opinions expressed in this piece are entirely my own.
Chocolate Pecan Filling
1 Cup Pecans
3/4 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Dark Corn Syrup
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Bourbon Whiskey
1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Corn Starch
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Butter, very cold
4-6 Tablespoons of Ice Water
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
Begin by making the pie crust. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the butter into pea-sized pieces over the bowl, or pulse together using a food processor. Add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon rather than your hand to help keep the dough cool, until fairly well mixed (it's okay if there's still some small blobs of butter). Grab a handful of the dry crumbly dough mixture and squeeze. If it holds together you don't need to add anymore water. Roll it out into a 1 cm thick circle onto a well-greased and well-floured surface. Place it in the pie pan, trim excess crust, and cut out designs with a cookie cutter to place around the edge of the crust (optional). Secure the decorations by putting a spot (about 1/4 teaspoon) of melted butter on the back of the decorative dough piece and pressing down gently when placing it on the crust's edge. Cover and place the crust shell in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the crust is finished chilling, remove it and the plastic wrap, then place pie weights or dried beans in the center, cover the crust shell with tin foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven, remove the tin foil, and allow it to cool.
To make the filling, beat together the eggs, cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar, dark corn syrup, butter, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in the vanilla extract and bourbon whiskey until completely combined, then stir in 3/4 cup of the pecans and all 3/4 cup of the chocolate morsels.
Pour the filling into the pie crust and sprinkle the remaining pecans over the top of the filling. Place it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then cover it with tented tin foil (you want to tent it so that the pie filling doesn't touch it and get stuck to it, otherwise you will end up peeling off the top of the pie filling when you remove the tin foil and it will look sad), lower the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place it back in the oven, and bake for another 30-45 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.