The Tuesdays with Dorie recipe chosen for this week is Dorie Greenspan's My Favorite Pecan Pie. It is a classic pecan pie, with a twist: Dorie adds chopped chocolate to the pie filling. The December recipe assignments were announced before Thanksgiving, which was great because that holiday is all about the pies. (Well, and turkey too, of course.)
Even though pecan pie is traditional at our Thanksgiving table, I dragged my feet about making this recipe. It used to be that I was philosophically opposed to adding chocolate to my pecan pie. I mean, a good pecan pie is perfection all by itself, I had a wonderful recipe with maple syrup rather than light corn syrup, and I saw no need to add chocolate. But then last year I baked a Texas Chocolate and Pecan Pie (from Bon Appetit) for my brother's Thanksgiving dinner (posted here), and it was absolutely delicious. So, grudgingly, I'm no longer hostile to the idea of chocolate in pecan pie. But still I debated whether to bake this one or not because it is nearly identical to the Texas pie, which I'd baked and posted a year ago. I was in the mood for my regular pecan pie. Or this Virginia Willis pecan pie recipe. Or the Pecan Maple Pie from the Tartine baking book. Although in theory I could bake a pecan pie any old time, the reality is that I will only bake one for Thanksgiving.
Enough whining. In the end I settled myself down and baked Dorie's Favorite pecan pie. I've never missed baking the weekly recipe for TWD since I joined the group in July 2008, and I wasn't willing to make an exception, even for a pie that was nearly the same as one I've already baked. We loved it last year, so I figured we'd love it this year!
- The major difference is that the chopped chocolate melted in the that recipe, but is stirred into the pie filling unmelted in Dorie's recipe.
- I followed the recipe nearly exactly, except for substituting golden syrup for the corn syrup. Inspired by Virginia Willis recipe (linked above), I increased the pecans by 50%.
- For a crust I used the Cook's Illustrated Vodka Crust (which I posted here). When I blind baked the crust, it sagged, so I decided to make just 2/3 recipe of the filling. I didn't think a full recipe would fit, especially with the extra pecans.
- I might have overbaked the pie. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I did. There was a lot going on in my kitchen on Thanksgiving.
- Because I was transporting three pies (and about 7 other dishes) to my brother's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and the capacity on my pie carrier is one pie, I was very excited to read a tip about carrying pies in the compartments of a 10" bamboo steamer. What a brilliant idea, I thought, and grabbed a steamer at the store. Fortunately I tested out my pie pans in the steamer in advance of the pie-baking session. It turns out that a standard pyrex glass pie plate is too wide to fit in the steamer. My favorite pie plates are smallish-but-deepish metal ones from a pie shop in Connecticut (you could keep the pie plate when you bought a pie, or you could get some money back if you returned the pan to the store). These pans just barely fit in the steamer, and only if the crust wouldn't overhang the edge of the pan at all. A double crusted pie wouldn't have fit, even in that smaller pan.
pecan pie on top, apple custard pie with streusel topping, on bottom
- If you use a bamboo steamer for a pie carrier, I'd recommend folding a dish towel and placing it in the steamer underneath the pan, which will make the pie much easier to remove from the steamer. Too thick a towel, however, and the pie will be too tall for the steamer lid to fit over it.
I'll be honest here. I had a sliver of this pie on Thanksgiving, and, while it went down easy, and seemed tasty enough, I couldn't give it full evaluative attention at the end of a wonderful meal of all new recipes, so I can't render a fair verdict. Luckily I have a report from another taster. My sister-in-law loves chocolate pecan pie, and thought this pie was absolutely delicious. I gave her the entire leftover pie to keep. The next day, I had a bit of donor's remorse - I really wished I could have tasted it then on refreshed taste buds for a fresher impression - but ultimately I'm glad that it all went to someone who would really appreciate it!
Thanks, Beth of Someone’s in the Kitchen with Brina for choosing this seasonally-appropriate and delicious My Favorite Pecan Pie, You can find the recipe is on Beth's blog (here) or on page page 327 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.