Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

I was 37 years old before I conquered my fear of pies.  My mother was an AMAZING pie baker.  Apple, coconut cream, lemon meringue, pecan . . . She made them all with ease.  My very favorite was her annual pear pie, when our small pear tree would have enough fruit to merit the best pie of the year.  I never wanted to compete with her outstanding talent, and always figured that "someday" I would have her teach me to bake a pie.  Unfortunately, I never took advantage of that opportunity.

My dear friend Emma is a gifted pie baker just like my mother was.  When she visited me last year, she took the time to show me how she made a crust.  Eventually -- thanks to a desire to impress my new boyfriend, the continued prodding of my step-dad, and an inherent hope I could live up to my mother -- I began to try pie making.  I hope my mother started out with as rough a skill set as I had before she mastered great pies.  Alas, my greatest limitation is my lack of patience . . . Which has led to regular Katherine Pie Crisis situations!

My favorite pie so far is a Bourbon Chocolate Pecan, adapted from a Southern Living Cookbook.  I use my mother's crust recipe, although I think a pre-made crust would not detract from the robust flavors.  Tonight's Pie Crisis involved my realization that I neglected to purchase light corn syrup.  Fortunately, Matt intervened to avoid catastrophe by creating a "structurally similar compound".  Apparently cooking is an art AND a science!

Whisk together:
4 large eggs (preferably from Harrison Farm!)
1 cup light corn syrup (or other scientist approved sucrose compound)
6 tablespoons melted butter
Half cup sugar
Quarter cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon (I prefer Maker's Mark or Buffalo Trace for cooking)
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon vanilla

Add 1 cup coarse chopped pecans & 1 cup chocolate morsels.  Pour into pie crust, then bake at 350 for one hour.  Serve with ice cream or whipped cream (or, in Matt's case, serve with both).

The great thing about this recipe is that it has such robust flavors that the bourbon & chocolate cover up any mistake . . . Even a notorious Pie Crisis!

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