Double Chocolate Pecan Pie

It’s only been a year since I discovered that I actually do like pecan pie, and since then I have embraced this fact with open arms.  Since I’m new to this sort of dessert, I didn’t know there was a way to improve upon it, but there is – add chocolate!  The first time I ever heard of chocolate pecan pie, I was practically drooling.  It came as no shock that we were crazy about this dessert.

While I truly enjoyed the classic pecan pie I made before, I think this version is even better.  The method of cooking the filling before adding it to the partially baked pie crust helps give it a smoother texture.  Baking at a lower temperature ensures that the whole pie bakes evenly rather than ending up with over-baked edges with an under-baked center.  Using chopped pecans rather than pecan halves is definitely the way to go – they may not look as beautiful, but they are much more manageable to eat when chopped.  Chopping the nuts in your food processor may seem like a good shortcut, but that can often chop them too finely.  I prefer to do this by hand so I can control the size of the pieces, plus I have fun with my chef’s knife 🙂  Toasting the nuts before adding them to the filling also helps enhance the flavor of the pecans, so don’t skip that step!

I would not advise just tossing some chocolate chunks on top of your usual pecan pie recipe.  Pecan pie is incredibly sweet and rich as it is, and that can take it too far.  The wonderful people at Cook’s Illustrated have accounted for the addition of the chocolate here by reducing the quantity and sweetness of the filling.  The original recipe calls for equal parts white, semi-sweet and milk chocolate, but the white and milk chocolates just didn’t seem right to me in this context, so I replaced them with semi- and bittersweet.  I loved it this way, but you can certainly add the white if it appeals to you.  This is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving meal.  Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Pecan Pie
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For the crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into medium cubes (about 16 pieces)
3 tbsp. ice cold water

For the filling:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
½ cup corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal and the largest chunks of butter are not much larger than peas.  Add the water to the bowl and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled.

On a lightly-floured work surface, roll the pie dough out into a 12-inch round.  Transfer the round to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling the dough around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pie pan.  Trim the edges as necessary and create a fluted pattern using a finger to make the indentations.  Freeze the dough-lined pie plate until firm and very cold, about 30 minutes.

Adjust an oven rack to lower middle position and heat the oven to 375° F.  Remove the dough-lined plate from the freezer, press a sheet of foil inside the pie shell and fill with ceramic baking beads.  Bake about 30 minutes, until the dough looks dry and light in color.  Carefully remove the foil and weights.  Continue baking the crust 5-6 minutes more, until light golden brown.

While the pie crust is baking, make the filling.  Melt the butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Remove the bowl from the double boiler but maintain the simmering water.  Stir in the sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until the butter is absorbed.  Beat in the eggs, corn syrup and vanilla.  Return the bowl to the double boiler and heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130° F on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.

As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, lower the oven temperature to 275° F.  Pour the filling into the pie shell.  Scatter the chopped chocolate pieces over the filling and press into the filling with the back of a spoon.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 50-60 minutes, until the pie looks set but slightly soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed with the back of a spoon.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 4 hours.

Source: pie crust adapted from Williams Sonoma, filling from Baking Illustrated

25 Responses

  1. My brother made a chocolate pecan pie once instead of the regular Betty Crocker recipe, and my mom spent the whole holiday glaring at him. So we’re stuck with classic pecan, even though she’s the only one who likes it.

  2. oh my, this looks incredible!

  3. YES! Now this is what I’m talkin’ about!! Looks like the HOLIDAYS to me! I am sooo looking forward to what you’ll make over the next few weeks 😉 Have a great Thanksgiving WEEK!

  4. Wow. That is the prettiest pecan pie I’ve ever seen. I wish I could make this but since I don’t like nuts, I think it would really be too sweet for my tastes. This pie makes me want to like nuts haha.

  5. I’ve never made my own pie crust! I think this will be a great recipe to try that out! Looks beautiful. I was never a pecan pie eater either UNTIL I tried my first bite! Then I was hooked! Discovered the chocolate kind when someone brought one over from Cracker Barrell! YUM!

  6. oh heavens girl this is one perfect pie, filled with all the good stuff.

  7. I disliked pecan pie as a child, but LOVE it now. Combine that sticky, sweet goodness with chocolate, and you have pie perfection. This looks incredibly delicious!

  8. Thank you so much for posting this today! I was looking for a chocolate pecan pie recipe and didn’t find one that I wanted, so to see this today- it was perfect!

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog! My daughter is Annie, too!

  9. This WILL be on my Thanksgiving Day table! thanks again for the great recipes….I love everything you make!! lol….I’m actually on my way into the kitchen to finally try the quick puff pastry recipe you posted recently….I’m very excited to finally try fraissage!
    Have a great holiday 🙂

  10. double chocolate pecan?! yum!!

  11. This looks sooooo good, but Bridget and I have similar issues. My husband and my inlaws don’t like their traditional pecan pie messed with. I just absolutely do not understand that!! Chocolate makes everything better! I think I will made a tiny version of this one just for me (along with the regular one for them) 😉

  12. Glad you didn’t do the white chocolate – oh this looks yummis!

  13. How great does this look??!! I would love to make this, though it would have to be after Thanksgiving. I come from a very traditional family who wouldn’t dare have anything else besides Pecan Pie on Thanksgiving.

  14. There’s nothing like a homemade Pecan Pie…they’re much better than the store-bought versions, for sure! and homemade crust is even yummier.

    I have a Chocolate Chip Pie that is similar to this and is TDF! Your’s looks very chocolatey and yummy.

  15. Now, THIS looks like my kind of pecan pie!!!

  16. I am so going to have to try a chocolate pumpkin pie!

  17. […] Double Chocolate Pecan Pie It’s only been a year since I discovered that I actually do like pecan pie, and since then I have embraced this […] […]

  18. I found your recipe while floating through cyberspace craving chocolate pecan pie (hoping that there was such a thing). When I found yours, I fell in love! I just pulled the pie out of the oven. It was my final dessert on the menu for Thanksgiving Day! It looks delicious. Thank you so much!

  19. Yummm…I made this at Thanksgiving and it was delicious! Very chocolaty and rich. Everyone who tried it loved it! Thanks for posting it and for the beautiful pics that inspired me to make it. I’ll definitely try other recipes from your site. 🙂

  20. My stepdad LOVES pecan pie. We found out a couple of years ago that he especially loves chocolate pecan pie, after he tried my husband’s aunt’s version. This version that you have sounds absolutely amazing, so I will definitely have to make it for him to try. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Great pie! Please subscribe me by my email to this blog. Thanks.

    • Junecutie,
      You can subscribe to my posts by clicking the “entries RSS” link just beneath the header on the right side. Choose “subscribe by mail” (bottom right) and you should be on your way.

  22. Hi, I am a new fan! I really want to do this recipe. I dont have the ceramic baking beads, what could i use then??? Real beans?? will they work? will they cook? hehehe
    Something else, what if i put some caramel insede right before i but the chocolate… do u think it will work??? Thanks!!!

  23. Uh, WOW. I made this for Thanksgiving, but I used a chocolate cookie crust (homemade from Nabisco chocolate wafers) and the syrupy pecan filling mixed with the crust to create this fantastic fudgy substance that reminded me of a slightly stickier version of brownie batter (the thick batter you get when you’ve just started mixing it with a spoon)… SO GOOD. It’s delicious at room temperature but I like it even better warm – it is like eating a half-baked brownie with pecans and pieces of melty gooey chocolate on top. This pie is definitely one of my favorite chocolate pies ever… but BEWARE: It is addictive and oh-so-sinfully rich.
    Thank you for this recipe! It made Thanksgiving even more delicious.

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