Chunky, nutty chocolate pie demands a labor of love

February 14, 1999|By ROB KASPER

I AM A MAN WHO LOVES too much, who loses all sense of moderation, at least when it comes to pie. Take this Chocolate Pecan Chocolate Chunk Pie. It is too much. It is too much work. There is always too much pie filling to fit into one pie shell. So you end up making either two small pies, or one and half big pies.

But it tastes so good. It gives you so much pleasure that you put up with all the trouble it causes. That is why it is a perfect pie for Valentine's Day. It is a labor of love.

Chocolate Pecan Chocolate Chunk Pie

Makes 2 small pies or 1 1/2 big pies

DOUGH

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1-tablespoon pieces

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 cup ice water

FILLING

1/4 pound unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped into 1/4 -inch pieces

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped into 1/4 -inch pieces

1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 eggs

3 cups pecan halves

To prepare the pie shell, mix 1 1/4 cups flour, butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low for 5 minutes, until the butter is cut into the flour and the mixture develops a mealy texture.

Add ice water and continue to mix on low for 10 to 15 seconds, until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the mixer and form it into a smooth, round ball. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

After four hours, transfer dough to a clean, dry, lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a circle about 15 inches in diameter and /-inch thick, using the extra half cup of flour as necessary to prevent dough from sticking.

Line a 9-by-1 1/2 -inch false- bottom pan with the dough, gently pressing it around the bottom and sides. Use a serrated knife to trim the excess dough, leaving a 1/4 -inch border, which should be crimped around the edge of the pan. Refrigerate the pastry crust for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To prepare the filling, heat the butter and sugar in a 2 1/2 -quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly while bringing the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to bowl of an electric mixer. Use a rubber spatula to stir in 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate.

Continue to stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Now add eggs and place the mixer bowl on a mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on medium until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from mixer, using a spatula to finish combining the mixture.

Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and place it on a baking sheet. Evenly disperse the pecan halves over the bottom of the shell. Spread the remaining 6 ounces semisweet chocolate over the pecans. Slowly pour the chocolate batter over pecans and chopped chocolate.

Bake the pie, leaving it on baking sheet in middle of the oven for 1 hour. Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, until the internal temperature of the pie reaches 170 degrees.

Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Do not remove the pie from the pan.

From "Death by Chocolate" by Marcel Desaulniers (Kenan Books, 1992)

Pub Date: 02/14/99

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