Thanksgiving is just around the corner and what better way to count down the weeks than to start cooking. Every family has traditional Thanksgiving dishes they enjoy each year. While I look forward to these every fall, I also like to try new recipes just to spice things up and challenge myself in the kitchen. For the next few weeks I will introduce some traditional holiday dishes as well as some unique favorites that everyone will enjoy.
Recently, I read an interesting article on the history of my husband’s favorite dessert, Pecan Pie. In the 19th century, this common southern pie was called a “transparent pie” (with out nuts) and was made with cane syrup, sorghum, molasses, or maple syrup. In the south, cane and sorghum syrup are easily found, but in other areas of the country they are a little harder to come by.
In the early 1900’s Karo corn syrup was created and quickly became the main ingredient in old-fashioned pecan pie. This article intrigued me because corn syrup is one ingredient I avoid. Searching through all my old southern junior league and church cookbooks, there was not one pecan pie recipe that didn’t contain corn syrup.
This recipe uses maple syrup and brown sugar to sweeten instead of corn syrup and of course, I added chocolate chips. There is nothing better than a chocolate pecan pie! You can easily omit the chocolate and flavor with a tablespoon of bourbon if you like.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 1 hour
YIELDS 10 servings
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
½ teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 ¼ cup whole pecan halves, toasted
1 – 9 inch unbaked pie shell, chilled in a pie plate for 20 minutes
FIRST Preheat oven to 450°F. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, syrup, and cream over medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove saucepan from burner and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter and salt until melted. Slowly whisk in egg yolks until well incorporated.
NEXT Spread chocolate chips evenly into bottom of pie shell and layer pecan halves on top. Pour filling over pecans until about ½” from top of shell. You will have some filling leftover.
LAST Place pie on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until set and pie jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Let pie cool for one hour on baking rack. Chill for 2 hours. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.
Want a chance to win on of Gena’s Fire and Flavor Turkey Perfect Kits? She will be giving 5 away each week until Thanksgiving Day 2009. To enter, just follow Gena on Twitter (from today until Thanksgiving day 2009). Winners will be announced each Wednesday until Thanksgiving day. Good luck.