Chocolate Pecan Pie

chocolate pecan pie

I’d been planning on making a pecan pie this year for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, the list of ingredients sent me on a little scavenger hunt around here, as American baking in a foreign country can do. And in spite of my best efforts, I didn’t quite make it.

The first issue was I opened a big bag of pecans that were brought o me by a friend in the states, which had gone beyond and unfortunately had to get dumped. (Readers often remind me to put nuts in the freezer, which of course, I know. But they obviously haven’t seen my very un-American sized freezer.)

pecan pie dough

I also wanted to track down some rice syrup. Most classic pecan pie recipes use corn syrup and I wanted to give it a try with something different this time around to avoid the widespread panic.

Lastly, and most importantly, I didn’t have a pie plate. On trips back to the states, I’ve brought back cake pans and loaf pans and muffin tins in various sizes, but I realized that I’d never slipped a pie tin in my suitcase. So I used a French tart pan but I do prefer a more traditional, higher pie, and a pie plate is on my list for my next trip back.

pecan pie filling

But time was wasting so I used a high-sided tart pan, which didn’t hold a fluted edge quite as nice as a pie plate, but the pie came out great. A few years back someone told me they tried to slice this pie while it was still hot and it didn’t slice evenly. Like any pecan pie, you should wait until it’s completely cool before taking a knife to it and it’s one of those pies that I don’t think is really any better when warm.

When I was learning to make pie thirty or so years ago from my friend’s Norwegian grandmother, the dough was falling apart and crumbly. And I remember her words every time I make dough—”Pie dough that holds together doesn’t taste very good.”

Which was good to know because speaking of broken, I was so excited to eat a slice of this pie, I greedily grabbed a fork after I took the photo which resulted in a broken Heath plate, a chocolate-brown rectangular one, which was one of my favorites that I brought when I moved here from San Francisco.

pecans pecan pie

So along with a pie tin, I think I need to add a replacement Heath plate to my list for my next trip back to the states. Along with pecans, too. Although I think I’ll wait until closer to the date next year to get those pecans. It’s going to take me that long to get over mourning the loss of 2-pounds of pecans anyways and I’m not quite ready to revisit that scenario. It’s one day at a time around here. Or one replacement at a time, I should say.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

One 9-inch (23cm) pie

I often prefer to use chopped chocolate in place of standard chocolate chips in recipes because in this case, the chips work a little better because they have less cocoa butter and make the pie easier to slice. But feel free to use either.

I don’t pre-baked the pie dough before adding the filling—I like the way to sticky filling fuses to the crust during baking. The generous dose of bourbon cuts the sweetness of the pie and if you choose omit it, expect the pie to be denser. You can swap out another liquor in place of it if you wish.

The crust:

1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces (115g) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1-inch (3cm) cubes
4 tablespoons (60ml) ice water

The chocolate-pecan filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (200g) light corn syrup, rice syrup or golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 2/3 cups (190g) toasted pecans, very coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (120g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1. To make the crust, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. (Or use a food processor.)

2. Add the cubed butter and mix until the butter pieces are broken up and about the size of small peas.

3. Add the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch (30cm) round. Transfer the dough into a 9-inch ( cm) pie plate letting the dough ease into the pan, rather than pressing it in. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath the area above the rim of the pie plate, to create a double width of dough, then crimp the edges and refrigerate until ready to fill.

5. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and position the oven rack to the center of the oven.

6. In a large bowl, which together the eggs, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, salt, melted butter, and bourbon.

7. Stir in the pecans and the chocolate chips then scrape the filling into the pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling puffs up slightly but still feels slightly jiggly and moist in the center.

Let pie cool completely before slicing.



Serving: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream is a good accompaniment to pecan pie.

Storage: Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to two months.

The pie is best eaten the same day although will keep for up to three days, at room temperature.

Related Recipes and Links

Chocolate-Persimmon Muffins

Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake

When to Use, or Not Use, Corn Syrup

Fruitcake Bars

104 comments

  • I just made my very first chocolate pecan pie using Molly Wizenberg’s recipe the other day. Very similar to yours. She calls it Hoosier Pie in her memoir. Love the chocolate and pecans and the Bourbon. A perfect winter treat. Booze and sugar. Lots of sugar.

  • Georgeus recipe,as always.The chocolate,pecans and Bourbon – love, love, love! The pie look amazing.

  • I always thought pie tins were readily available in Paris. Chocolate and pecans sound incredible. Happy holidays!

  • Mr. Lebovitz: I travel quite extensively around the US in my motorcoach studying and sampling regional foods. The best pecans I have ever found come from a farm just south of Las Cruces, New Mexico – Stahmann’s.

  • Looks amazing! I made a Chocolate Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving and it was outstanding. I usually think of Pecan Pie as being only OK, but add chocolate and bourbon and you have a classic! It tasted so nice that I am making some as gifts for friends for Christmas. Just because I am a recipe…er whore, I will have to try yours, too!

    I live in Germany, but luckily have access to pecans. Next time you can ask a fellow expat to help you out :) If you ever did, I’d probably pass out because, you’re a pretty big deal.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Yum! It sure looks like it was worth the trouble.

    Though you make me a little afraid. I have promised to make a pumpkin pie for my friends in Paris this xmas. I am guessing it will have to be a pumpkin tart instead…maybe I should bring some aluminum pie plates to be safe.

  • Rice syrup! I’ve never heard of it before, but would love to play around with it. Where did you find yours in Paris?

  • That naked pie dough looks impeccable!
    Thank you for this recipe (and sorry for your sacrifice…).

  • Hi David, that looks realllllly fantastic, I’m sure it tastes even better … have you considered trying agave syrup instead of rice syrup? It might be easier to find and imo the flavor is better.
    So nice to meet you recently at le Cuisine de Paris … ! I do remember ! ;-) And was also happy to be able to grab a cookie on the way out … really enjoyed all the goodies stashed inside.
    Hope you enjoyed the granola.
    Cheers
    Barbara

  • Hi David! If you get the craving for pecans before next Thanksgiving,
    we have pecans here in Switzerland, I would be happy to send you some or even bring them with me on my next trip to Paris. And, I agree with you about freezers here, in other words, freezer? What freezer? It looks more like a frosty shoe box than an appliance!

  • Wow, this looks great. Could you tell us how you get the upper edge of the pastry case to stand so firm without shrinking away from the edges? I usually use the old method of cutting the excess pastry by rolling my rolling pin horizontally over the edge of the pastry tin, leaving the pastry edge the same height as the side of the tin. But frequently when I bake the pastry case, the edges of the case slump and shrink away from the side of the tin. This happened when I baked the case blind with rice and dried beans and also when I put the case in the freezer before baking.
    Thanks
    Cobus

  • Chocolate and pecan pie? Divine!

  • hi david,

    i like things subtly sweet, will cutting down the sugar & syrup affect the texture?

    thanks

  • Bookmarked! The bf is still not quite convinced about pecan pies, so I’m going to try this recipe on him. Sorry to hear about the Heath plate. I bought some Heath cups while in SF recently and now wish I’d gotten more stuff. By the way, made your chocolate and cherry fruit cake recently and have to say, it was absolutely delicious! :)

  • Look how gorgeously perfect that pie slice is! We have zero pie cooling patience and usually end up with hot, gooey, rather messy slices. But you’ve inspired us with this delicious sounding pie and that perfect slice. We’re trying this. And we’ll let it cool (they say)…

  • I bow to you! I’ve never even had a normal pecan pie, let alone a chocolate one. Thank heavens you foudn more pecans after the rancidnes catastrophe – these photos have made my night :)

  • I think I saw some pecans the other day. I’m going to have to buy some next time I do and make this pie. I miss regular pecan pies come to think of it. I’ve never tried chocolate-what’s not to love?

  • aaaah, why am I always salivating when I look upon your site David? :)

    …..something different this time around to avoid the widespread panic…. What do
    you mean? Panic of what sort?

    This looks so heavenly I can hardly follow listening to the greedy sounds coming from my stomach…. wonderful photography, beautiful recipe and a shocking free advise: Lidl sometimes does sell foreign produce, sold by country, and at their last American week I happened – exceptionally – be around at our shop and I got myself two bags of perfectly wonderful pecane nuts… I call them Sudoku nuts because they look like brains and I hope, eating them helps my Sudoku skills….

    Happy Christmas Season and all the best – I am off to my cookies stash…. maybe I can find those cantuccini – they might just do!

  • I made a similar pie once, years ago. Suprisingly easy to make. However, the combination of the chocolate and the pie filling is something you will like, or you really won’t. Clearly I am in the minority in this crowd, but next time, I will skip the chocolate. No harm, no foul.

    Here is every wish for a joyful holiday. I am off to try making Dorie Greenspan’s apple cake, or to get the ASTOUNDING Buche de Noel at Financier Patisserie, here in New York. (come to think of it, the astounding ANYTHING at Financier Patisserie!)

  • i’ve never tasted a chocolate pecan pie, so i can only imagine that it would be amazing. your pie looks gorgeous!

  • I’m a big fan of taller pies too, but this one seems like the perfect thickness for such an incredibly decadent dessert! Nothing like some pecan pie to take me back home again…

  • this looks so similar to the one that i have been making for 25 years-an old one i adapted from cooks illustrated! looks delish and as usual, PERFECT!. do you not pre-bake your pie shell to avoid it from shrinking??? how does one avoid the shrinking pie crust??? pie crust is my nemesis and I would love for us to become friends!

  • I’m so sorry about your heath plate! That is always so upsetting. May you find another just like it!

    Also, quick question with regards to the pie crust…did this pie crust not hold together very well? Because it looks so smooth and lovely–what’s your secret? I have a tenuous relationship with pie crusts…I’m only just now starting to get the hang of them after a solid 2 years of trying my hardest. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every bit of pie dough literature on the internet.

    And isn’t it funny the words that stay with you? I wonder what the Norwegian grandmother would say if she knew that the famous David Lebovitz thought of her words every time he made a pie crust!

  • Try Lyle’s Golden Syrup (British) as a sub for corn syrup. It’s sugar cane syrup and for my money much better tasting. I use it all the time in pecan pies. I love it. It’s truly wonderful in your Salt Roasted Peanuts recipe in ” The Perfect Scoop”.

  • I hear you on the pie plate. I guess you can’t take anything for granted, even in pastry loving Paris.

  • What a great idea! I’m not usually a fan of pecan pie because of the weird goo under the pecans–but replace the icky goo with chocolate and booze–now we’re talking! Thanks for creating such a fun to read (and inspiring to cook from) blog.

  • amusette: I actually like the bolder flavor of rice syrup better than agave. Nice to meet you at the event, too! : )

    Martha: I did mention golden syrup as a possibility in the recipe. I love its flavor, too.

    Georgia: I know! People keep saying “Keep them in the freezer”, but they don’t realize European freezers aren’t the jumbo chilling chambers like their American counterparts. *sigh*

    Kiki: I think it’s funny when Lidl has their “American Festival”. A friend brings me 2# bags of pecans from the states, as I found a lot of the pecans I get here already rancid when I buy them (probably since they don’t get used so much). I was stockpiling them for a while but I guess I need to make more pecan pies..more often.

    Erica + Cobus: I’ve made a lot of pie and tart dough in my life, but as my friend’s grandmother said, don’t worry too much about how it looks…it’s how it tastes!

  • One of my favorite pies! I was just in Switzerland for T-day and was planning on making chocolate pecan pie (I usually make a graham cracker crust tho) and brought a bag of pecans and a bottle of light corn syrup with me (b/c apparently they don’t have either ingredient in Switzerland). The one ingredient I had difficulty finding was vanilla. There were pods and a vanilla paste available at the Swiss mega grocery store I went to. I opted for the paste (or, actually the label says “pate de vanille”). Oh, the differences in baking ingredients in other countries! The pie was OK. I should have made my own crust rather than buying frozen pie crust dough (I know…I know.)

  • I made this pie last year for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful. I too made it in the form of a tart. It was so good I made another for Christmas!
    David, I manage a Crate and Barrel. I would be happy to send you anything you are missing from the states.

  • I love Heath! And hilarious photo link to flickr, cracked me up this morning.

  • I love how ‘neat’ this pie looks – it appeals to my obsessive compulsive side. I’m sure it is difficult to wait for this pie to cool and set before slicing as it looks absolutely delicious!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • This pie looks lovely, and I adore chocolate in any size, shape or form. But I must alert others who also love chocolate to the issue of child slavery being used to harvest cocao beans in West Africa, where much of the world’s chocolate is grown.

    By buying organic chocolate, one brand being Green and Black, one is supporting Slave Free chocolate, as organic chocolate must meet certain labor requirements to be classified as organic.

    I’m sure that not a single person would want to contribute to this horrific labor practice knowingly.

    David, if you will allow me to include a link from my blog, I have written a thoroughly researched article on the subject of chocolate and child slavery.

    http://cookinginmexico.com/2010/11/19/chocolate-slavery-and-our-collective-guilt/

    Kathleen

  • This looks heavenly! I just made the NY Times chocolate covered pecan balls for Thanksgiving, and they were incredible. I have a big sweet tooth, but hate when things are overly sweet, so I found bittersweet chocolate to be best. I’m going to have to give this pie a try now, with bittersweet of course.

  • I’m so intrigued by your use of brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup! I’ve made caramels for Christmas the past few years and this year I was researching alternatives to corn syrup and I saw your post on caramel tips and techniques, and I may have to try it with rice syrup instead of corn. How was the taste and texture of the pie with rice syrup? Comparable to corn?

  • I keep seeing rave reviews for chocolate pecan pie, and I just can’t reconcile myself to the name. I wish they would just rename it Heath Bar Pie or Toffee Pie as it just doesn’t conjure the caramel-y-butterscotch-y, pecan flavor memory I have. I do like bourbon or brandy in mine but don’t find it does the job of toning down sweetness, it seems to enhance the caramel flavor to me. The bitter edge of chocolate I’m sure tones down the sweetness but the flavor of chocolate is just too assertive and it overpowers the caramel/butterscotch flavor that I love, regardless of the sweetness. At best, it is a dual flavored pie rather than a combination. Though I know you wouldn’t publish anything you believe your readers wouldn’t really like, you didn’t say whether You were really pleased with it.

  • I’ve been making this pie since it was first published in the 2000 Food and Wine Thanksgiving issue. Everyone who has eaten this pie has said that it’s the best pecan pie, even my southern relatives, and they know pie. I’m going to have to try this with the rice syrup and the high tart pan. Thanks for the update!

  • When I lived in England I couldn’t find pecans anywhere! But then my husband found little snack packs of them at the corner store, so he bought all ten and it was just enough. Had to use Golden Syrup. I couldn’t find a proper pie pan, either – so strange.

  • This is another awesome recipe and story about running around Paris; it feels like you are there. Could you explain more about the difference between chocolate & chocolate chips? Thanks…!

  • You mentioned you were heading to Texas in January I think. Pecan trees are native to Texas so you should be able to get a good batch there.

  • Wow, I had no idea that pie and pecans were so American!

  • Yum. Many Australians only know pecan pie in the form of the “American-inspired” version found at a popular cake franchise here, which has a cookie/coconut crust and a thin layer of pecan filling made with golden syrup. Delicious, of course. As for baking ingredients, I can’t find corn syrup in Australia. I think there’s an American warehouse somewhere meant for expats which sells bottles of Karo, but whenever a recipe calls for it, I use glucose syrup or golden syrup. I also cannot find masa harina, other finely ground corn flour, different types of cornmeal and grits…corn products in general. And chipotle peppers. And fresh jalapeno peppers. I can find pecans though. But they cost a fortune.

  • Yes, pecan trees are native in Texas and the pecan crop is being gathered now and over the past month or two.

  • Bummer on your plate and your pecans. I hate when those things happen. Have you ever tried Lyle’s Golden Syrup in place of corn syrup yet? Rose Levy Beranbaum got me hooked on the stuff, and it’s made in England, so I’d think you should be able to get a hold of it pretty easily. It makes the best pecan pie – very caramel-like in flavor. I have a hard time resisting the urge to steal a spoonful every time I open my baking cabinet.

  • Oops, now that I glance over the recipe, I see you have Lyle’s listed as an alternate ingredient. embarrassing!!!!

  • We just spent six years living in Paris. I found that Detou (rue Tiquetonne in the 2nd) was an affordable source for pecans sold by the kilo and they were always frresh. And between the Thanksgiving pecan pie, pecans toasted in salads, and holiday spiced pecans, a kilo was easy to use – no freezer needed!
    I found dark and light Karo syrup and molasses for the pecan pie at the little American store in rue Saint Paul.

  • My pie dough for a rich flaky crust used to fall apart, too, but now I mix it in the food processor and dump it out before it forms a ball. The second trick is to get just the right texture. It has to hold together between your fingers and not have a floury look. You need to add as little ice water as possible to achieve that texture. The third trick, after you’ve patted the dough together is to spread it our with the heel of your hand (frissage) and then form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour. It does hold together and it tastes better than good.

  • As a woman who is married to a southern man…and who’s pecan pie has NEVER been “as good as mammas” – I’m anxious to try this! Happy holidays and thanks for all you’ve added to my 2010. You’d be surprised…

  • I’m still re-reading the first line about the pecans going bad… I had no idea…I guess pecans don’t stick around long enough to go bad in my house- but I would think they’d be fine in a cool-ish (Like where you keep your wine) location…
    The pie looks beautiful. Glad to see you have my favorite pecan pie ingredient- bourbon- I learned to make choc/pecan/bourbon pie from a southerner and to me that is the quintessential ingredient. Although I confess I typically use maple syrup- not very southern. I’m intrigued by the rice syrup. I’m not a corn syrup fan.
    @ Phyllis- Food processor pie crust is the only way to go!! I do that too! (although my crust is gluten-free)

  • Love the looks of your pecan pie; I have been stuffing pecans (pounds of them) in my baklava trays and now I think it is high time to switch gears and do something Southern, except I will definitely use date (or grape) molasses instead of corn syrup :)

  • I simply cannot think of anything better than pecan pie. Except, of course, chocolate pecan pie. Wow, simply amazing.

  • My favorite pie!
    My brother just arrived yesterday from Oklahoma witha 10 pound bag of cracked pecans in the shell, so fresh the paper of the bag has oily spots all over it. I can hardly wait to dig in. Your recipe looks fabulous.
    Have you read or heard that the newest studies done comparing corn syrup with other sweeteners have found no difference among them in health or nutrition effects? Corn syrup is no worse than any other sweetener. (No better, either.) Oh well, all that avoidance for nothing.

  • I wanted to say, also, that there is a fabulous chocolate and pecan dessert called Cleora’s baked fudge, after the cook who collected her decades of recipes into a book in the 1980′s. She cooked for the oil barons of Tulsa for years. Her baked fudge recipe is similar to a pudding cake filled with pecans. It’s served over vanilla ice cream, and is heaven.

  • Wow – I love the way your crust looks ! How much dough do you leave hanging off the rim ?

  • This recipe sounds great–I’m anxious to give it a try! And I’ll be in Paris in a month, if you’d like me to pack you a nice deep dish pie plate to bring you. Seriously, I will!

  • Have been wanting to try a chocolate pecan pie after years of making the usual one (and pecan bars with bourbon). Just got two pounds of locally shelled pecans when I was in Texas. Yee haw! Perfect timing!

  • I love all the baking that you share with us ,it’s very inspirational. You mentioned that you wanted to try rice syrup ,have you ever considered agave syrup? Please continue to be inspired and to inspire us ! Merci

  • Thanks for sharing this one with us David. I’ve not actually made a chocolate pecan pie, love the flan dish too, very French ;)

  • I don’t know, I kind of like the shock and awe that comes from telling folks that scrumptious macadamia brittle has corn syrup in it. But then, I don’t drink coke.

    We’re converting Tartine’s pecan pie — with kumquats to cut the sweet, fingers crossed, sounds grand — into a bar cookie tomorrow. High hopes, but it may fail utterly.

    RIP, dear Heath plate.

  • angela, Linda H: Yes, there’s quite a few studies, etc, that say conflicting things. As with any sweetener, it’s best to enjoy it in moderation (like pecan pie!) I do like natural or alternative liquid sweeteners mainly for the array of flavors they provide. I linked to some interesting articles about agave and corn syrup at the end of this post.

    Sam: Check out my post Chocolate FAQs.

  • On the subject of sweet syrups, taste aside, high consumption of syrups with high fructose content can cause health problems in the long run. Next to obesity, eating too much fructose can result in a fatty liver because it is the liver that metabolises fructose, not the small intestine as with other sugars. While dealing with the fructose, all other liver functions stop, thus interfering with digestion. Many fruit and veg, are high in fructose so even ‘healthy’ eating can cause problems if one has a fructose malabsorption problem (often goes with lactose malabsorption).
    I have only just discovered that this is a factor in my digestion problems so am in missionary mode! It is a very little known problem so I am spreading the word – people with a sweet tooth should be aware of the danger so they can make informed decisions.

    All sweet syrups, including honey (dammit!), are high in fructose while agave syrup is the highest. Maple surup is the least bad. It was the result of a hefty margaurita (tequila=agave) cocktail (my liver just about exploded in the course of the evening) that set me to research.
    See wikipedia and http://www.healthhype.com/nutrition-guide-for-fructose-malabsorption.html

    Research has shown that the US processed foods are overflowing with fructose, especially in the form of corn syrup with added fructose and that this is perhaps a significant factor in the high rates of obesity, particularly in children. And, of course, sugars are addictive.

    By making well informed choices to avoid constantly burdening your liver (not to mention the pancreas), you can still have a sweet treat.

  • It’s Derby Pie! I had my first piece of Derby Pie when I was just a kid and my mother’s brother, a Kentucky Colonel named George, took my family to a little inn in Kentucky where this perennial Bluegrass treat was served. It’s the bourbon that makes it a Derby pie, and not a mere chocolate pecan pie. The moment my fork transferred the first delicious bite of pie to my mouth Derby Pie became my favorite! Love it!. Don’t know about the rice syrup but I may look for it at Jungle Jim’s and give it a whirl!

  • Yumm! I am definitely making this. I might have to make for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Thanks=)

  • Yeah, it’s a Derby Pie, but that name is trademarked and the owners will and have sued to prevent anyone else from using the name on their version. Looks good, think I’ll get me some pecans this weekend…

  • I love pecans! This pie looks fantastic!

  • Visited Kathleen’s site, re:child slavery.Yes, this is a sad state of affairs in Africa. But
    I feel that too much is being put upon the little consumer to change the world or else
    feel guilty about every darned thing. We are constantly being told how unhealthy food
    is, which is a crock, and the government takes our meat fat away before it gets to the
    butcher, and the hippy trippy earth mothers tout seeds and dirt as the only food to eat.
    Salt is poopoohed as a food enhancer while it becomes the new gourmet darling with
    chocolate and caramel. Down on butter, down on sugar, salt, fat, ad nauseum. Can’t
    you people simply not eat what you don’t choose to eat and shut up about it?

    To politicize food is over the top. The Food Gestapo prepares the way to where we will
    be eating Soylent Green by Monsanto. It starts with legislation to remove trans fats,
    and to take the toys out of Happy Meals, none of which I eat. But I do not see the
    need to go around telling everyone to conform and comply to my own opinions! A
    food site is not a political site.

  • My gosh- you’re trying to make a pie-lover out of me. (Totally adverse to pie crust, probably because I don’t make it often enough to be good at it!!) But I could definitely do chocolate and pecans!!!
    What are your thoughts on using agave syrup instead of corn or rice syrup?
    thanks!

  • This Thanksgiving I tried a new Pecan Pie recipe, Christopher Kimball’s, with no corn syrup. It was quite good!

    http://www.npr.org/2010/11/18/131418777/thanksgiving-makeover
    find the menu on the left sidebar and click on the pie.

  • hey, thanks for this recipe, my Hubby just cracked some hickory nuts today, so I’ll try them, with the golden syrup option since I have some on hand that I’d forgotten I even have. Plan to try this soon!

  • Almost swooned at the perfection of this recipe – completely delighted.

    And serendipitously, I came upon a tart pan while meandering aimlessly in the Crate and Barrel store in Soho. (http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/individual-bakeware/kaiser-nonstick-tart-pan/s368288). This may seem rather nuts but if you like it, I’d love to mail you this one (or really any tart pan that you might use) from the US. I’ve made so many of your desserts and have reaped much goodwill! Happy to ship to a PO box. Regardless – my bestest!

  • That pecan pie looks gorgeous! Tart plate, pie plate, or rice syrup; I don’t mind, just pass a piece this way!

  • Reading recipes for how others make pecan pie always interests me. I find it interesting that you combine sugar syrup and butter without melting them together first, then whisking the hot mass into the eggs. Most recipes i’ve seen use your method, but i like being the minority. Will have to try our recipe and method to compare the two. Thanks for sharing your take on the pecan pie. Also can’t wait to try a tart pan rather than normal pie pan.

  • I made a gluten free version of Chocolate Pecan Pie for Hanukkah and my family loved it, though now I’m going to try one based on your recipe here as it looks amazing!

  • Well I have good news and bad news about pie dishes. The January 2011 issue of Consumer Reports has a 5 page article about exploding Pyrex bakeware. It is newer soda lime glass that seems to be more of a problem. This is the type of glass now used in the U.S. Older American glass bakeware is made of more expensive borosilicate glass. This is the type of glass still used in Europe. If you are using American glass I highly recommend reading about the cautions you should take when using it. The article worried me enough that I ordered a Emile Henry pie dish. I had been wanting one for a while anyway. It came today and it was label clafoutis. I just searched quickly and see that it is a moule à manqué, like so: http://www.amazon.fr/Emile-Henry-Céramique-Émaillée-Contenance/dp/B000JCS3R6 I should have waited to get it in France and I could have saved some money.

  • I love Pecan Pie! and have made dozens of every genr.so here are a few thoughts .
    I never toast the pecans as the oven will certainly toast them . They seem to lose their sweet nutty taste when toasted then baked in this pie.
    I think chocolate and booze overwhelm the subtle taste of the pie.

    Lastly I never add vanilla as it makes it cloyingly sweet ..
    cream and ice cream are totally fine thought lol

    lastly enjoy what ever makes you happy …

  • Jennifer & Linda: I also think it’s wrong to demonize a certain food which I think is a way of obscuring a much larger picture. In my lifetime I’ve seen—sugar, fat, carbohydrates, hfcs, butter, smoked products and nitrates, and probably a bunch of others things blamed, then later vindicated. I try to eat healthy as much as possible so I don’t feel bad about an occasional indulgence.

    I’m glad that there is a movement now to bring good food, regular food back into the lives of children since so many have become so far removed from things like fresh vegetables and fruits, and so forth. I’m not quite sure why some feel it’s okay to push junk and fast food on kids while encouraging them to eat better is ‘wrong’, but generally common sense wins out in the end.

    Joan: I do love those Emile Henry pie dishes, but they’re not easy to find in France since I’m certain they’re made for the American market. (Since I’ve not seen a classic pie in France ever, just tarts, except one made by an American.)

    smita: Thanks, but I’ll be going to the US in January and will be picking one up for sure!

    Pelabel: I never heard that, nor did I know you could trademark the name of a dessert. But so be it..”Chocolate Pecan Pie” sounds more appealing to me anyways
    : )

  • I make a similar pie at Thanksgiving but use Kahlua (1/4 cup) instead of Bourbon. Comes out great every time…

  • The pecan pie looks nice even when you used a tart tin. It looks dainty actually. It doesn’t make the pie less pretty and delectable-looking. I once baked an apple pie without the pie tin. I used a small sized brownie pan instead. It turned out ok.

  • I made pecan pie this year with golden syrup in place of the corn syrup (from John Thorne’s recipe, which appears in Classic Home Desserts) and it added extra flavor and worked perfectly (and as a bonus, you can probably find it in Paris).

  • David, I’ve made pecan pie a few times using rice syrup – and have also made sticky buns using it – and all of the products turned out exceptionally well. I’m lucky enough to live in Sacramento, close to where Lundberg Rice is produced, so most of our local grocery stores of any size carry their brand of rice syrup. If you’d like me to ship some to you, just mail me.

    I’ve also had the spoiled pecan problem. Every year my parents (in Tennessee) crack and ship me a quart or two as a Christmas present (along with hickory nuts, which are a sweet pain in the *ss to crack!). Last year the pecans were a little damp when they were shipped, and the whole bunch went moldy. So sad.

    I’d liketo thank you for so many successful, well-tested recipes this year. I’m giving several of your books as gifts, and it’s wonderful to be able to recommend them whole-heartedly. Thank you! Happy Holidays!

  • That looks wonderful. I love pecan pie.

  • About my fructose post, I can’t see how that was ‘demonising’. I was sincerely trying to alert dessert-lovers to a relatively newly discovered (and pretty specific – not ALL sugars) health risk directly connected to THE essential ingredient, the substance that makes a dessert a dessert, the sweetener. Which is also the reason why many dessert lovers would not want to know!

    Of course it is easy to become cynical after so many health scares and later reversals of advice but perhaps it is not always appreciated that knowledge is constantly developing as a result of further and improved research. Incidently, sugars have certainly not been vindicated: processed sugars still have no health benefits, only negatives.

    All I want to say is, if you eat sweetened foods a lot and lots of fruit, be aware of this (yet another) risk and make discerning choices. Otherwise, by the time you get to middle-age (especially women), depending on the strength of your liver and pancreas, you will have miserable health problems and may have to avoid sugars altogether. Just like an alcohol warning.

    David, I completely understand that you may not want to post this as it is certainly not in the spirit of the usual reactions to your beautifully presented food porn. Don’t worry, I would still continue to enjoy your website!

  • JenniferB: I wasn’t directing that at you. In fact, I agree with much of what you said about folks being overly concerned about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to eat on a small scale instead of thinking about the bigger picture of how one (or a society) is eating. Certain foods get demonized and I agreed with you about how eating or avoiding one certain food isn’t the answer, and hope that people will eat well, and be able to indulge in a slice of pie for dessert or a cookie…and be happy and healthy : )

  • Thanks David for such a great recipe. I haven’t baked a pie for a while, especially making the dough. I never heard of rice syrup, I’m pretty I can find in some places in Montreal. I will try it out!

  • I love your blog, your recipes, all of it. So I don’t mean to be poopy, but as a displaced Texan living in Paris, I have to express myself: a good pecan pie doesn’t need chocolate! A delicate custardy center and delicious pecans . . . the rest is superflu!

  • Absolutely Divine…My fave recipe has been from The Joy of Cooking…to which I always add macadamia nuts!!!! It’s the only dessert I eat next to my ginger/lemongrass-infused creme brulee!!!!!!!!!!!
    Try it…if you can get past eating the nuts before they get into the pie:)
    All the Best

  • P.S. I added the macadamias because I just didn’t have enough pecans…necessity, the mother of invention.

  • seriously, i have taken so so so much pleasure out of reading this blog since i started dating my french-transplant boyfriend back here in sf: just email me a mailing address and preferred brand and i’ll send you a pie tin pour noel. countless times he has asked me what is so funny? and i’ve said “this blog” while thinking “your culture!”
    its the least i can do.
    amicalement, rachel.
    ps: i’m sending see’s to his parents for christmas. not cutting edge, but classique, non?

  • Dear David,
    Oh dear, now I finally see that I was the one misinterpreting! My posting was not labelled as demonising sugars after all: au contraire. Sorry to insult your powers of comprehension!

    All that remains is to say …. when you indulge in a sweet treat, make sure it’s worthwhile by selecting a special recipe (see this blog and its links) and select high quality ingredients, preferably pure, organic and as little processed as possible. Then you CAN have your cake and eat it too!

  • I’ve been seeing pecan pie all over the place lately, and this is by far the tastiest looking recipe I’ve seen yet! Definitely going to give it a shot soon!

  • You MUST let us send you some of our Louisiana pecans. They are hands down extraordinary–some of the finest restaurants in New Orleans swear they are the best they’ve ever had. Your blog is a complete inspiration and great resource. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise. And, check out our website. Let me know if you’d like the pecans and I’ll send them over the pond.

  • Admiring my beautiful pie cooling on the counter as I write this post. Thank you making me look like a great baker David!

  • The pie looks soooo good, i like the combination of of chocolate and pecans, I will definitely try to make it soon. thanks.

  • Be careful doing a blind substitution of golden syrup for corn syrup. I made this substitution on a previously successful pecan pie recipe when I was overseas and the result was sickly sweet (even for pecan pie!) After a bit of research, I found that while Karo corn syrup is less sweet than sucrose, golden syrup is sweeter. I haven’t found clear guidelines on proportions, but it might be a good idea to cut back a bit on the golden syrup when substituting, or maybe just crank up the bourbon to balance it out!

    • Bruce: Yes, I generally caution people about making substitutions in recipes. So many readers ask about them and I often respond that I don’t know what the results with be if they change the recipe. (I did a post about it, Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.) Because of the current concern about various liquid sweeteners, I did test this recipe with a few alternatives and found them acceptable. But you’re right that readers should be aware that it’s not always possible to swap out one ingredient for the other without making modifications.

  • chocolate pecan pie…a heavenly mix of warm toasty flavors. Thanks for the great recipe

  • David, isn’t rice syrup even more difficult to find in Paris than corn syrup ? where do you get either ?

    I am happy that in the nearby Naturalia now I can find agave syrup.

    thanks !

  • As a girl from Atlanta, GA, pecan pie is on my table every holiday season – only this year, it’ll be THIS pecan pie. I can hardly wait to try this recipe out…toasty pecans, smooth and gorgeous Belgian chocolate (procured on my trip to Brussels two weeks ago), and some good ol’ Makers Mark…yum! Thanks for this lovely recipe, David!

  • I have trouble with pecan pies and I’m hoping you can help. Often they look done – puffy and brown, but after I let them cool they are gooey when I cut them. I managed to make perfect pecan tarts 3 years ago but for the last 2 years they have turned out gooey. I just made a full pie using your pie crust from this recipe and a chocolate pecan pie filling from an old recipe – again, it’s gooey but it is more set than my tarts at T-giving (pecan pie soup anyone?)

    BTW, this pie was my first try at a homemade pie crust and your recipe worked beautifully! If only I can get the pecan pie filling thing down now. I refuse to let a pie beat me.

  • Hi Susan: As you can see, my pie set up fine. Perhaps you need to lower your oven and cook the pie longer. Or drape a sheet of foil on top of the pie if it’s browning too fast, or cook it on a lower rack, depending on your oven. Good luck!

    Maya: You can find rice syrup at Naturalia and Biocoop. They also sell it in Asian markets, where you can find corn syrup (cheaply) as well since it’s used in many Korean dishes.

  • Longtime reader, first time writer.
    I made the pie for X-mas and everything went well. However, my chocolate chips (Nestle, toll-house type) didn’t melt- at all. Looking through your images, the preparation photos show chips but the final product looks much smoother/even consistency than mine. Still tastes delicious, but the pie has a lot more ‘texture.’ I have an oven thermometer and I presume its +/- accurate…
    Any thoughts? Maybe the quality of the chocolate? Thank you!

  • Jen: I use regular chocolate chips (I buy them in bulk so don’t know the brand), but I choose to use chips since they don’t melt readily, which I think is a plus in this recipe. If you want the chips to melt more, use a brand like Guittard or Callebaut, which are often packaged and sold as things like chocolate ‘drops’ and such.