International Pie Day

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

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Happy International Pi Day (a day early)! How will you celebrate?

Notice I didn’t ask whether you were celebrating. It’s implied. I mean, c’mon, it’s pie.

Last year my division held a pie happy hour — everything from pizza to fruit pie — and it was a lot of fun. This year, all of Edelman DC is having a pie tasting throw-down. In an office of 250, there are bound to be some amazing options. My entry: Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. Extra-dark chocolate, buttery pecans, and just a bite of booze.

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I can’t speak for how the finished product actually tastes, but the bourbon-sugar mixture takes pretty great.

3/14 RHRW Update:I can now speak for the finished product. Great flavor, not too sweet. I baked the pie the night before and served it at room temperature, and while it isn’t overwhelming, you can definitely taste the bourbon (a good thing in my book).

3/16 RHRW Update: For traditional Southern pecan pie, omit the bourbon and chocolate.

When filling the pie, pour the sauce slowly, in a spiral motion, so the pecans stay in place and the filling is level.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my other pie recipes:
Grasshopper Pie
Apple Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
French Silk Pie
Pork and Apple Pie with Cheddar-Sage Crust

Grab some whipped cream and let’s get moving.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

From Fine Cooking
Serves 8-10

1 pie crust
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. Maker’s Mark bourbon (1 mini-bottle)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

RHRW Note: For traditional Southern pecan pie, omit bourbon and chocolate

Blind bake the pie crust: Roll out the crust to a 13″ diameter. Place in a 9″ pie plate, lifting the dough to tuck it into the sides of the pan. Trim edges to a 3/4″ overhang. Roll the dough under itself to build up the edge of the crust. Crimp the edge of the crust with your fingers, the tines of a fork, or a pie edger. Prick the crust all over (including sides) with a fork. Chill for up to 1 hour in the refrigerator or about 30 minutes in the freezer.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking until the bottom looks dry and the edges are golden, 5-7 minutes more. Cool on a rack.

When the crust is cool, spread the pecans evenly in the pie crust. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly over the pecans. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: Put the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl set on a kitchen towel. Add the vanilla. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, cream, bourbon, and salt. Heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling, 3-5 minutes. Whisking vigorously and constantly, very slowly pour the sugar mixture into the yolks. Strain through a fine strainer set over a 1-quart measuring cup.

Fill and bake the pie: Slowly pour the filling over the pecans. Put the pie on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the center of the pie is slightly firm to the touch and the filling is set, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

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International Pi(e) Day: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

We’re just days away from International Pi(e) Day, March 14.

Get it? Pi? 3.14?

Oh stop rolling your eyes at me. Focus, people. On Pi(e) Day, we eat Pie.

PIE.

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My office is observing Pi(e) Day this Friday afternoon with a pie-themed happy hour. Presuming I can find rhubarb (which is in season starting in March), I’m planning to make one of my favorite pies, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Beantown Baker.

I love rhubarb. It’s a weird little vegetable that looks like pink or red celery, but is (usually) used like fruit. It’s great in desserts, from pie and tarts to sorbet, but it also works well in savory dishes, such as chutney for pork.

The tartness of rhubarb are a fantastic complement to the sweetness of strawberries, which is why they’re often paired together. Tossing the fruit in sugar draws out the excess liquid, keeping the pie crust from getting soggy.

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Lattice work is easier than it looks. Bon Appetit has a great primer here.

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Looking for a non-fruit option for Pi(e) Day? French Silk Pie is like dark chocolate pudding, but in pie form. Delicious. :)

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

From Beantown Baker

2 cups diced fresh rhubarb stalks
3 cups diced fresh hulled strawberries
1 cup sugar, divided
Choice of double-layer pie crust
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom or orange peel, if desired
1/4 cup cornstarch
very small pinch of salt
1 beaten egg

In large bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, and 1/2 c. sugar. Toss to combine well and set into colander over sink or bowl and let drain for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare pie plate. Roll out 1/2 recipe of dough and line bottom of pie plate.

In large clean bowl, combine strawberry and rhubarb that have been drained with remaining sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, pinch of salt and cornstarch. Toss to combine well and add to pie shell, smoothing out evenly.

Roll out remaining pie dough and lattice top the pie filling.

Brush lattice with beaten egg and place pie into oven. Let cook for 20 minutes, then place a piece of tinfoil loosely over the top. Continue cooking until filling is cooked through and bubbling, about 50 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.