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Author Notes: Growing up we always had pumpkin and fruit pies (some combination of apple, cherry, and blueberry) to end Thanksgiving dinner. Usually we were too full to eat them until hours later. As an adult I added pecan pie to the mix – sometimes regular, sometimes chocolate, and sometimes with triple chocolate chunks on top. Last year Pacific Pie Company shared their recipe for Bourbon Chocolate Hazelnut Pie with the Oregonian so I decided to give it a spin. I wanted to add an extra layer of flavor, so incorporated some orange marmalade into the mix. Unfortunately the orange flavor was almost completely lost in the chocolate – I'd get a tiny hint when I managed to bite into a marmalade peel, but that was it. I tried increasing the marmalade but was still not pleased with the outcome. I decided to separate the chocolate from the filling, and was much happier with the result. A little extra orange flavor from fresh orange zest and orange blossom water, and I had exactly what I was looking for: a gooey, orange-scented filling, capped with nuts and chocolate. The orange flavor adds a little freshness, but is not overwhelming. It also helps make the pie more appropriate for breakfast (at least I can delude myself into thinking so!) This pie is very decadent, so it's best to serve in small slices. —hardlikearmour
Makes 1 pie
Pie Dough (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 3 tablespoons vodka or bourbon
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or substitute refrigerated leaf lard or vegetable shortening)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, refrigerated
- 1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ oz) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Combine the water and vodka in a small bowl, and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before making the crust. Measure out the coconut oil (I like to melt it, measure it, then pour it into a container so the oil is ¼- to ½-inch deep, then freeze it so it is easy to cut into chunks), then place it in the freezer. Cut the butter into ¼- to ½-inch pieces, and put it in the freezer as well. Once the coconut oil has solidified, cut it into ¼- to ½-inch pieces and return it to the freezer while you proceed.
- Combine ¾ cup (3 ¾ oz) flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor with blade attachment. Process until combined, 2 to 3 short pulses. Scatter the coconut oil over the flour mixture. Using 1 second pulses, process until no intact chunks remain, about 6 to 8 pulses. Scatter the butter over the top, and pulse several times, then process for about 10 seconds. There should be no large pieces of fat remaining, and the flour should be coated in fat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the remaining ½ cup (2 ½ oz) flour. Pulse 4 to 6 times to combine.
- Transfer flour mixture to bowl, then sprinkle with water mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold together, pressing down until mixture sticks together. Use cool, clean hands to fold several times into a homogenous mass. Transfer to plastic wrap, then press into a ½-inch thick disk. Cover completely and refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 2 days).
- Moderately flour a work surface and roll dough into a 12- to 13-inch circle. Very lightly dust the surface with flour, then roll the dough around the rolling pin to transfer it to a pie plate. Trim the dough edges so they extend about ½-inch beyond the edge of the pan. Fold the edges under then flute the dough* or finish the dough by pushing the tines of a fork into the edge of the dough to flatten it against the lip of the pie pan. Lightly dock the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 40 to 45 minutes, then freeze for 20 to 25 minutes. This trick will help to minimize crust shrinkage.
- While crust is chilling, place an over rack in the lower middle position and heat the oven to 375º F.
- Remove the crust from the freezer, then line with heavy-duty foil and add 2 cups of pennies or other pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue baking the crust until light golden another 5 to 6 minutes.
- *To flute the dough: use the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand on the outer surface with the index finger of your other hand on the inner surface (or vice versa, whichever seems more comfortable to you). Hold your thumb and index finger about the width of your index finger apart. Push the dough with the index finger of your non-dominant hand into the space between the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand. Your fingers should be held approximately perpendicular to the edge of the dough. Repeat the process around the dough, keeping the thumb or index finger of your dominant hand in the last flute you made so the spacing stays consistent.
Filling (Adapted from Pacific Pie Company and Cook's Illustrated)
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (4 oz) light brown muscovado sugar (or regular light brown sugar)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup (5 5/8th oz) orange marmalade
- 3 tablepoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
- zest from one orange, about 1 teaspoon
- 1 ½ cups (7 ½ oz) toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (or substitute with 6 oz toasted, chopped pecans)
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (60-65%), coarsely chopped
- Start making the filling when the crust has been in the oven for about 15 minutes. Melt the butter in a medium heatproof bowl set in a skillet of simmering water. One the butter is melted, remove the bowl from the skillet and add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has all been moistened and the butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs until mixture is homogenous. Beat in the marmalade and bourbon. Return the bowl to the skillet of water. Heat stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is glossy and hot to the touch, about 130º on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, orange blossom water, and orange zest. Stir in the nuts.
- Once the crust is done, remove it from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 275º F. Pour the filling into the crust (having hot filling in hot crust helps prevent crust sogginess). Scatter the chopped chocolate evenly over the top. Bake until the pie is set but still soft, when jostled it should jiggle a little like gelatin in the center, about 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool fully before slicing. If desired, warm for about 15 minutes in a 250º F oven before slicing (highly recommended, especially if serving with a scoop of ice cream).
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Thanksgiving Pie