For several years, my grandma and I were in charge of baking the pies for Thanksgiving. The first year we attempted this was largely successful, but we had a few outlying critiques. Every family has a few folks who want the exact same things every year—and we had apparently gone crazy by deciding to put chocolate chips in our pecan pie. I remember my grandma telling me she saw the idea of a chocolate pecan pie in a magazine and thought it sounded so good. I loved it, too. Pecan pie always felt candy bar–like with crunchy nuts surrounded by caramel-sweet custard, and chocolate seemed like a natural pairing. The next year, we considered our pecan pie a bit more carefully. We thought seriously about making the pecan pie without the chocolate, but in the end, we decided that we were the pie bakers and we liked the chocolate, so we were keeping it! This has been one of my go-to pies ever since. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
- Prep time 35 minutes
- Cook time 45 minutes
- Makes one 9-inch pie
par-baked pie crust
(78 grams) finely chopped dark chocolate
(78 grams) heavy cream
2 1/2 cups
(319 grams) pecan halves
(71 grams) unsalted butter, melted
(213 grams) dark brown sugar
(191 grams) maple syrup
large (170 grams) eggs
fine sea salt
- Heat the oven to 375°F, preferably with a baking steel or stone on the bottom rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cooled, par-baked crust on it.
- Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. In a small pot, bring 1/3 cup of cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 15 seconds undisturbed, then stir to combine—the ganache should be thick and smooth.
- Pour the ganache into the pie crust and spread into an even layer. Let set for 15 to 20 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
- Place the pecans in an even layer on top of the chocolate. Set aside while you prepare the custard. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, egg yolk, remaining cream, extracts, salt, and cinnamon until well combined. Slowly pour the custard over the pecans.
- Transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown and the custard appears set on the outside but slightly jiggly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, covered loosely.