Louisiana Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is a traditional Southern dessert especially popular in the fall and winter when the pecan crop is picked. The pie is very rich and a bit high on the calories. But it is delicious. Once a year–I’m making the pie!  I brought it to our Thanksgiving family dinner; everyone loved it. Here is a recipe from my old file box for a variation on pecan pie which contains chocolate chips. Darck Chocolate Pecan Pie Variation - 1 - IMG_6125_1R

I made two variations on pecan pie. One variation uses dark Karo corn syrup rather than light corn syrup. It has less sugar in relation to the other ingredients, is not as sweet and is scaled down in size. The second variation is more traditional; using light corn syrup and fits in a deep dish pie shell. Both variations contain chocolate chips.

No matter how you make it; the pie is rich and sweet. So cut the pie in small pieces; there is really not much else to say healthy about the pie. Perhaps I might consider redeeming the pie by making a pie crust with olive oil and a filling with walnuts to fit in with the Mediterranean Diet. Perhaps just indulge.

Making the Pie

Pecan pie is surprisingly easy to make; the recipe uses only a few ingredients. For the first pie variation, I used a purchased pie crust; the filling just fits in a regular pie shell. The filling consists of eggs, sugar, dark corn syrup, melted margarine (not shown), salt and vanilla extract. Mix these together, then add the pecans and chocolate chips; pour into a pie shell and bake. And don’t over bake. The center should still be soft and a bit giggly when removed from the oven.Ingredients for Variation - 1 - IMG_6111_1

Defrost the pie shell first. This takes a few minutes; set it by the warm stove. I tried adding the pecans and chocolate chips first to the pie shell.Pecans and Chocolate Chips in Pie Shell - IMG_6114_1

Then the filling. Almost too much–don’t whip the eggs as I did here. I placed the pie on a baking sheet for baking to catch an filling that spilt over the sides..Adding egg and sugar filling - IMG_6117_1

Next time I’ll add everything together and won’t whip the eggs!Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Variation - IMG_6118_1

If the pie bakes too quickly–as mine always do–tent the pie shell with aluminum foil after 1/2 hour so it doesn’t burn.

Kitchen Gadgets – Pie Server

I found an old pie server in my utensil drawer – shown above. While it might seem somewhat trivial; using one of these servers really makes it easy to get a piece of pie onto a plate without demolishing the rest of the pie. Glad I found it!

Original Pie

My original pie uses light corn syrup, has slightly more filling and is baked in a deep dish pie shell. We got fancy with this pie adding whole pecan pieces around the edge.Pecan PIe - 2 - IMG_6041

Louisiana Pecans

The U.S. is the world’s highest pecan producer; some of the crop is exported to Canada, China and Vietnam. While not the highest producing state, Louisiana does have a thriving pecan industry. Georgia remains the top producer, followed by Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Louisiana. Pecans can only be grown in southern states because pecan trees require  205—233 frost-free days for the nuts to reach maturity.

Louisiana has an importance place in the history of pecan production. The first successful grafting of a superior wild pecan to seedling pecan stock was done by a slave gardener from New Orleans named Antoine around 1846. He named his pecan tree, Centennial, in honor of winning best pecans exhibited at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. His improved pecans trees were promoted throughout the south by New Orleans seedsman, Richard Frotscher. The port of New Orleans was an important distribution route for pecans through out the country in the 1800’s helping the Louisiana pecan industry.

Louisiana continues to be important to pecan production as the only fully-devoted research center to pecans is located in Sherveport, Lousiana. It is the Pecan Research and Extension Station of LSU AgCenter.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie - Variation 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen, convenience pie shell
  • 2 eggs, well mixed
  • 1/2 cup dark Karo corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup dark milk chocolate chips
  • extra whole pecan pieces for garnish

Method and Steps:

  1. Defrost pie shell.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In medium bowl, mix eggs, dark Karo corn syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, salt.
  4. Stir in pecan pieces and dark chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into pie shell.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. After 1/2 hour, tent pie crust edges with aluminum foil to avoid burning. Pie center will still be soft in center.
  7. Garnish with extra whole pecan pieces. Best when served warm.

Piece of Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Variation - 2 - IMG_6167_1

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

  • Servings: yields 6 to 8 servings
  • Time: 1 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 deep dish frozen, convenience pie shell
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup light Karo corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup dark milk chocolate chips
  • extra whole pecan pieces for garnish

Method and Steps:

Louisiana Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie - IMG_6060

Enjoy!

References

Pecans. Agricultural Resource Marketing Center. http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/nuts/pecans/

The Imporatnace of the Pecan Industry. New Mexico State University. http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_z/Z501/

Louisiana Pecans – History. http://louisianapecans.com/history.html

Pecan Research & Extension Center. LSU Ag Center. http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offices/research_stations/Pecan/

 

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