*When I first created this recipe in America back in 1992, several well know magazines asked me for the recipe and I stoutly refused, because my philosophy back then was if you liked that dish you would come to my restaurant.
When I first came back from the US, Pecan nuts were underused in the UK and thus less expensive than walnuts. However, with the globalisation of recipes and cooking on TV, the situation has reversed. What hasn’t changed though is that pecans can be stored longer than walnuts which can sometimes go stale and rancid.
A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut but is technically a drupe: a fruit with a single stone or pit surrounded by a husk. The US grows between 80%-95% of the world’s pecans. October is the harvest time in the US so if you’re ever in Georgia in October make a point of tasting the fresh buttery tasting crop of pecans.
Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon Raspberries (serves 8)
*You’ll need a 10 inch (26cm) glass or ceramic pie dish.
350g (14 oz) Sweet Pastry
200g (8oz) Dark (at least 70%) chocolate
5 large eggs
300g (12oz) Pecan Halves
50g (2oz) Butter
1tsp instant coffee
235ml (8oz) Maple syrup (make sure your syrup is 100% maple syrup and not a blend)
100g (4oz) Caster sugar
350g (14oz) Raspberries
4-5 Tbsp Bourbon Whisky
1. Roll out your sweet pastry even and thin, lightly butter the pie dish and then line it with the pastry.
2. Refrigerate the pastry case, whilst you make the filling and preheat the oven 180 C gas mark 4.
3. Melt the chocolate in a large mixing bowl over warm/hot water.
4. When the chocolate is fully melted, turn off the heat and stir in the butter and the coffee, remove the melted chocolate and allow to cool.
5. In a non-stick saucepan pour the maple syrup and sugar and cook on a low heat until the sugar has completely melted into maple syrup, then allow it to cool. Take 1/4 of the maple syrup to one side and reserve.
6. Use an electric mixer and begin to gradually add 1 egg at a time into the chocolate mix. Beat the eggs in well to give the mixture air and then add a small amount of maple syrup. Repeat this process for each egg, making sure the mixture is well beaten before adding more. Continue until all of the ¾ of the maple syrup mixture is in the chocolate mix.
8. Now fold in the pecan nuts, and then pour the mix into the pastry case.
9. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes then move to the lowest shelf and bake for a further 20 minutes.
10. Whilst the pie is cooking make the Bourbon Raspberries by adding the bourbon to the remaining 1/4 of maple syrup stir well and warm, then remove from the heat.
11. When the syrup is lukewarm gently stir in the raspberries.
Remember to use a large, sharp knife so you can cut through the nuts. Place a slice of warm pie onto your plate and top with sour cream and bourbon raspberries.
Chef’s Tips and thoughts
If you want you can make you own sweet pastry, just make sure you rest it for 30 minutes before trying to roll the pastry out. If you don’t have any bourbon, Scotch whisky will do fine as a replacement. The reason I chose to use caster sugar and not brown sugar is I didn’t wish to add any further darkness to the chocolate pie filling. This pie is not as sweet as many pecan pies because of the dark chocolate and if you want you could use 75%-80% dark chocolate.