Thursday, February 4, 2016

Salted-Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

I always forget how good pecans are. And then I'll eat one and I'm quickly reminded. In fact, I'm eating vanilla Greek yogurt with crushed pecans on top as I type this (try it, it's so good!). At the same time, I've never really been a pie person. Fresh strawberry, lemon Meringue, and apple pie are all good, but I'd rather have cake or cookies any day. And I've certainly never baked a pie! You're probably wondering why I'm talking about a pecan pie then, huh? Well, this year at my work's Thanksgiving lunch, I opted for a slice of the holiday classic over several other options and since then, I've been very into pecan pie. At the Christmas work party, I searched and searched for pecan pie, but had to settle (I say that lightly) for red velvet cake. Anyway, back to why we're here.

I picked up a Southern Living magazine at my parent's house last week and there was a beautiful pecan pie on the front and I instantly wanted it. It wasn't your traditional pecan pie though. No, this pie had chocolate and homemade salted caramel and in my opinion, there are not many combinations better than chocolate and salted caramel so I obviously had to make it!

Saturday, when Zach headed to the lake with my dad, I had the perfect excuse to do some baking! And this pie didn't stand a chance (it was gone by Tuesday night). The chocolate filling reminded me of a gooey, fudgy brownie. After the pecans were arranged on top, the salted caramel was poured over and soaked into the chocolate and made it even gooier. I don't know if gooier is a word, but for this pie, I'm making it a word. It was absolutely nothing like a traditional pecan pie, so there's no comparing them, but it was so delicious. It was very rich, but nothing a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top or a cold glass of milk couldn't handle ;) Zach, however, was not a fan. How I married someone who doesn't really like chocolate is beyond me. But that just means more for me, right? (Don't worry, I had help eating this pie) 

If you love chocolate, salted-caramel, and pecans, do yourself a favor and go RUN to your kitchen and make this for dessert this weekend. You won't regret it!

LOOK at those little pools of warm salted-caramel *drools*

Salted-Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup 100% cacao unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
large eggs
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
(9-inch) unbaked deep-dish pie crust shell
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups toasted pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 350°. 
2. Stir together sugar, butter, flour, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs, stirring until well blended. Fold in chopped pecans and pour mixture into pie shell.
3. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. (Filling will be loose but will set as it cools.) 
4. Remove from oven to a wire rack.
5. Arrange pecan halves on pie.
6. While the pie is cooling, bring 3/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. (Do not stir.) Boil, swirling occasionally after sugar begins to change color, 8 minutes or until dark amber. (Do not walk away from the pan, as the sugar could burn quickly once it begins to change color.) Remove from heat; add cream and 4 Tbsp. butter. Stir constantly until bubbling stops and butter is incorporated (about 1 minute). Stir in table salt.
7. Top with warm caramel. Cool 15 minutes; sprinkle with sea salt.

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