Happy Pi/Pie Day! Last year when I learned that March 14 is celebrated as National Pi Day (those clever mathematicians!), I vowed to participate by posting a pie recipe this year. I have been working out a Black Bottom Pecan Pie recipe since Thanksgiving and treated Hubby to my creation for Valentine’s Day and again for our anniversary. Here’s how my recipe came about…
Ever since I was introduced to Southern fare, I have liked the idea of pecan pie. No offense to any wonderful bakers, but I’ve never had a piece of pecan pie which meets my expectations because I find I don’t like the goopy sugary filling. Also, the pecan halves look pretty but do not slice cleanly. I consulted many cookbooks and on-line sources, but mostly I used my imagination to come up with a pecan pie with dark chocolate filling to support chopped pecans. I started with the dark chocolate base from my Mother-in-law’s black bottom pie recipe and modified my own Spiced Pecans recipe (November 2013 archives) to come up with a winning combination for the filling. Then I topped it with homemade whipped cream. This is my creation:
Baked Pastry Shell
Sift together: 1 1/2 cups flour + 1/2 tsp salt.
Cut in: 1/2 cup shortening.
Add and toss lightly with a fork to mix dough: 4-5 Tbs cold water, adding and mixing 1 Tbs at a time.
Gather dough into a ball and knead a couple times. Do not over-handle the dough. Form dough into a disk and roll out on floured board; roll out enough that dough will hang over edge of pie dish. Roll pie dough onto rolling pin and lift gently to transfer rolled dough to pie dish. For black bottom pie, I prefer to use a quiche dish. Fold extra dough under to make a finished edge, and crimp edge to make a pretty crust. Prick pie crust all over with a fork.
Bake in very hot oven (450*) ’til pastry is golden, 10-12 minutes.
Cool pie shell completely before filling.
Candied Pecan Topping
Preheat oven to 350* and brush cookie sheet lightly with canola oil. Spread 2 heaping cups pecan halves on cookie sheet; bake for 4 minutes; rotate cookie sheet on oven rack; bake for another 4 minutes. While pecans are toasting, prepare rum glaze and sugar mix.
For rum glaze, melt and whisk together:
1 Tbs Jamaican rum*;
1 Tbs water;
1 Tbs butter;
1 tsp brown sugar.
For sugar mix, grind together with mortar & pestle or spice grinder:
2 Tbs sugar;
1 tsp smoked sea salt;
1/4 tsp cinnamon;
1/4 tsp Hershey’s dark cocoa powder;
1/4 tsp instant espresso powder;
1/8 tsp ground cloves;
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg;
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.
Transfer toasted pecans to mixing bowl; pour rum glaze over pecans and toss to coat evenly; sprinkle sugar mix over glazed pecans and toss to coat evenly; spread pecans back on cookie sheet to cool completely.
While pecans cool, make black bottom custard… Then coarsely chop cooled pecans and spread on top of black bottom filling.
Black Bottom Custard
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs corn starch
2 cups whole milk, scalded
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp Mexican vanilla
12 oz Hershey’s Special Dark chips
Combine sugar + corn starch. Scald milk. Slowly add milk to egg yolks. Stir in sugar mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until custard thickens and coats spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Stir chocolate chips into custard until melted.
Pour dark chocolate deliciousness into cooled pastry shell. Top with coarsely chopped pecans. Chill pie.
Homemade Whipped Cream
Whip to thicken: 1 cup heavy whipping cream.
Whip in: 3 Tbs confectioners sugar + 1 tsp Mexican vanilla.
Whip a little more to thicken; be cautious not to over-beat the cream.
Pile over pie or serve on the side.
*Originally, I intended to make my pecan pie with Bourbon Pecans (February 2015 archives) because I think Kentucky bourbon is a proper ode to pecans. But I tried the pie with Jamaican rum, a take-away from my & Hubby’s honeymoon which I sneak into my Mother-in-law’s black bottom pie recipe, and we really like the rich marriage of Jamaican rum and dark chocolate. Either variation is divine, or just substitute water as in the original Spiced Pecans (November 2013 archives) recipe.