Every year at American Thanksgiving a good friend, who happens to be American, hosts a Thanksgiving feast for our neighbourhood friends. This started many years ago when our children were all small, and many were picky eaters. They are all now grown with the youngest graduating from high school this year, and so the volume of food has ramped up. Including all "kids" parents and even a couple of grandparents there were 32 for dinner and two 20lb turkeys!
We are a group very bound by traditions, and every year we each bring the same dishes, my allotted dish is pie. This year someone else was bringing pumpkin pie, which is an essential part of the Thanksgiving feast and so I was going to bring Pecan pie, another pie that completes some peoples vision of Thanksgiving dinner. Last year I made a Straight forward Pecan Pie so to shake it up a little this year I made a chocolate pecan pie.
I found this recipe on Joyofbaking.com and I hardly changed it at all. The pastry that I made is my version of shortcrust pastry I made the pastry and lined a pie plate with it and let it rest while I made the filling.
1 1/2 cups pecans toasted and chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon rum or bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole pecan halves toasted
To toast the pecans spread them out on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.
Let them cool and then chop coarsely.
Melt the unsweetened chocolate, I did this in the microwave heating the chocolate for one minute then let it sit for a couple of minutes and stirred in the butter, the heat of the chocolate melted it.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, and then whisk in the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Then stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
Stir in the chopped pecans and pour the filling in to the now well rested pie crust. Place a few of the whole pecans on the top. In the original recipe it suggested a decorative pattern, I went for a more random look.
The recipe called for baking the pie for 50 to 60 minutes in a 350 oven but mine was ready after 40. So bake until the filling has puffed but is still wobbly when gently shaken. I served this with a can of whipping cream (don't judge I was feeling lazy). I really liked it as did my husband, I think the chocolate added something, though this is a very rich pie and you want to keep the slices small.
The turkey was wonderful as were all the side dishes, we had a gallon of gravy and some fine wine. Though Thanksgiving is not a holiday I grew up with it is hard not to love a holiday which seems to combine the best of Christmas (turkey dinner, families coming together) with out all the commercialism and the far too costly gifts. It says something also that nearly all our adult children were there, some having to travel quite a distance from school. They were their not because of obligation, but because they wanted to be. They have grown up together, much like cousins did in the days when families stayed living close together, and now are quite happy to be consigned to the "kids table" so that they can catch up with each other.