Not pumpkin. Not apple. Not even blueberry. Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie, anyone?

Wait a minute. It’s less than 2 weeks till Thanksgiving. Shouldn’t I be seeing a pumpkin pie here?

Well… yeah, if you’re totally wedded to tradition. And admittedly, this is the time of year when many of us are. Grandma always made pumpkin pie. Or Mom always bought Mrs. Smith’s frozen apple pie (and passed it off as homemade by “distressing” the edges).

Whatever. If it’s your family tradition, it’s a comfortable raft to cling to.

Then again, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Which to me, translates as “Let someone else bring the darned pumpkin pie. I’M making Chocolate Chunk Pecan.”

And I have, for the past five Thanksgivings at my brother-in-law’s. And you know what? It leaves those other Thanksgiving regulars in the dust. Especially when I set the Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Bean ice cream alongside.

Have I convinced you? DARE you go beyond pumpkin? If so, have at it: Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie may just become your new Thanksgiving must-have.

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A nice secret for pie crust: buttermilk powder. It tenderizes the gluten, ensuring the crust is crisp, not chewy.

Do you have to use it? Of course not; like many ingredients, it’s an improver, not a deal-breaker. But if you bake pies often, I recommend having a stash in your pantry.

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Whisk together the following:

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Perfect Pastry Blend or Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon buttermilk powder, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Add 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, working it in till it’s thoroughly dispersed throughout the dry ingredients.

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Add 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pats.

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Roughly work it into the mixture in the bowl; a few large pieces remaining are OK.

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Sprinkle 1 teaspoon vinegar into the bowl, then 3 tablespoons of ice water. Mix quickly and gently, just till everything is thoroughly moistened.

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Gather the dough into your hand, and squeeze it. If it holds together nicely, it’s ready. If it needs a bit more ice water to come together, dribble some in.

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Use the sticky dough to “mop” any remaining crumbs from the bottom and sides of the bowl.

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Place the dough on a floured work surface, and shape it into a rough disk.

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Roll it into a rectangle about 8” x 12”; it doesn’t have to be perfect, ragged edges are fine.

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Fold the rectangle like a letter, starting with a short side.

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Like this.

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Turn it 90°…

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…and roll it into a rough 8” x 12” rectangle again.

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Fold like a letter…

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…then fold in half to make a rough cube.

What’s all this folding doing? It’s making layers of dough, which should translate to flaky crust.

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Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or for up to a couple of days.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Isn’t this thrilling? (Add your own rejoinder…)

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I’ll use two kinds of chocolate in the filling: chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks. You can certainly use all chips, or all chunks; I just happen to like the economy of chocolate chips, and the rich flavor of our semisweet Peter’s Burgundy chunks.

The Peter’s chocolate brand has an interesting history. Daniel Peter launched his Swiss company in the 1860s. Henri Nestlé, Peter’s Swiss neighbor, worked with him to blend milk with chocolate and create – yes – milk chocolate. Peter’s started selling in America in 1901, and quickly became a favorite of chefs. In 1951, the brand was purchased by Nestlé’s – bringing the two old neighbors back together again, if only spiritually.

Bottom line: of all the chocolates in our test kitchen, I like the flavor of our Burgundy chunks the best. According to their Web site, Burgundy chunks are “a reddish semi-sweet chocolate with a fruity, winey flavor note.” To me, they simply taste rich and smooooooth.

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Place 2 large room-temperature eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. What if the eggs aren’t at room temperature? Put them (before cracking) in a dish of hot water for 10 minutes.

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Beat for about 2 minutes at high speed, till the mixture is thick and light-colored.

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Stir in 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled.

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Next, add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1/2 teaspoon of the strong flavor of your choice. For this pie, I like vanilla-butternut (pictured above), pralines & cream, or butter-rum flavor.

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Next, add 1 1/3 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks, or a combination; and 2/3 cup diced, toasted pecans. How do you toast pecans? Spread them in a single layer on a pan, and bake in a 350°F oven till golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

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Mix till combined.

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If the dough has been refrigerated longer than 30 minutes, allow it to warm up for about 10 to 15 minutes, till it’s pliable. While it’s warming, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Roll the dough into a rough 13” circle.

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Pick the crust up – a giant spatula works well here.

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Place it in a 9” pie plate at least 1 1/2” deep.

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Well, 1 3/8”, bare minimum; but don’t go shorter than that, OK? My favorite new pie pan, from USA Pans, is nice and deep, perfect for any standard 9” pie recipe.

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Notice the ridges in the bottom of the pan – they allow air to circulate more freely, helping to prevent a soggy bottom crust. Plus, with the crust having less contact with the pan, it’s less liable to stick.

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So, what to do with that big overhang of excess crust?

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Tear it off…

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…and use it as a patch where needed.

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Take those patched, ragged edges, roll them under, and squeeze to make a ridge around the top of the pan edge. Yeah, your crust will look messy.

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But not for long. Use your finger and thumb to pinch the crust at regular intervals…

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…to make a pretty, fluted crust.

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Pour the filling into the crust. Hmmm, looks pretty skimpy…

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DARN, forgot the melted butter! Back goes the filling, into the bowl. ADD the melted butter.

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Pour back into the crust. There, that’s better.

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Sprinkle 2/3 cup pecan halves on top. I toasted these; in retrospect, they didn’t need toasting.

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Bake the pie in the preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes.

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Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, till the crust and top are both golden brown. I’ve removed the foil here, to check how things are going.

Man, I didn’t do a very good job on that crust, did I? Ah well… some days you’ve got the touch, some days you don’t.

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Remove the pie from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool.

This isn’t the best-looking pie in the world, is it? But just wait. Once you cut it, the thin, crunchy sugar layer on top shatters into chunks, and it becomes much more attractive.

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Let the pie cool for 30 minutes before cutting. The chocolate inside will still be very soft at this point.

See the ridges in that pan? Better browning.

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If you wait till the pie’s completely cool, here’s what the chocolate looks like. It has a pleasantly fudgy consistency.

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See how the chunks give it a really decadent, throw-all-caution-to-the-winds look?

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Enjoy! Preferably with ice cream.

If you’re looking for something a bit different than the usual pumpkin-apple-blueberry for Thanksgiving, I guarantee this will be a popular choice, even among diehard traditionalists.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Liz Brooks

    This looks and sounds delish! I never make pecan pie without chocolate LOL:) I recently made a bourbon pecan pie that was to die for!
    Wish you were here Liz, with your pie of course! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  2. Kate

    Hi, I am a long-time lurker, first time poster, finally moved to de-lurk! This looks fantastic, and reminds me of a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie that I used to have at a restaurant in Cape May, NJ. For years, I have been thinking about trying to re-create this pie. How much Bourbon do you think could be added to the filling before the texture is compromised? I was thinking of doing one teaspoon of vanilla extract, with two tablespoons of Bourbon…

    I think that sounds just fine, Kate – nice balance of flavors, and I’m thinking it won’t compromise the texture, esp. since the liquid in the alcohol will evaporate quickly. Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie sounds familiar to me… we used to go to Cape May as kids, but I KNOW I wasn’t into bourbon back then! PJH

    Reply
  3. Alissa

    Chocolate Pecan Pie is my favorite. I usually go to Miller’s Smorgasbord in PA Dutch Country to get mine, which is very good, but homemade is always so much better. Now I can make my own!

    This looks great. Just like I could make it, with a raggedy crust and forgetting the butter. Now, if I only had a stand mixer…Santa?
    We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you and will tell Santa when we see him! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
    1. Marda Diven

      I tried making the chocolate pecan pie and even purchased the cho chunks from KA. The pie was terrible My husband loves choclate and couldn’t believe it didn’t turn out good.
      I have used many of your recipes and never had a problem.

      M Diven

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      So sorry to hear that, Marda. Was it just not to your and your husband’s taste, or do you think something went wrong? If you like, give our hotline a call, 855-371-2253; they can discuss it with you, if you think you might want to try it again… PJH

  4. Lish

    The best pie I ever made was a chocolate chip pecan pie I made in high school, and have long since lost the recipe. I am excited to make it again. And I love knowing that even pros like you guys still don’t always have the perfect looking pies, cookies, cakes, etc. It makes it much more approachable. My personal favorite pie is lemon meringue, but who can go wrong with chocolate and pecan! Can’t wait to make this!

    Yeah, Lish, this is a variation on a recipe that’s been hanging around for years, so I’m sure it’s at least quite similar to the one you made in HS. And I am MORE than happy to show my goofs – since I make so many of them. (Isn’t that where the “test” in test kitchen comes in???) PJH

    Reply
  5. M.E.

    I have to say my favorite thing about this tutorial is showing us that you make baking “mistakes” too and are none the worse for wear! LOVE it! I love Chocolate Pecan so I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply
  6. Sue

    Oh my gosh! I just commented yesterday that I would love to have chocolate chip pecan pie for Thanksgiving. When we lived in Burlington, VT (a long time ago) there was a restaurant that made it and it was so very, very good. Maybe I’ll have to rethink our dessert options and make this. Your posting of this recipe the day after I wished for it out loud certainly makes it seem like I’m “supposed” to have this for Thanksgiving, don’t you think!?

    Reply
  7. Kelly

    Looks so good, it’s making me look forward to making one in the upcoming weeks – a chocolate pecan/Derby pie is actually more of a tradition in my family than pumpkin! We put bourbon in ours though, like a couple commenters have said. But I’m in Kentucky…here, anything that can have bourbon it it, does. :)

    Reply
  8. Elizabeth

    Yum!! This looks amazing! My mom makes pecan pie every year for Thanksgiving (no one in my family really likes pumpkin), but I’ve noticed that less and less of it gets eaten every year. We tend to go for the chocolate deserts! I think I’m going to persuade her to let me make this pie instead. I bet it gets “gobbled” up. (Really bad pun, I know). Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
  9. Sue

    Ok. I admit I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving meals and desserts. However, after seeing this Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie; I think there is room for another delicious looking pie to try. Pumpkin pie is a big deal here, but who knows. Maybe this pie will also be a winner too. Thank you.

    Reply
  10. MFS

    This looks awesome! I’m going to have to make it, if not for Thanksgiving, then just after. I like the idea of adding the bourbon. We used to get something like this in Annapolis, MD as Kentucky Derby pie, and I’ve missed it!

    On another note, is there a way to make this dairy free? One of my family members has a cow milk allergy (not lactose). Thanks!

    You could use all shortening for the crust and margarine for the filling. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  11. Jeanne

    The pie looks fabulous! Perfect looks doesn’t always mean good taste. Those restaurant pies can’t touch what you do here. You put the “home” in homemade when the crust is a little “rustic.” I love it.

    Reply
  12. dotd

    i read the receipe three times and looked at the finished picture,2 me it looks like some kind of crust on top that was never mentioned

    That is the “foam” in baked form. If you take a look at the photo with everything combined for the filling you can see it’s origins. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  13. Karen

    Oh my goodness. I am not a big pie fan, but there is CHOCOLATE in that pie. And I have pecans & chocolate in my pantry! I think this bad boy is just MEANT to be baked by me. ;) Thanks for sharing and including all of the ups and downs of whipping up this delightful concoction!

    Reply
  14. Meg C

    *gasp!* This entry has pushed me over the edge. Gorgeous pie.

    You should kit up the special makings, you know. What a hostess gift. Pie pan, buttermilk powder, special flavoring of choice, the Peter’s choc, and the recipe. Of course we can buy all that ourselves. Kits are so much fun, though.

    Thank you for the blog. It’s always fresh and new.

    Reply
  15. vel

    that pie pan looks interesting. I have a couple of old Pyrex ones, bought since that was what my mom always uses. This looks like it would work a lot better. Any comments on the differences between glass and metal pie pans?

    Glass is an insulator. in a pie plate this means it heats up much slower than metal, then continues to rise. For a flaky crust, I think metal pans are the better way to go. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  16. Mary

    I think the “rustic” look works for the crust! :-) Something a little different. I will definitely have to try this the next time we want to bring a pie to a gathering. (Since both of us are now diabetic, I don’t dare make it and keep it here- LOL!)

    This might well replace the Oatmeal Coconut Chess Pie that has become my trademark “different” pie at holidays…

    Reply
  17. Amy

    I think one of the best aspects of this recipe is that I already have everything on hand to make it! I was going to stick with family tradition this year and only make pumpkin pie squares. This was until I saw this recipe. I am breaking with tradition and will be serving this too.

    Your blog makes me so hungry whenever I read it. :)

    Reply
  18. Nancy

    This pie is a great improvement over the regular pecan pie. Most recipes include corn syrup, which I don’t want in anything I eat. I will try this for my mother who loves pecan pie AND chocolate!

    Reply
  19. Meg

    Wow! This looks fantastic. I always make my pecan pie with chocolate chips but use a “traditional” recipe with karo syrup. This sounds much better but was wondering about the flour. Is that because you use butter instead of corn syrup and the flour is needed then or is it just to make that top “crust”? (which looks delicious)

    I will definitely be making this in the next week or two! Thanks for a pecan pie recipe that is different!

    A Karo pie filling is based on a custard. This pie filling is based on a batter, hence the flour. The side benefit is the fluffy top “crust”. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  20. Melinda

    YUM!!!

    MFS, be sure to use dairy-free chocolate, too. Sharffen-Berger is usually dairy-free, as are the 365 chips at Whole Foods (although made on dairy equipment.) I’m not sure if Peter’s is DF or not. :D

    Reply
  21. Jocelyn

    I’d like to try the buttermilk powder, but it doesn’t make sense to order it online. I’ve never seen it in a grocery store, though. Any suggestions about where I might find it? Is there something to substitute?

    There’s often buttermilk powder in the supermarket, near the dry milk – Saco brand is quite common. You might try using fresh buttermilk in place of the water in the crust recipe. Or simply leave the buttermilk out. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  22. cindy leigh

    oh PJ, you are killing me! I’m going to have to send you a bill for Weight Watchers!!

    A moment on the lips, forever on the hips… :) Why do you think I’m at the gym every morning at 5 a.m.!? PJH

    Reply
  23. Nadine T.

    I LOVE you for admitting that you forgot the butter! I pull that nonsense all the time. I think I’m making this to bring for Thanksgiving.

    Reply
  24. Britta

    I made this today and it’s really good. Very rich! I used less chocolate on accident and there was more pecan pie flavor. Loved it.

    Reply
  25. Erin in PA

    I can attest that this pie is AMAZING! I had a pie like this years ago at a teacher appreciation luncheon (thank you for the recipe to that mom!) and I usually make it once or twice a year. Now to tackle my fear of piecrust – I tried this past weekend with a strawberry pie, but it shrunk and folded in on itself. Perhaps I will try again this weekend – I really dislike using the already made crusts when I can make pretty much all of our other baked goods from scratch!
    Hi Erin,
    Boy, do we have the blog post for you! All about getting over the fear of piecrust and ditching the ready made crust for good. Check it out here. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  26. Adam

    wow.. I’m in charge of the pumpkin pie for thanksgiving this year, but I’m either going to have to change the menu, or just make two pies, because I have to try this

    question though.. would it be ok to skip the shortening in the crust? could I just use 8 tablespoons of butter instead?
    Hi Adam,
    Yes, you can use all butter in the crust. It will be a bit more finicky to work with, but the flavor will be terrific. ~MaryJane

    Reply
  27. AJ

    People. you MUST try this pie! However the only time I make it is to take to potlucks. no way can I have it *around the house*! Last time I took it to work…the guys acted like they’d died and gone to heaven!

    Reply
  28. Mike T.

    We usually have a chocolate chiffon pie for T-day at my mom’s. This will be an EXCELLENT change! Question, I’m trying to keep the sugar intake to a minimum, and none of us have the sweet tooth we once had. I want to cut down on the sugar level, would you think it would be okay with 1/2c or 2/3c of sugar instead? It’s going to have the vanilla ice cream, so that will add to the overall sweetness anyway…
    Hi Mike,
    You can definitely experiment with reducing the sugar. Make a small change and if you still find it too sweet, you can reduce it further next time. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  29. Erin R.

    Oh, dang it! This looks so incredible, but a nut allergy prevents us from having pecan pie around here. Do you suppose rough cut oatmeal would be an okay substitute for the nuts? I can’t bear to see the beautiful pictures of this pie and then not be able to make one.

    Erin, how about big huge flakes of coconut, that you can get at a food coop or perhaps health food store? Oatmeal would work too, I’d guess – not steel-cut, though. PJH

    Reply
  30. Bridgid

    Well, this is a beautiful variation on what I make each year for Tday – like others, I do a chocolate bourbon pecan pie, and it is what makes Tday Tday for me! MikeT – my origianl recipe called for 1 cup of sugar, I first cut it down to 3/4 cup and then eventaully to 2/3 cup and it came out perfect. Not too sweet. Thanks again KAF!!!

    Reply
  31. Iuco

    Hi KAF Test Kitchen Crew!

    Just finished to read this article and can’t stop myself writing.
    I have made a chocolate pecan pie for one of many Thanksgiving.
    It came from the famous recipe site of the US and taste was, well,
    not bad.
    What impressed me with this recipe is this recipe that you use huge amount of chunk chocolate!
    It made me mouth-watering.
    Also I didn’t see that you didn’t use cornsyrup. Thought it must be
    much lighter filling than other chocolate pecan pies from other recipe sites.
    I sure will try this recipe for Christmas.

    Thanks from Far East.

    You’re welcome, from the Northeast! Enjoy the new pecan pie variation and the holiday baking season. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  32. Karen S.

    Just thought I’d let you know that this pie was a HUGE hit at an office potluck held last Saturday night. One of the men in my husband’s office is deploying to Baghdad and he and his family invited the entire office to their home for an early T’giving! I used my own “from scratch” crust recipe and your filling. The ladies just had to do a small taste test when I brought it into the kitchen. There were swoons all around and plenty of lip smacking. Now I’m passing on the recipe and your website to all of them so they can be inspired and educated in the art of baking, too.

    Thanks, Karen – inspiration and education are what we pride ourselves on here at KA… Nice decision, to have an early Thanksgiving – PJH

    Reply
  33. LaJuana

    Was that me making that pie because forgetting an ingredient is SO like me…. even premeasuring everything and seeing it sitting in front of me doesn’t prevent it from happening. Worst feeling when you get something poured into the pan and look around and see that quarter teaspoon of sea salt sitting patiently there! Nice to know I’m in the BEST company with such antics! You “guys” are terrific! Thanks for being here!

    Reply
  34. Aleez

    These sound fabulous- If I made them into individual portions (using a muffin pan to make small pie shells) how long would I bake them?

    Don’t know, Aleez – haven’t tried that. Maybe 20 minutes, 25, 30? Give it a go and see – you’ll be able to pretty much tell by looking at them. PJH

    Reply
  35. Virginia Sweeney

    This from a “confessed Chocoholic”: I’ve made Fudge Pecan pies quite often, but have never used chunks of chocolate. This looks and sounds “Mavulous”. This will be on the groaning table at our daughter’s this Thanksgiving. I really like your recipes and blogs. My husband bakes yeast bread all the time and uses ONLY King Arthur flour. Virginia of NV.

    Have fun with the pie, Virginia – and thank your hubby for his loyalty! My 166 fellow employee-owners are all grateful, too… PJH

    Reply
  36. Laurie

    I’m really looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving. I’ve only made 3 other pies in my life (the last 3 Thanksgivings actually), but it makes me nervous! I’m so happy to see your step by step instructions with photos. I think I’ve calmed down a bit and can now concentrate on the tasting part. One question- would it be okay to make this 1 or 2 days ahead of time? Oh, and I plan on accompanying this with Pumpkin whipped cream. Hopefully the tastes will go together!
    Sure, you can make this a day ahead of time – just let it cool completely before covering it with plastic. Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  37. Pam

    One question. You cook 30 minutes then tent it? Seems counter intuitive. I’m used to putting foil over the edges for most of the cooking and then taking it off towards the end to get it to brown.

    Either way, Pam – you’re simply shielding the crust for part of the bake, either the beginning, or the end. I personally prefer a darker rather than lighter crust, so I like to get it almost as brown as I like, then cover it. But since you’re used to doing it your way – go for it! PJH

    Reply
  38. Mike T.

    Okay, I decided to make this for Thanksgiving dinner, but since my mom was getting together with her cousins the Sunday before (and needed to take a “chocolate” dessert) I suggested that she make it and see what she thinks.

    She thought it was a bit on the sweet side (she’s not into *real* pecan pie either) and so I thought I’d “modify” it a little to see what I could do…

    Okay, I wound up with what can only be described as a cake in a pie shell… Since she also thought all of the chocolate chips was a bit much, I decided to use only about 1/2 the chocolate and melt it, then drizzle it in as a layer. I also cut the sugar by 1/2 and increased the butter by another ounce (to account for the liquid difference). I also decided to add some apples into the mix (this is why it came out more like a cake), but instead of using a sliced apple (would have probably kept it like a pie), I used some dehydrated apple slices.

    So, it went something like this: Pie shell. Layer of broken apple pieces. Layer of filling (sans chocolate). Layer of melted chocolate. Layer of apple pieces. Layer of filling. Drizzled chocolate. Pecan halves.

    I made a tester as well to be sure it was edible. :-) I think it will work well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maybe some chocolate sauce… I may do it again sometime over the holidays, but use real apples and see how it does as a pie.

    Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!
    Mike.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mike. You are an INVETERATE TINKERER! Love it… PJH

    Reply
  39. Mark

    I made this today for Thanksgiving. I have never made a pie crust. I used Saco buttermilk powder as I had it on hand. The crust was FANTASTIC. I think there was too much chocolate. (I cannot believe I typed that.) I used chips and broken up chunks. Next time more pecans less chocolate.
    I found your blog last year at Christmas and have made 5 or 6 items since. (The Thankgiving muffins will be a staple.) No wonder you folks have been in business forever. Thanks.

    Good show, Mark – it’s not everyone who has success their very first pie crust out of the gate! Glad you’ve found some favorites here – PJH

    Reply
  40. Charlene S.

    Well, I added this pie to the repertory of apple, pumpkin and “regular” pecan pies for Thanksgiving. It WAS FABULOUS!! My non-pie loving daughter decided that this HAS to be on the menu every Thanksgiving. It was so easy and made a real impression. I am extra-thankful for this blog and all the wonderful ideas and advice!!

    Thanks, Charlene – always good when your daughter tells you you did something right, eh? :) PJH

    Reply
  41. Kathy

    This is absolutely the yummiest dessert I have ever made! Thank you for helping me impress everyone at our dinner table this Thanksgiving! I used the Burgundy Chocolate Chunks and the Vanilla-Butternut flavoring. I have been considering making a pan “cookie” using the filling on top of a shortbread crust. By the way.. contrary to what Mark might think – You can’t ever have too much chocolate!! :) It was perfect! I’m so glad to have found this site!

    Glad the pie was a success for you, Kathy – and welcome! PJH

    Reply
  42. Ectomorphic Doughboy

    First, a Truth in Baking disclaimer: I detest pecan pie with its signature gray syrupy matter in the filling. This year for Thanksgiving, my assignment was to make a pecan pie for my wife’s family’s gathering. To my relief, the teaser for this recipe landed in my inbox the same day.

    We learned two things from the first prototype: 1) everyone raved about the crust; and 2) even mixing dark chocolate with semi-sweet, my testers thought it a bit sweet and the chocolate overpowered the other flavors.

    So I tipped the balance a bit from chocolate to pecans (cut the chocolate in half, while doubled the diced pecans in the filling).

    As luck would have it, no one from my immediate family attended the dessert course — we were out stimulating the healthcare economy. But if the emails, txts, and tweets are any indication, this pie is a keeper.

    Yes, this is definitely more FUDGE than pecan, as written. Glad you did that prototype, and were able to amend the final version to taste! Thanks for sharing – PJH
    Than
    ks for the just-in-time inspiration!

    Reply
  43. Judy Bart Kancigor

    I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit! Well, the filling was a big hit, but the crust had this bitter aftertaste! I’m wondering if I accidentally put in a tablespoon of vinegar rather than a teaspoon. What’s the purpose of the vinegar anyway? Also, the chips and pecans kind of sunk to the bottom (not that anyone had any complaints about that!) Next time I think I’ll try shaking the chips and pecans with a little flour.

    Judy, the vinegar acts like lemon juice, and “softens” the gluten, making for a more tender crust. You can certainly leave it out, or substitute lemon juice, if you like. Baking powder (which gives the crust a bit of “pop” in the oven) is the more likely culprit for bitterness – you might want to leave that out next time. Some people have a palate that’s quite sensitive to bitterness, and baking powder tends to set off your tastebuds… PJH

    Reply
  44. Jen

    this was my first attempt at a pie (and a pie crust!). And it came out wonderful! I made it with my husband and dad in mind – both pecan pie, as well as chocolate, lovers. We all thought it was delicious. I even did not mind the crust (I don’t usually care for regular pie crust – but this one stayed nice and crisp).

    Now I won’t be so nervous to try making another pie. Maybe next time apple, or something else with a double crust.

    Jen – now that you’ve got your feet wet – YOU CAN DO IT! Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of pie – PJH

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  45. Meg

    My pie is about to come out of the oven and it looks identical to yours! I can’t wait to try some and review it. I even used fresh southern pecans that my North Carolina-living mom sent to me up north.

    Ah, fresh pecans from mom – it doesn’t get any better, Meg! :) PJH

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  46. Blakeley (Cupcake Princess)

    I just made the pie dough today, and I’m going to make the filling and bake it off tonight or tommoro. I’ll let you guys know how it goes! I really liked how easy the dough was to work with.I didn’t do the roll the dough out and fold it thing I just shaped it into a disk and put it in the fridge. Can’t wait to eat it….it’s going to be great!

    Reply
  47. Richard

    Hi…
    Going to make this over the weekend. I really need a good pie pan for this. Off to the store I go….
    I just wanted to say how glad I am that you take the time to explain technique, like ‘room temp’ eggs. Way too many websites and, perhaps, recipes in general… just assume that one already knows all about technique. Wrong… I am a newbie at baking and really appreciate this level of detail. Like some others here have expressed, I have always been somewhat afraid to try to make pie crust as it seems so easy to do wrong (several attempts were awful). But I see the light now, I hope…
    I’ll let you know how it all comes out !
    Thanks.. from an old (over 60) disabled veteran who is just learning to cook !!!

    Richard, good for you! It’s never too old to teach us “old dogs” new tricks, is it? Thanks for your service to our country, and best of luck with that crust – call our baker’s hotline, 802-649-3717, if you run into any challenges you need help with. PJH

    Reply
  48. harrisk3

    Silly question: do you recommend toasting the pecans and then chopping them, or do you chop them and then toast them? I’m leaning towards toasting them first because I worry about burning the little bits.

    I should probably have tried to make a pie crust before I tackle this on Thanksgiving… oh well!

    I usually chop, then toast; more toasty bits. But the tradeoff, as you say, is you have to pay closer attention… If you’re worried about pie crust, read our pie crust blog – it’ll totally take you by the hand… Good luck! PJH

    Reply
  49. tigerlily09

    I can’t say enough good things about this pie. I baked it for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. I’m more of a cookie enthusiast and I’ve only made a few pie crusts in my time. I was really nervous about doing this right and the step-by-step instructions (especially with the photos) really helped. I made the best pie crust of my life! It was flaky and tender, if not the most beautiful. Personally I prefer more salt in my pie crust so I’ll make a note for myself. Thanks!
    Congratulations on taking more steps on your pie making journey! ~ MaryJane

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  50. jamesnbrandi

    Can this pie be frozen after it’s baked?

    Yes, it’s dense enough that it can be frozen. I wouldn’t suggest freezing for more than 3 to 4 weeks, though; it’ll dry out over time. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm in the oven before serving. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  51. Gcgc

    This looks wonderful! Can it be made GLUTEN FREE?
    Also, do you have a Pecan Pumpkin Pie Recipe to share?
    THANK YOU!

    I’d think you could make it GF, though I haven’t tried it. Start with this GF pie crust; and thicken the filling with GF flour blend. Let us know how it comes out, OK? We don’t currently have a pumpkin pecan pie recipe – but it sounds like a wonderful idea! PJH

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  52. quiltylurl

    Interesting looking pie. Where is the nutritional list. That is the list that one usually finds with recipes and gives breakdown of K-calories, carbs, fiber,fat and what kind, protein and cholesterol?
    If I don’t see this list I don’t bake it.

    Sorry, we don’t have the manpower/software to do nutritional breakdowns for all of our recipes, and this is one that’s missing the info, unfortunately… I apologize. PJH

    Reply
  53. "FoodIsLove "

    Made this pie for the smallest Thanksgiving I’ve ever hosted… just me, hubby and granny. It has to be the prettiest pie I’ve made yet, and tasty too! Click on my screen name to see a picture of my masterpiece. Tasted a lot like a moist rich chocolate chip cookie.
    PJH, you are my BFF. I was just a so-so baker until I found you and your fellow KAF bloggers a few years ago. I had never made a descent loaf of bread. Now, with your help and full color photos, I impress myself all the time. When friends and family want to compliment my latest creation, they call me “Martha”… but I’m waiting for the day someone calls me “PJ”. Then I’ll know I’ve arrived. Thank You.
    Edie

    Reply
  54. Tamara

    I love the fact that you left your ‘mistake’ of leaving out the butter in. That made me as a ‘home bakers’ feel less intimidated (also showing that you can just throw it back in, and best to do THAT back in the bowl and not in the piecrust!

    Thanks for a great recipe that’s already been vetted and approved by my family! ;-)

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Tamara, we made a LOT of mistakes; we’re only human, just like everyone else, and anyway, that’s why they call it the TEST kitchen! I’m so glad this recipe receives your “family seal of approval” – I just made one Tuesday, and it disappeared in the space of a morning simply by my putting it on the table next to my desk. Lots of “little tastes” turned into an entire missing pie! :) PJH

  55. Roberto

    As a continuous student of various pie dough techniques and formulations, I very much appreciated the demo for this crust. For open face pies, and not yet having a KA pan, I usually partially bake the crust, then add the filling before the final bake. Will give it a try with this crust.

    Reply
  56. waikikirie

    OK…….I have a confession. I LOVE the Mrs Smith deep dish apple pie…LOVE IT, LOVE IT….That is probably why I have not mastered a pie crust. I have NEVER passed if off as my own. Why lie???? It’s getting harder and harder to find my beloved pie so I guess I will have to learn to make my own apple pie. That said, my grandmother used to make 3 pies from scratch on Thanksgiving….pumpkin, apple and chocolate pudding (for us kids). Think this pie might make an appearance this year. Question…..how far in advance can I make this???

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage

      If you are going to make just the crust ahead of time, you can freeze it for up to three months, then fill and bake. If you are looking to make the entire pie ahead of time, I would only go one or two days in advance. ~Amy

  57. Debbie

    I live at VERY high altitude and pecan pies are really tough to make. (I’m 2 miles above sea level in Colorado.) I’m thinking of trying this but I’ll probably need to cut the sugar back to may 3/4 of a cup. I will definitely cut the baking powder in half (that’s an altitude trick here), but if you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them.

    Reply
  58. Lena

    I decided to try this recipe this year for Thanksgiving instead of the family recipe. This one received raves from family and friends. Delicious and easy to make. I did not have espresso powder and will try it next time. I also only used vanilla for flavoring not the suggested flavorings.. I always have leftover pie of the family recipe but had absolutely no leftovers of this recipe!! Just a yummy pie! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Reply
  59. Yael

    This looks absolutely fantabulous!!! Is there any benefit to partially blind-baking the crust? Would this work with the no-roll pie crust?

    Reply

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