Chocolate Pecan Pie

The Pie Academy’s Tailgate Pie of the Week: Week 1

As promised, here’s the first in a series of tailgate pie recipes we’re serving up at The Pie Academy through football season and right up to the Super Bowl.

It’s tough work, as they say, but somebody’s gotta do it.

The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course

For our purposes, a tailgate pie is any pie that crowds love, travels well, and has a least a thread of a connection to football or other outdoor sports, autumn, cool or downright cold weather, goes well with hot coffee, cider, cocoa, beer or other adult libations. If I want to include a pie doesn’t meet at least one of those criteria, I’ll make up new criteria as needed.

This week’s pie is a national treasure, or should be at least. It’s an American classic – pecan pie – with a thick layer of pure chocolate on the bottom. You don’t have to make any fancy chocolate concoction to spread in the pie – it’s just chocolate chips that melt on the bottom of the pastry after you prebake it. Easy peasy, and your gang is going to love it. Especially if you pack along some vanilla ice cream on ice.

Do make this at least one day ahead and refrigerate until you transport it. You may even want to cut it while it’s cold, straight out of the fridge, because you’ll get cleaner (more defined) slices that way. But no matter how you slice it, this is one pie – whether or not your team wins this weekend – you’ll score a victory with.

PASTRY NOTE: I like the Good Basic Pie Dough for this pie.

ANOTHER NOTE: This recipe is from my new book, The Old Farmers’ Almanac Everyday Baking book, which I wrote about here last week.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 - 10
When is pecan pie not just pecan pie? When you add a layer of decadent chocolate to the mix. When you try this week's tailgate pie from, you'll see what we're talking about.
  • GOOD BASIC PIE DOUGH, refrigerated
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  1. When the dough has chilled, place it on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper and roll into a 13-inch circle. Invert the paper and pastry over a 9½" deep-dish pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, then sculpt the overhanging dough into an upstanding rim. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil about 16-inches long and line your pie shell with it, tucking it into the shell so it fits like a glove. Add enough dried beans to come nearly all the way to the top, to weight the pastry down. Bake on the center rack for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, lift out the foil and beans, and prick the bottom of the pastry 6 or 7 times with the tines of a fork, to keep the shell from puffing up. Lower the heat to 350° and bake 7 minutes longer. (Cool the beans, store, and reuse for the same purpose.) Transfer the pie shell to a cooling rack and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips over the shell. Wait 5 minutes, for the chips to melt, them spread the chocolate over the bottom with the back of a spoon. Cool.
  4. Make the filling: Using an electric mixer, lightly blend the corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until evenly mixed. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Carefully pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake the pie on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes. When done, the pie will be "set," meaning that it will not move in waves when the pie plate is nudged.
  6. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool thoroughly. Cool to room temperature before serving. Or chill, then serve.