I grew up in Mississippi, where Southern cooking both defined and reflected the culture. Whether it was fresh vegetables with cornbread in summer or meals during the holidays, certain things were always expected. I remember my grandmother’s cooking – plates of biscuits and gravy for breakfast and fried chicken for Sunday dinner after church. Homemade pies were considered a must, with the crust made from scratch. My mother continued these traditions, cooking pies like chocolate, coconut and pecan. Never would she have considered buying a pie crust at the grocery store. And based on the legacy they left, I like to make my own pie crusts, too!
I have cooked all of my adult life, and I find that it is still something I very much enjoy doing. My cooking is heavily influenced by the South and its cooking, and our family has always enjoyed gathering at the table for family meals. Some dishes have become favorites and are requested over and over.
Pecan pie has always been one of our favorite pies – that is, until I discovered chocolate pecan pie! The recipe below is basically the recipe for the Southern pecan pie of my childhood, but chocolate chips take it to a whole new level. I have included the recipe for the homemade pie crust as well, but of course you can pick up a Pillsbury crust anytime! Our family loves this pie, especially when it’s covered with vanilla ice cream! I love making this pie for family, dinner parties and real estate clients!
Homemade Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups sifted enriched flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
5 Tablespoons ice water
Sift together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with pastry blender or fork until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle the water over the mixture one Tablespoon at a time, gently tossing with fork. Push each moistened section to one side of bowl. Gather up with fingers and form into a ball. Refrigerate dough for several hours. Then on lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, smoothing edges. Roll 1/8 inch thick. Roll from center and use light strokes. Roll pastry over rolling pin. Unroll over pie plate, fitting loosely onto bottom and sides. Use extra dough to make a fluted edge if desired.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 ½ cups pecan pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread the pecan pieces and chocolate chips evenly on bottom of pie shell. Cook the pie shell by itself in over for 3-4 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour filling over pecans and chocolate chips. Bake until filling sets, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for an hour before slicing. Note: While baking, use either aluminum foil or a metal rim around edge of pie over crust to keep it from getting too done.
- Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.er crust to keep it from getting too done.
- Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.