I don’t know about the rest of you, but last week felt exhausting and drawn-out; it almost felt like the week was 12 days long, not seven. Maybe it was post-inauguration fallout or the excitement surrounding the weekend protest activities. Maybe it was the January doldrums. Maybe it was the impending arrival of more cold and snow, which we’re due for mid-week. By mid to late January, I am always completely ready for winter to take a hike even though I know we’ve got months of it to come. It makes a girl snarly.
Now that I think of it, it can’t just be me, because I saw more testy, cranky and downright ugly behavior on social media last week than I’ve seen in a long time. There was lots of positive stuff, too, but I can’t even begin to count the number of times I saw humans tell other humans to “shut up.”
I think we could use some cheering up, don’t you?
Personally, I think we need pie.
Wouldn’t a nice, fat slice of pie (preferably topped with freshly whipped cream) make us all feel a bit better? A little less world-weary?
Well, it couldn’t hurt, that’s for sure. Which is why I think it’s a dandy time to share the recipe for the chocolate bourbon pecan pie I made for our Christmas festivities.
I was nervous about making this pie because as most of you know, I’m not the world’s finest baker, not by a long shot. Baking requires a specificity and a strict adherence to rules that I find…challenging. Perhaps it’s the contrarian in me. I don’t take well to being told what to do, even in recipe form. Baking recipes are so bossy.
I must say, however, that this recipe is dead easy and not that bossy at all. I was pretty astounded how quickly and easily this pie came together. There’s not a lot of fussing here. I like that.
I especially like that it’s easy and impressive looking and delicious. My husband actually said that it was the best pecan pie he’d ever eaten. Can you believe that noise?
I’m not sure I believe it either, but it was certainly adorable of him to say. My pie was not perfect–it sported a few cracks and crevasses in the middle, but that’s okay. It just gives you reason to top the whole sucker with gobs of whipped cream. Sometimes I feel like the whole purpose of pie is as a vehicle for freshly whipped cream. I don’t allow myself to indulge in freshly whipped cream often, but this pie is the perfect excuse. You can even go a little hog-wild and spike the whipped cream with a little more of that quality Kentucky bourbon, if you’re of a mind. Nobody will complain.
This pie is the perfect antidote to a gray winter’s day and a bout of the January blahs. Or the February blahs, which I find even more taxing than the January ones. It would be a lovely surprise for your favorite pie-loving Valentine. It’s so easy that you might still have a little energy left for some canoodling on the couch later.
So let’s cheer up, shall we?
Let’s do something nice for others.
Life deserves a few niceties. Like pie.
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
slightly adapted from all recipes
makes 1 pie
1 (9-inch) pie shell
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup or honey
1/2 cup butter
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces good-quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli)
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350. Place a pie pan on a large baking sheet.
In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup/honey, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Let the mixture cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine eggs, bourbon, vanilla and salt and mix well. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in chocolate and pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell.
Bake in a preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until set and golden.
Serve either warm or chilled, preferably topped with freshly whipped cream.