My wife and I were married on Pi Day, 2014. We chose this date because 1) it was convenient and B) it was cute. We are both nerds, so we celebrate math and science whenever we can, and we call each other “Pie” as a nickname that is short for both “Sweetie Pie” and “Cutie Pie.” Together, we are Two Pies, thus Tau, and now you see it all comes full circle. Also, my wife had a little Pie in the oven, as our daughter was to be born the following April.
This year, my wife was sick for our anniversary and I didn’t make pie like I usually do. Too busy washing cloth diapers for our second child who was four months old. Once my wife was feeling better, we were entering the first COVID-19 lockdown and she was craving chocolate, so I resolved to make a chocolate pecan pie.
I found two recipes, and not being able to decide between them, I decided to just combine the recipes and add more chocolate. It turned out amazing, so I made it again today, for Tau Day. It’s especially appropriate since it’s two pies in one circle: chocolate and pecan, the two recipes I combined, and the two forms of chocolate in the pie!
My now-6-year-old daughter helped me cut crust dough decorations for today’s pie. We also had a little talk, while it baked, about circles, the radius, the diameter, and the circumference, and how all these things relate to each other and to her parents’ wedding anniversary.
Anyway, sorry for being long-winded. The recipe is below!
Sweet Butter Pie Crust
- 1 ½ cups flour
(I used 1 ¼ cup white and ¼ cup almond flour for extra protein)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
(I put mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes)
- 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
Mix the dry ingredients, then cut the butter in with a pastry blender until you have small pebbles of flour-coated butter. Work quickly so that the butter doesn’t melt. Then add the water and continue mixing with your pastry blender until it comes together.
Quickly put it in a sealed container and put it in the fridge to get cold again and let the gluten relax. A half hour or so is sufficient, but if you leave it overnight it’s even better. When ready to bake, roll it out and put it in your pie plate. If you have extra, use it to make some cute designs and float them on the filling.
There are probably directions out there for doing pie crust with powered appliances. I don’t know about all that.
Double Chocolate Pecan Filling
- Dry ingredients
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ cup flour
- Wet ingredients
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- ¾ cup half & half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup pecan halves
- ⅓ cup milk chocolate chips
(or semi-sweet, or whatever high percentage cacao your dark heart demands)
- 1 cup pecan halves
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs a little and then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, then add the morsels.
You might be wondering what the point of chocolate chips is, since they will melt. Well, that’s true, and the end result is that you will get a layer of pure chocolate on the bottom of the pie. It’s amazing.
Allow me to briefly draw your attention to the vanilla quantity. I usually triple the normal amount of vanilla. It’s a life philosophy, really. But if you think that’s weird, use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon.
Bake it for 50-60 minutes at 350 °F until it’s set. Take it out after 60 minutes no matter what though. It will finish cooking as it cools, and it will be fine. But not if you overcook it.