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Thanksgiving Pie: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan and Apple Cranberry Pies Twists on Old Favorites

November 21st, 2010 · No Comments

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie /photo by Tom Irvin

I wrote a story this week for the Sun Sentinel on pies for Thanksgiving and included these two great recipes. They’re a twist on two traditional ones for the holiday.

For the chocolate bourbon pecan, think “wet brownie with a crust.”

The apple-cranberry pie is just a delicious variation of the traditional – with the tart cranberries adding color and flavor to the pie.

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie

  • Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cane syrup (or dark corn syrup) *
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 -1/2 cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out pastry and place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let cool.
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer until eggs are frothy; blend in sugar. Stir in the syrup, vanilla, bourbon, salt and melted butter-chocolate mixture until well blended.
Arrange the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust and carefully pour the egg mixture over them.
Place pie carefully on baking sheet. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 55 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie; if it comes out almost clean, but still loose, the pie is done. Do not overbake.
Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely or refrigerate before cutting.
Makes 8 servings.
* The dark syrup will turn the pecans extra dark during baking; the pie is not burned, however.

Apple cranberry pie /photo by Tom Irvin

Apple cranberry pie

  • Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 cups Granny Smith apple slices (about 6 large apples)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Roll out dough for bottom crust and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Allow dough for upper crust to remain on counter to soften slightly. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cranberries, sugar, flour and allspice. Peel, core and slice apples about 3/4-inch thick. Add apples to cranberry mixture and toss well to combine. Sprinkle brandy and vanilla extract over all. Pour mixture into prepared crust.
Roll out top crust and cover pie, cutting small slit vents all around pie and in center.
Stir yolk and cream together in small bowl; use a pastry brush to brush top crust with mixture.
Place pie on a baking sheet to catch drips, and bake for 50 minutes. Check pie and cover lightly with foil if crust is becoming too brown. Continue baking until pie bubbles slightly through vents and a knife piercing the pie shows apples are softened. Cool on rack before slicing, or refrigerate until served.
This pie freezes well, but it’s best when served fresh.
Makes 8 servings.

Tags: Baking: Cheap therapy · Holiday cooking · Sun Sentinel column

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