Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

My iPhone “Notes” application is filled with roughly 157 notes, most of which contain strings of words which eventually materialize into the recipes you find on this blog.  Inspiration is sporadic, and my notes are often random lines such as “Chocolate Cream Pie + Cinnamon Whipped Cream + Pecan Pie?”  Oh the wonderful things you can think of when you are supposed to be replying to emails...

After some highly technical recipe-investigating, and a whole lot of butter, that electronic note became a tangible, edible reality. 

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

If you are not a stranger to this blog you know that this is about the time when I would offer a friendly lecture on how you should never, ever, ever, use a store-bought pie crust.  I highly doubt that I need to repeat that lecture, because I think we are all clear on the fact that store-bought pie crusts are evil and I am sure that none of you would ever consider bringing one into your home, right?  Good, we can now proceed.  

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

This pie begins with a traditional pecan filling.  Our pecans are roasted with cloves and cinnamon, given a rough chop, and covered in an irresistibly sticky mixture of corn syrup, egg yolks, butter, and sugar.  This is the first layer of our pie.

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

Next, we prepare our chocolate filling.  This custard uses both dutch-processed cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate to provide it with the rich chocolate flavor which will perfectly counteract the sweetness of the pecan layer.

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

Lastly, a spoonful of cream whipped with cinnamon tops our pie, completing the perfect triad of flavors and textures. 

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

I think this pie should make it to all of our Thanksgiving tables this year. 

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with family, pies, and lots of mashed potatoes.  

Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Pedantic Foodie}

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie


Chocolate Custard Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream 

serves 10 / recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker, Tyler Florence, and The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

 

for the crust 

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup ice 
  • egg wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon water)

Sift to combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  

Transfer the sifted flour mixture to the work bowl of your food processor.  Add cubed butter and pulse several times until the butter is worked in and in pea-sized pieces.  The mixture should be the texture of rough cornmeal.  

Combine water, vinegar, and ice in a small bowl.  Add the cold water mixture to the rough dough several tablespoons at a time, pulsing 1-2 times after each addition.  Add just enough liquid to bring the dough roughly together.  Divide the dough in half and form two discs.  Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  

Place one disc of chilled dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 12 inch circle.  Fold the circle in half and lay the crust across one side of a 9inch glass pie pan, unfold the disc so that the crust covered the pan and gently smooth out the crust.  Trim away an excess crust beyond 1 1/2 inches before forming the edge of the crust by folding and pinching.  Place the prepared crust in the refrigerator to rest for thirty minutes.  Use a fork to puncture the bottom of the crust several times and transfer to the freezer for ten minutes.  

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Line the chilled crust tightly with aluminum foil, wrapping the foil around the crimped edges, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned.  Remove from the oven and brush with egg wash, then return to the oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.  While the crust is cooling prepare pecan filling.  

for the pecan filling

  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

In a medium sauté pan combine pecans, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves.  Place over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the pecans become fragrant and begin to release their oils - about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from heat and chop roughly.  

Place the spiced pecans in the bottom of the prepared crust.  

In a large bowl whisk to combine corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla extract.  Pour the filling over the pecans and transfer the pie to the oven.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the pie filling jiggles slightly.  Allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.  Once the pie has cooled prepare the chocolate custard.  

for the chocolate custard

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks  
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

In a small bowl whisk to combine egg yolks, cornstarch, and heavy whipping cream.  Set aside.  

In a small saucepan combine whole milk, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Place over medium-high heat and stir frequently until the mixture is steaming, but not boiling.  

Slowly stream 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking rapidly to temper the yolks.  Return the tempered mixture to the saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it has thickened and reached a boil.  Remove from heat and fold in semisweet chocolate.  Pour the custard over the cooled pecan layer.  Refrigerate the pie for 3 hours or until the custard has set.  

for the cinnamon whipped cream

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Combine cream, cinnamon, and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Serve with chilled pie.  Enjoy! 

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples

We are getting really close to that wonderful holiday where it is completely socially acceptable to have four different carbs on your plate at one time.  Thanksgiving is an amazing product of commercialized American heritage, and I love every single part of it.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples {Pedantic Foodie}

This is the time where everyone is telling you how to bake the very best mashed potatoes, that are undeniably different than any other recipe for mashed potatoes, and which turkey brine you simply have to use.  (I highly recommend Alton Brown’s.)  Unfortunately, with all this attention directed to the lavish array of side dishes and the iconic Norman Rockwellesc turkey, the prelude to the feast is often grossly overlooked.  We must not let another year go by without reclaiming the first course and bringing it back to its full glory!  Ready?  Let’s get started.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples {Pedantic Foodie}

Thanksgiving is a game of time.  It requires strategic planning and precise execution, so the last thing we need is one more thing to take up a lot of preparation or oven time.  This is why many choose to mitigate the homemade appetizers and settle for a boring crudites.  I promise that with minimal effort, you can create an appetizer which is equally as tempting and delicious as your second course. 

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples {Pedantic Foodie}

If I could only eat one cheese for the rest of my life I would unreservedly choose brie.  It’s rich, creamy, and oh-so-versatile.  

For this recipe we begin by caramelizing some apples with brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.  You can caramelize your apples ahead of time and heat them up just before serving to save yourself some time. 

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples {Pedantic Foodie}

The brie is baked for a few minutes, just to warm it up.  The hot caramelized apples are poured directly over the brie along with a good sprinkling of sliced almonds.  

I like to serve mine with crostini but you can certainly substitute crackers if you wish. 

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples {Pedantic Foodie}

It takes me exactly 7.36 minutes to demolish 1/4 pound of brie.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples {Pedantic Foodie}

 Let’s make our first course as spectacular as our second this year.  Happy Holiday!!

Sincerely, 

  Pedantic Foodie

P.S. If brie is not your jam then you might want to try out this Balsamic-Roasted Grape Crostini.


Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples 

serves 6 (or one very hungry lady) 

- 1/3 cup brown sugar 

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

- 1 large apple, peeled and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups) 

- pinch of kosher salt 

- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

- 1/2 lb triple cream Brie 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

In a small bowl combine cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt.  Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat.  

In a small sauté pan melt butter over medium heat.  When the butter has melted add apple mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-12 minutes or until the apples are soft and a thick caramel has formed.  Remove from heat and reserve. 

Place the Brie on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the Brie begins to melt.  

Pour the caramelized apples over the baked Brie and serve immediately with crostini or crackers.  Enjoy!! 

For crostini:  Set your oven to its broiler setting.  Slice a baguette into slices 1/2 inch thick. Brush one side with olive oil and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.   

Bake for 2-4 minutes or until the toasts are golden brown.  Can be made one day in advance. 

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats

There is a simple and dependable equation by which us foodies like to live.  I would like to introduce you to the Baking Law of Addition.  You would be wise to memorize this formula.

The Baking Law of Addition states that the equation salt + sugar + fat will always equal everything wonderful and delicious. 

Foodies are a little predictable.  We take something classic, apply our super fancy non-mathematical law, and create something classic that has increased in both calories and deliciousness.  It is the best kind of predictable. 

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats {Pedantic Foodie}

I am a great admirer of the cereal family.  Ironically, though its a breakfast food, I find cereal much more appealing when I am wearing pajamas and watching Netflix.  Give me a bowl of Frosted Flakes and a hearty dose of cold milk and I will eat cereal all night long.  Well, at least until 10:30, let’s not be too crazy.  

Cereal becomes increasingly delicious when covered in melted marshmallows and butter - who would have guessed?  Apply the Baking Law of Addition and this really cannot get any better. 

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats {Pedantic Foodie}

Our sugar comes from a combination of buttery white chocolate and marshmallows.  Sea salt and crunchy pretzel crisps form the salty team and I think we all know what team the butter is on.  

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats {Pedantic Foodie}

Pretzels are crushed, marshmallows are melted and everything gets reeaallyy sticky...

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats {Pedantic Foodie}

This recipe makes twelve treats.  Initially, you may think that these servings are way too big.  Just take a bite and you'll understand.

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats {Pedantic Foodie}

Sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy, the Baking Law of Addition never disappoints.

White Chocolate, Sea Salt & Pretzel Krispie Treats {Pedantic Foodie}

Add some fancy to your cereal this week.  

Sincerely, 

  Pedantic Foodie


Sea Salt, White Chocolate & Pretzel Krispie Treats  

makes 12 large treats

- 6 cups rice cereal

- 2 cups pretzel crisps, crushed 

- 1 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, divided use 

- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

- 12 ounces marshmallows

- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

 

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with butter.  

In a large bowl combine rice cereal, crushed pretzel crisps, 1 cup of white chocolate, and sea salt. 

In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Stir in vanilla and remove from heat.  

Stir the rice cereal mixture into the melted marshmallows until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated in marshmallow.  

Transfer the Krispie treat mixture into the prepared pan.  Press down gentle to evenly distribute the mixture.  While the treats are cooling, melt the remaining white chocolate.  

In a microwave-safe bowl, place remaining 1/3 cup white chocolate chips.  Microwave the chips for 10 second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate is smooth. 

Drizzle melted chocolate over the krispie treats and allow to set for 30 minutes before slicing into squares.  Enjoy!