Southern Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 9-inch pie shell; unbaked
4 ounces sweet cooking chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs; slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Melt chocolate; stir in coffee. Remove from heat. Combine sugar and syrup in another pan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and boil gently for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from heat and add the chocolate mixture. Pour slowly over eggs, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Pour into pie shell.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until filling is completely puffed across top. Cool and garnish with the topping and pecan halves if desired.
5. Make the Coffee-Flavored Topping: combine the coffee granules, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl. Whip just until soft peaks form.

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