Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

Deep decadent and delicious dark chocolate pecan pie with sea salt! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to PIE WEEK #2!

For the second year in a row, I’m bringing you oodles of pie recipes just in time for Thanksgiving– the unofficial pie holiday. This week is also November 1st, which means November Baking Challenge! And you guessed it, it’s pie.

Let’s review last year. 2016’s Pie Week included:

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  1. Brown sugar sweet potato pie
  2. Nutella tart with toasted hazelnut crust
  3. Brown butter pecan pie bars
  4. Apple cranberry pie
  5. Honey pear tart (with goat cheese! so easy!)
  6. plus a round-up including 31 Thanksgiving pie recipes

That’s certainly a lot of sugar pie. ‘Tis the season!

Deep decadent and delicious dark chocolate pecan pie with sea salt! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And we’re not shying away from all the sugar, butter, and chocolate this year either. So let’s kick off 2017’s Pie Week with a decadent version of a Thanksgiving classic.

This is an adaption of my late grandmother’s pecan pie recipe. I posted her recipe a couple years ago, but felt inspired to share a variation this year for any new readers.

Pecan pie isn’t the variety I typically reach for, but it’s a whole other story when grandma’s is around. Her pecan pie boasts a chewy texture underneath a layer of toasty pecans. Pecan pie is usually so sweet that 1 bite will make your eyes cross. Her’s is wonderfully balanced. A lot of pecan pie recipes call for 2 cups of sugar– 1 cup of corn syrup and 1 cup of granulated or brown sugar. The natural flavor of pecans gets lost in all that sugar, so we’ll reduce by 1/2 cup. There’s also a little sea salt to offset the sweetness. It’s a sugary pie, of course, but the reduction of sugar and a little sea salt easily lift this pecan pie out of the cloyingly sweet/eyes-crossing category.

How to make dark chocolate pecan pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This Thanksgiving, let’s add some dark chocolate. Why mess with pie perfection? Because not only do toasty pecans scream for a little dark chocolate, Thanksgiving dessert is seriously lacking in the chocolate department. Right?? I’m not usually one to complain about non-chocolate desserts, but I’ll gladly welcome a sliver of deep dark chocolate-y pecan pie to my dessert plate.

How to make dark chocolate pecan pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll need 1 hefty cup of dark chocolate chips. If you can’t get your hands on dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips work just as well. Or chop up a couple dark chocolate bars and use those instead (–> yum). Sprinkle the chips on top of the pecans, then cover with the liquid filling.

What’s in the liquid filling? The usual pecan pie gang like brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter, and the sea salt I mentioned above. I like to add a little cinnamon for something special. Each ingredient serves a definitive purpose– mostly to set up the filling so it stays intact. (And tastes good!) I prefer to use dark corn syrup and dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor and highly suggest you try the same.

One thing I will note, though. Make sure you use room temperature eggs. I know I say this all the time, but room temperature eggs are especially important for today’s dark chocolate pecan pie. You see, there’s melted butter in this pie filling. Cold eggs will solidify it and you’ll be left with random chunks of butter in your filling. Those chunks of butter will melt once the pie is baking, but then you’ll have random patches of pie with melty butter and others… without. We can’t have butter-less bites of pie, people. So room temp eggs will definitely make a difference!

Deep decadent and delicious dark chocolate pecan pie with sea salt! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings optional. (But not really.)

Here’s to Pie Week 2.0!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) shelled pecans
  • 1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chips*
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) dark corn syrup*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar (or light brown)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sea salt for topping

Equipment

Directions:

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (you can freeze the 2nd for later use, see note). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.* Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Flute or crimp the edges of the crust. No need to pre-bake the crust.
  4. The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Once completely combined and thick, pour evenly over pecans and chocolate chips.
  5. Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. You can also tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie if the top is browning too quickly. Remove finished pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will set as it cools.
  6. Slice and serve pie warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired. Cover and store leftover pie at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Make ahead tip/Freezing: Pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. You can get started by combining all the filling ingredients (except the pecans and chocolate chips) one day ahead of time. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance since it needs to chill. If you want to bake the pie 1 full day in advance, bake it as directed, allow it to completely cool, then cover tightly and keep at room temperature until ready to serve the next day. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

*You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

*I strongly recommend a glass pie dish so you can see when the crust on the sides is browning, which signals that the pie is finished.

*Instead of dark chocolate chips, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips. Or 6 ounces of chopped semi-sweet, dark, or bittersweet chocolate.

*You can use light corn syrup instead.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Dark Chocolate Chips | Glass Scalloped Pie Dish | Rolling Pin | Glass Mixing Bowls | Pie Crust Baking Shield | Custom Printed Fork

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Deep decadent and delicious dark chocolate pecan pie with sea salt! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

76 Comments

  1. We made this for Thanksgiving and it was SO GOOD! The recipe was perfectly written- easy, no drama, and turned out fantastic. My dad is from the south and loves his ‘traditional’ pecan pie.. even he was won over by this version. Thank you so much for this recipe and I highly recommend everyone reading the comments to give this a try!

  2. Hmm I just made this pie this morning and I’m not sure what happened! I used a regular pie dish and the butter from the filling ran over in between the crust and pan- plus the crust bubbled up like crazy in the middle! Sounds like I should have blind baked, but you said you don’t have to? I’ve made plenty of pies before and never had this happen 🙁 I’m sure it’ll taste great though!

  3. I had no problem substituting 1/4 cup of molasses and 3/4 cup Of light corn syrup for 1 cup dark corn syrup. It may give a slightly darker, earthier , sulphuric flavor, but wasn’t a turn off for my tasters. It baked a nice texture for the filling at the shorter end of the cooking time.

  4. Thank you Sally for responding. I am going to take the chocolate pecan pie squares to my sister’s for Thanksgiving dinner.

  5. Hi Sally!
    I am generally slow at most baking steps. If making the filling will take me a bit of time, should I wait and roll out the pie dough after it’s finished? Or should I roll it out, place it in the dish, and then put the dish in the fridge until the filling is done? Or does none of this matter?

    1. Hi Orma! It definitely matters– and helps! The longer that crust can chill in the refrigerator, the better. I recommend rolling out the pie dough, fitting into the pie dish, refrigerating, then making the filling. No need to cover the pie dough in the fridge.

  6. I am an experienced baker and I avoid pies because I HATE working with pie crust. Because your homemade pie crust recipe makes two crusts, I was able to make two dark chocolate pecan pies. While they (inevitably?) taste good, my first attempt was a complete disaster (particularly in regards to appearance). There was too much filling and, because the crimped edges quickly fell down, it leaked all over my oven (fortunately, I had aluminum foil and a baking sheet at the ready. Instead of rolling the overhanging down and crimping the edges on my second pie, I cut the overhang off and crimped what was left. Once again, it quickly flattened once it was in the oven. Fortunately, I used only 2/3 of the prepared filling this time and its appearance was dramatically improved. In the future, I may use a pie crust recipe that I received from Valeri Lucks, the co-owner and pie maker for Honey Pie Cafe in Milwaukee, WI. It’s all shortening and it baked better than your homemade pie crust. While this was a frustrating experience, it WAS a learning experience and I’m grateful for that. 🙂

  7. Is there something I could substitute the corn syrup for? Do you think I could do all brown sugar? I just would prefer not to use corn syrup in the pie if I can avoid it. Do you have any suggestions?

  8. Hi. I am not the best baker, but I must have this pie. Can I use a store-bought crust instead? If so, should I use a standard or deep-dish crust?

    Thank you,

    D

    1. Hi Deanna! Absolutely, store-bought is great if you don’t have the time to make homemade pie crust. A recommend a regular pie crust, not deep dish.

  9. I’m baking this pie for a friend but don’t want to use one of my own pie dishes. What do you recommend as far as disposable pie pans? Will this effect the cooking time? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Katie! You can use a disposable pie dish for this chocolate pecan pie. Cooking time is usually the same when baking in a disposable pie dish.

    1. Hi Rachael! Individual mini pies baked in a standard 12-count muffin pan usually take around 25 minutes at 350F. Rotate the muffin pan halfway through bake time.

  10. A classic Thanksgiving treat with a twist!! When I was young my aunt made chocolate pecan pie and I have yet to find one I love just as much, but this one looks like it fits the bill! I cannot wait to try! Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Thank you. I just put in oven before I seen your reply. I left them mostly halved but next time will roughly chop some. I also toasted the pecans a little bit. Not sure if I can wait until Thanksgiving day to eat some. It looks wonderful !!!

  11. Sally, thank you so much for this recipe. I don’t have a pie pan and was going to use a pre-made store chocolate pie crust to just pour the filling in to–do you think this crust would be in danger of burning when the filling cooks? Would I be able to adjust the cook time at all to adjust this risk? Thank you very much for your help. It is a Keebler ready-made chocolate crust if that helps.

    1. Hi Vanessa! Chocolate crust– yum!! Your crust will be just fine; simply follow the recipe using your crust. You can always tent the pie with aluminum foil if you notice the crust browning or cooking too quickly.

  12. I made this with raw pecans since the recipe didn’t specify and that’s what was available in the baking aisle of the grocery store. The result wasn’t bad, but certainly wasn’t great either — next time I will definitely toast the pecans before making the pie (I hadn’t made pecan pie before, but I guess they’re usually made with toasted pecans). Luckily I used a good quality dark chocolate, which allowed the end result to still taste quite decadent. Might I suggest updating the ingredient list to specify toasted pecans for us novice pecan pie bakers 🙂

  13. Grandma was supposed to save us a slice of pecan pie from Thanksgiving and instead ate it herself! I had to satisfy this craving so I went in search of a recipe online and decided on this one. SO glad I did because it was 100 times better than the one we were originally supposed to have tonight. Thanks for posting this. You have a real gift for baking <3

  14. I just made this pie, my son was demanding a chocolate pecan pie because we didn’t have one at Thanksgiving. I used 3/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 cup molasses because it’s what I had at hand, and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips as I could not find dark chocolate chips. My son loved the pie but for me I found it way too sweet. In comparison with the regular pecan pie recipe from Sally this has the same amount of sugar and corn syrup, but the addition of 1 cup of chocolate chips just adds too much sugar, in my opinion. Perhaps it would be different with the dark chocolate and they are not interchangeable. My other comment is that the pie dripped a lot of sugar. I lined the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil, halfway through the baking the oven was filled with smoke and the aluminum foil actually was in flames!

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