Photo © 2013 Paul Runyon
and indulge all your vices—sugar, booze, and chocolate—in one handy pie. Infused with
caramelly bourbon and dark chocolate, this recipe takes the already-decadent pecan pie to an entirely new level of hedonism—but if that’s not enough for you, by all means, top it with Coconut Whipped Topping, nondairy vanilla ice cream, or vegan sour cream. Jack Daniels would definitely approve.
- 1 Basic Single-Crust Pastry or Gluten-Free Single-Crust Pastry [See recipe, below]
- 1 cup (100 g) pecan halves or pieces
- ¼ cup (60 g) vegan cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) margarine
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
- ½ cup (112 g) packed brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
- ½ cup (120 ml) dark agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) bourbon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)
- 1 cup (175 g) dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6).
Roll out the pie crust and arrange in the pan. Place aluminum foil over the bottom of the pie crust, top with pie weights, and blind bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove the weights.
Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and toast them on another shelf in the oven while the crust is blind baking. Be careful not to burn; 5 to 10 minutes should suffice. Your nose should tell you when the nuts are done—but check after 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Meanwhile, assemble the filling. Whiz the cream cheese, margarine, shortening, cornstarch, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, vanilla, bourbon, salt, and orange zest in the food processor until smooth.
Pour the chocolate chips into the pie shell, followed by the nuts, and then pour the filling over the top. Don’t overfill. (Any leftovers make a great smoothie sweetener, coffee syrup, or flavored syrup for pancakes.)
Put a pie guard or foil over the edges of the crust and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly. Remove the foil or pie guard immediately. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then place in the refrigerator overnight before slicing.
Substitute brandy, whiskey, cognac, Armagnac, or rum for the bourbon.
Basic, Single-Crust Pastry
This basic recipe is the very
foundation of most pies. After you make this a few times, you won’t even need
to consult this cookbook.
- ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup white flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 T margarine
- 4 T vegetable shortening
- 3-5 T ice cold water
Makes one 9-inch crust
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt.
Dice margarine and shortening and add to the flour, tossing very well so each piece is covered with flour.
Using a pastry blender, blend the flour and fats, with the aim of handling the dough as little as possible. When the bits are about pea sized, start adding water, 1 T at a time, sprinkling evenly onto the dough.
Use your hand to toss and gently work, again avoiding manipulating the flour as much as possible. (You want to keep the shortening bits intact for a flakier crust). Repeat until the dough just holds together. If the dough feels wet, you have added too much water.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight .
Roll out as desired. (If leaving dough overnight, give it about 30 minutes to warm up at room temperature before rolling.)