Silk Chocolate Pie with Pecan Crust

IMG_6813Alright, I’ll be honest. The Triple Coconut Cream Pie sounded delicious. I was quite psyched about that one but…I just wasn’t crazy about it. Too much cream! Maybe I’m just a coconut and chocolate kind of person in which case I should stick to Bounty bars in future. However, the next pie I tried from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook really hit the spot. The picture in the book was enough to make me swoon. Joe pointed at the picture and demanded: “that one!” The salted pecan crust works wonderfully against the silky chocolate ganache filling.

You’ll need a 9″ pie dish and pie weights (dried beans, uncooked rice or those ceramic balls). You’ll also need a fine mesh sieve.

Pecan Pastry Dough

½ Cup / 60g pecans
1 1/3 Cups / 200g flour
1 tblsp + 2 tsp brown sugar
1½ tsp kosher salt
½ Cup + 2 tblsp / 150g unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces and very cold (pop it in the freezer now!)
3-4 tblsp ice cold water
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
 
 

1. Blitz the pecans in a food processor until they’re finely ground. Add the flour, brown sugar and salt and pulse for 2 minutes.

2. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mix resembles crumbs.

3. Take 3 tbslp ice cold water (reserving an extra tblsp in case more is needed) and combine with the vinegar. Gradually add the liquid to the crumbly flour mix, pulsing after each addition, until it’s all starting to clump together. Press a bit between your fingers – it should hold. If the mixture seems a little dry, add the 4th tblsp of water.

4. Lay a big piece of clingfilm on your countertop and dump the pastry crumblies onto it. Use your hands to gather it into a ball, using also the corners of the clingfilm to smoosh all the outer bits in together. Flatten the ball into a disk then wrap everything up tight and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle approximately 12 inches across. Transfer the dough to the pie dish and press it in lightly. Trim any excess dough to a one inch overhang then roll the overhang upwards and over, towards the centre of the dish, tucking it under. Flute the edges. Chill for another 15-30 mins.

6. Heat the oven to 175 C / 350 F. Line the pastry shell with a large piece of parchment and fill with your pie weights. Bake for 55-60mins or until the bottom of the dough is baked through but not brown. Remove the pie weights and parchment and return the dish to the oven for a further 15 mins or so, until the bottom is lightly browned. (It’s always best to err on the side of caution: set your timer for less than 55 mins and check on it before the time is up. The edges will brown quicker than everything else so be careful not to burn them. If in doubt, lower the oven temperature to be safe).

7. Once the pie dough is nicely browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling it.

Chocolate Filling

¾ Cup / 140g chopped milk chocolate
½ Cup + 1 tbslp / 85g chopped bittersweet chocolate (60-70%)
¼ Cup / 85g light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp kosher salt
5 large egg yolks, room temp
¼ Cup + 1 tblsp / 65g brown sugar
¾ Cup / 175g milk
¾ Cup / 175g heavy cream
3 tblsp / 24g unsweetened cocoa powder
 

1. Combine the chocolates, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Have a fine mesh sieve on hand for later.

2. In a medium bowl, combine  the egg yolks and brown sugar. Beat until slightly pale.

3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cream and cocoa powder, and whisk together. Bring the mixture to a boil. Temper the egg yolks by gradually adding about a ladleful of hot cream to them and whisking together. Pour the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan and whisk vigorously to combine and keep lumps out. Use a spatula to scrape up the bottom and sides. Continue whisking the mixture over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or until it thickens – it’ll coat the back of a spoon.

4. Take the fine mesh sieve and pour the hot cream mixture through it and onto the chocolate in the food processor. Use a spatula or a spoon to force the mixture through.Run the food processor for about one minute, until the chocolate is melted and all ingredients are combined. Scrape down the sides and blitz for another minute.

5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pastry shell and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set (the filling shouldn’t jiggle and, if you touch it, your finger will come back clean).

Cream Topping

1½ Cups / 355g heavy cream
2 tblsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ Cup chocolate shavings or curls
 

1. Whip the cream, brown sugar and vanilla to form stiff peaks. Spoon the cream on top of the set chocolate ganache and make it all pretty and fluffy. Scatter the chocolate shavings on top. (I used a knife to shave the chocolate. You can also use a microplane for smaller pieces).

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