Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Pie Of My Childhood

"Pecan Pie. There is nothing like it on earth." That quote was the opening line in Ree Drummond's (aka The Pioneer Woman) blog/recipe post on pecan pie. And she's right. The title of the post is "The Pie That'll Make You Cry" and truer words were never spoken.

Pecan pie is great but have you ever tasted chocolate pecan pie? Rich, gooey and so good. Anyone that enjoys eating (correction - savoring their food) and cooking, understands that, yes, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family and most importantly, to give thanks. But Thanksgiving is also about COOKING - rolling your sleeves up, dusting off the cookbooks and preparing yourself for a full day in the kitchen.
 During my middle school years, my mother taught me how to make pecan pie. One year, we decided to spice it up a little bit, so we added melted chocolate to the final mix. It was a wrap after that.

My parents were divorced when I was 6, so every other year I spent the holidays with either mom or dad. Dad was also big into cooking. He taught me several, if not most (sorry, mom) of the cooking skills I use today. One year I made the chocolate pecan pie for him and some friends and I'll never forget the look on his face. I felt like Betty Crocker's personal executive chef. He was thrilled, shocked and I loved it. It gave me the confidence I needed to continue the tradition.

To save money one year, mom and I baked mini chocolate pecan pies and gave them away as Christmas presents. As you can imagine, it was a success.

Today I still enjoy a good plain pecan or chocolate pecan pie. The first bite always teleports me back to the middle school years. But I spend most of my time now perfecting my sausage and sage stuffing, macaroni and cheese, gravy and whatever else I am able to prepare during Thanksgiving that my family doesn't get dibs on first. Chocolate is great but this body is no longer in middle school.

Recipe Time!

This recipe is a combination of "eye-balling" the ingredients, tips from my mother and specific ingredients - when needed - from several different cooking sites (,, There are a lot of recipes out there. Choose the one that's right for you.

1 9-inch pie crust (unbaked)
3 large eggs
1 cup light or dark corn syrup

Note: I use dark or light Karo Syrup. I prefer the Light Karo, especially when doing Chocolate Pecan Pie. The dark syrup and chocolate together make for a very rich pie, so it's a personal preference.

1/2 cup brown or white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup of finely chopped pecan (leave some pecans whole for decoration)
1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Optional: Whipped cream for topping

The Fun Part
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the chocolate chips, syrup, eggs (previously beaten), sugar, salt, vanilla extract and butter. Mix well with a hand beater or whisk.
Stir in pecans.
Pour the combined mixture into your pie shell.
Add more pecans on top to decorate (optional).
Cover the outer pie crust with foil so the edges don't burn.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour (oven temperatures do vary). Check with a fork or tooth pick. Mixture should be set.
Set aside and cool before you cut.

Note: I think pies are always better the second day - once they've set.


- Rani Robinson, Good Food


  1. Great post, Rani!

    As a dad who cooks, I also love that your dad taught you most of your cooking skills, too. Go dad!

  2. Thank you, Jim! Yes. Dad's are the best. :)


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