If you’re a fan of pecans, you’ll go nuts about two upcoming holidays. Tuesday, August 20 is National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day. And, if that isn’t good enough, Wednesday, August 21 is National Pecan Torte Day.
Delightful Pastries is celebrating at all three of its locations (Chicago French Market, N. Wells St., and Jefferson Park) by offering their delicious Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie ($5.25/mini pie; $25/8-inch pie) by executive pastry chef and owner Dobra Bielinski (recipe below). Delightful Pastry also has the Chocolate Pecan Pie available without Bourbon.
Here’s a tidbit that will pique your interest. Did you know that pecans contain zinc, which boosts testosterone? Zinc is the reason people think oysters are aphrodisiacs. We bet you’re in the mood for a slice now!
Not just for Thanksgiving, pecan pie is a Southern staple and for good reason. There’s nothing quite like the smell of its warm, buttery crust and gooey, nutty center coming out of the oven.
The origin of the pecan pie is a little flaky. Claims have been made of the dish existing in the early 1800s in Louisiana, but this does not appear to be backed up by recipes or literature. Attempts to trace the dish’s origin have not found any recipes dated earlier than 1897, and well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert before 1940.
Some have stated that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, after being introduced to the pecan nut by Native Americans. Pecan pie may be a variant of chess pie, which is made with a similar butter-sugar-egg custard.
Whatever the history, it holds a well-deserved spot on your dinner or lunch menu.
Most pecan pie recipes call for a mix of eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and syrup or molasses poured into a pastry shell. Adding melting chocolate or bourbon are popular variations of the classic. Regardless, a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream is always a welcome addition.
Delightful Pastries’ gives it a welcoming twist, adding bittersweet chocolate and bourbon to make a perfect pie for any occasion.
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By: Executive Pastry Chef & Owner, Dobra Bielinski
6 ounces butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 ounces pecan halves
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 9-inch pie shell
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar till smooth. Add the corn syrup and molasses, then the flour and mix well.
Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping down after each egg; add the vanilla extract and salt. Fold the pecans and chocolate by hand, add the bourbon.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, till the top is dry and the filling is barely jiggling. Let cool. 8 servings.