Who wants to be a
millionaire Thanksgiving superstar?
Cause, like, this pie, yo.
Good gracious gravy!
Sorry. I got excited.
This pie… There’s just so much good stuff going on! Yummy, delicious stuff.
First, let’s talk crust. I know. It’s the scariest part for most people. But crust is your friend!
Buttery, flaky, tender crust. How could it NOT be your friend?
The trick to a good pie crust is not a food processor, I’ve decided.
YesokokIknow, the food processor revolutionized pie crust because it shaved 5 minutes off the preparation time and allowed people to keep their hands clean.
Newsflash: you’re cooking and baking, your hands are going to get dirty sometime. Pie crust is a good excuse to play around in flour and butter.
(BUTTER. Not shortening. As you can see in this pie, I’ve swapped my usual buttermilk for water to give a more sturdy crust, since it’s a custard pie that will not have par-baking. That said, I could have swapped butter for shortening. But why, oh why, would I want to sacrifice that flavor? Oh, right. I wouldn’t. And neither would you. I won’t have it any other way.)
By making your pie crust by hand, you get a good feel for the texture. In a food processor, an extra 3 pulses gives you a gummy crust that will be tough and shrink during baking. (Insert sad face here.)
Let’s take this chance to play with our food, no? It’ll be fun.
Dump your flour, salt, and a pinch of sugar into a big bowl.
Cube your butter into little chunky chunks, then throw it back in the fridge for 5 minutes to re-chill.
Meanwhile, fill a small bowl with cold water, and chuck 2 ice cubes in it. Keep a tablespoon near the ice water.
Stir the flour n’ stuff around with your hands.
Take your butter chunks and place them all in the flour, all snuggly and nested down in there.
Now, with your fingers and palms, start to smash the cubes into flat sheets. Rub about half between your hands to create a coarse meal. The others, leave as small, flattened chunks, the size of peas.
You should have a rough mish-mash of butter and flour and butter-flour meal.
Here comes the fun: dunk the tablespoon measure in the ice water and put 2 measures into your butter/flour.
Using your hands, gently stir the mixture together. Some will stick to your hands. Just scrape it off and put it back in the mix.
If there are still a lot of dry chunks at the bottom of your bowl, add up to 2 more tablespoons of water, but go slow.
When your crust is done, it will hold together and all of the flour will be hydrated, but it won’t be very sticky or gooey. It should be smooth.
Give it a couple kneads, a little massage, and wrap it up nice and snug in some plastic wrap.
Back in the fridge she goes!
To roll the crust out, liberally sprinkle a clean countertop with flour, then place your crust in the middle.
Sprinkle the top with flour, and gently, starting from the middle, roll towards the edges, creating a rough circle shape.
Once it’s 3 inches larger in all directions than the bottom of your pie dish, roll it up on your rolling pin (like a roll of paper towels) and place it in the dish. Crimp the edges by rolling the excess up underneath, then pinching to create pretty little ruffles.
Back to the fridge! Keep it COLD, y’all!
So you’ve got your awesome all-butter pie crust made and ready and chilling.
Let’s fill it with heavenly goodies.
Start with brown sugar and a friendly pinch of salt, and add
the ambrosia of the gods nutty brown butter.
Whisk whisk whisk in warm, autumnal spices and six (6!) egg yolks to ensure a silky, custard-like texture.
Stir in 70% bittersweet chocolate, melted and luxurious.
Finish with a sprinkling of pecans and turbinado sugar.
You’ll smell this pie long before it emerges from the oven. It’s fragrant with the best things in life: butter, spices, and chocolate.
Once it’s partially cooled, you’ll stick it in the freezer and it will thicken into a custard-y pie, the smooth and gooey chocolate interrupted only by crisp pecans.
Serve this pie sprinkled with a touch of powdered sugar, and unsweetened whipped cream or barely sweetened vanilla ice cream.
I might have to make this again for Thanksgiving.
It is among the 3 best pies I’ve ever made.
It is that good, people.
tl;dr: MAKE THIS.
P.S. I posted this on 11/11 at 11:11. My wish is for you to make this (JK! Then it wouldn’t come true!!)
Pumpkin Spice Brown Butter Chocolate Pecan Pie
for the crust:
165 grams (1 1/2 cups)flour
8 grams (2 teaspoons) sugar
113 grams (8 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces and cold
45 grams (3 tablespoons ice water, or as needed)
for the filling:
140 grams (scant cup) bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
220 grams (1 cup plus 2 scant tablespoons) sugar
150 grams (1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons) brown sugar
17 grams (2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or a big pinch each cloves, nutmeg, and star anise, plus 2 pinches each cinnamon and ginger
big pinch kosher salt
180 grams (13 tablespoons) butter, browned
120 grams (1/2 cup) milk
6 egg yolks
approximately 300 grams (2 1/2 cups) pecan halves, the pretty ones saved for garnish and the rest chopped roughly
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, if desired
Make the crust: stir the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
Add the butter cubes in and cut them in with a pastry blender or your fingers, flattening some and rubbing others into the flour.
Leave pieces the size of peas; the rest should resemble a coarse meal.
Stir in the water, starting with 2 tablespoons, until the dough comes together; it shouldn’t be sticky or crumbly, but just barely hold together.
Knead gently 3 or 4 times, then pat into a disk and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, make the filling: begin by melting the chocolate, gently; do this in a microwave on partial power or over a double boiler.
When the chocolate is 2/3 melted, remove from heat and stir until all melted; set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, spices, and salt together until no little lumps remain.
Whisk the brown butter in vigorously. Whisk the yolks and milk together, then vigorously whisk them into the butter/sugar mixture.
Finally, whisk in the melted and cooled chocolate and stir in the chopped pecans.
Set aside to thicken and rest while you finish the crust.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the crust out, gently, to a 1/8 inch thickness.
Place it in a 9-inch pie pan that is about 2 inches in depth.
Flute or crimp the edges as desired, then place in the freezer until it is hardened, about 10 minutes.
Pour filling into the crust and decorate with the reserved pecan halves.
Top with a little turbinado sugar, then place on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes, until top is shiny and filling is set; you may need to cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent the pecans from burning (mine got a little toasty…).
Remove from oven and allow to cool almost completely, then finish the chilling in the freezer to make the filling extra dense.
Enjoy with unsweetened whipped cream and a little powdered sugar!