There is something about baking that always makes me nervous. Maybe it’s the act of closing something behind the oven door and just trusting that I will meet perfection on the other side of an hour. This pie in particular always has me squatting in front of the oven staring into its depths.
Here I am scaring you away already. I should be writing to convince you to make this recipe. And you definitely should. It’s just that I have been making this pie for 2 years now and twice it has failed me. There is nothing more disappointing than a pie where the filling takes forever to set and when it finally does, it’s hard as a brick. What the hell did I do wrong? What was so different about these attempts? Ugly salty tears resulted. But those failures where multiple pies ago and I finally have it down. You do not need to go through the same heartbreak.
I finally figured out that the key to this pie filling is to barely melt the chocolate. If the chocolate is too hot, it will be too thin and won’t set properly in the oven. You should be able to easily stick your finger into the thick chocolate mixture even while it is on the stove. That’s it really. Ever since figuring this little tip out, I have not had a single pie failure.
The Earl Grey tea is a fairly new addition to this pie, but it is such a perfect complement to the dark chocolate. The pairing of Earl Grey and chocolate is a classic pairing and understandably so. The tea’s distinctive flavor comes from bergamot, a super fragrant orange prized for it’s oils. In this recipe I have infused the butter with the tea, making a super concentrated tea butter. Make sure to use good quality tea leaves for this.
The pie itself is an indulgent slice of heaven, but not too sweet or heavy really. It is the perfect little beauty to share with friends.
E A R L G R E Y I N F U S E D D A R K C H O C O L A T E P E C A N P I E
makes one 9-inch pie
1 pie dough
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons earl grey tea (make sure to use good quality tea)
1 3/4 cup whole pecan halves, divided
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
3 large eggs, at room temperature
I love this recipe for pie crust.
While you are on step 12 of making the pie crust, set up a double boiler over medium low heat and melt the butter. Add the earl grey tea and infuse over the heat for 2 minutes. Cover with a lid and allow to sit for 2 hours. Use a fine mesh sieve to separate the butter from the tea leaves. Make sure to press hard on the leaves to get every bit of the butter out.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out the pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan, use a fork to prick holes all over the crust, and place into the freezer. In the meantime, lay the pecans on a large sheet tray, toast in the over for 8 minutes. Roughly chop up 1 cup of the pecans. Leave the best looking ones whole.
Set up the double boiler again. Add the chocolate chips and begin to melt them over medium heat. When the chocolate has melted about 1/4 of the way add the tea-infused butter and turn of the heat. Using the residual heat from the stove, stir with a rubber spatula to melt the rest of the chocolate. The key here is that the chocolate should still be thick and only slightly warm. You should be able to easily dip your finger into the chocolate sauce. Once the chocolate is fully melted, remove from the stove. Add the orange zest, grated ginger, sea salt, brown sugar, and brown rice syrup. Fold everything into the chocolate. Next, add the eggs one at a time and gently mix into the sauce using a rubber spatula. Finally, mix in the chopped up pecans. Do not over mix.
Take the pie crust out of the freezer. Pour in the chocolate pecan mixture. Lay the pecan halves on top in concentric circles. Do not press too hard.
Put the pie pan on a sheet tray and bake in the oven on the second lowest rack for 30 minutes. The pie is done when the top is firm but the middle still has a slight jiggle. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Serve with generous scoop of ice cream.
It will keep on the kitchen counter for a day. After that place in the refrigerator.