Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie

From now on, when ever anyone asks me how I am doing, I am not going to say,
"I'm great."
"I'm good."
"I'm fine."
I am going to say:

"I am loving life." 

Because being alive is actually really spectacular. And it's inspirational to affirm the wonder of the world to other people, as well as yourself.
So there you go. 

Also it is Thanksgiving. And I am so grateful. My father likes to tell me that Gratitude and Forgiveness are the Most Important Thing.

And he's right.

I'm grateful for my family, what they have done for me and the love I have for them... There are not words for my gratitude it goes --beyond. I am especially grateful for my brother Michael, because he lets me call him and say everything that is in my head and he listens and we laugh, and that is good.

And I am grateful for friends, old and new, for laughter and good times and talking about everything and nothing. I am grateful for hugs and smiling and laughter. I am grateful for meals. I am grateful for books and blogs and the newspaper and long walks. I am grateful for music and lyrics and poetry. I am grateful for sitting on blankets and looking at the sky. I am grateful for clouds. I am grateful for professors and university. I am grateful for lipstick and cvs and dancing. I am grateful for yogurt and granola and bananas. I am grateful for sunlight. I am grateful for the cold. I am grateful for waking up. I am grateful for singing and pie.
And I am grateful for myself. And I'm grateful that I can forgive myself-- for being awkward and weird sometimes, and knowing that it is okay.

I am also grateful for my ability to rationalize eating tremendous quantities of pie.

Speaking of which:

Chocolate Pecan Pie. My mother wished it had bourbon in it. I agree. Add a splash of something boozy while you bake.

Endless love. I am so grateful you're here.

also, i just realized that all of my posts lately have been about how gorgeous life is. how magnificent is that?

Chocolate Pecan Pie
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

This is really, really good. NB: Dorie specifies a partially baked crust, which frankly, I rarely have time for. Partially/blind baking crusts always exhausts me as it requires too much hovering around the oven. Anyways, I baked this in an unbaked crust and it all worked out fine. Though the crust on the bottom COULD stand to be a little crisper, who cares? Regardless, I wanted to leave that decision up to you, so I left the recipe as is.

1 9-inch single pie crust, partially baked and cooled
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup (about 7 ounces) pecan halves or pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
A splash of something boozy

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat blah blah blah.
In a large bowl, whisk the corn syrup and brown sugar together until smooth.
Whisk in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until you have a smooth, foamy mixture. Add the espresso powder, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and give the batter a good mix. Rap the bowl against the counter a couple of times to pop any bubbles that might have formed, then stir in the pecans and chocolate.
Turn the filling into the crust.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make a foil shield for the crust by butting a 9-inch circle out of the center of an 11- or 12-inch square of aluminum foil.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Place the foil shield on top of the piecrust, the filling will be exposed, the crust covered by the foil. Bake the pie for another 15 to 20 minutes (total baking time should be 30 to 35 minutes), or until it has puffed (the middle and the edges should be fairly evenly puffed), is beautifully browed and no longer jiggles when tapped. Transfer the pie plate to a rack, remove the shield and cool to room temperature. 

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