Update 11.24.13 – We remade our pie for a pie bake-off at Nathan’s work and we totally got an “Award of Merit” in the unusual pie category (maybe because it had booze in it?) which is a nice of way of saying we got third place. Whatever, we will take what we can get considering they allowed purchased pies into the competition… really?! This also gave us an excuse to retake the pictures for the pie and they are a lot better than before! Enjoy!
Nathan’s sister is a professional chef and is pretty much required to do most of the cooking for family get-togethers. Deviled eggs were our sole contribution to last year’s Christmas feast…and Leslie helped us with them. Everything that she cooks is phenomenal… ESPECIALLY her pastries and desserts. (Check out her site here!) Given the caliber of Leslie’s creations, Nathan’s entire family has developed high standards for food and could probably be considered culinary connoisseurs. For this reason I was understandably terrified excited for a challenge when I learned that everyone would be contributing to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. (My first with the family!) For the sake of Rampant Cuisine and our culinary dignity Nathan and I needed to put our game faces on in order to bring something we could be proud of to the holiday table. We decided to make a pecan pie (first time for both of us!) and we knew that the traditional pecan pie needed a twist….thus we decided to make a Kahlua Chocolate Pecan Pie. We hope that on Thanksgiving day we will be able to make a pie as awesome as the one pictured here…otherwise I hope they still have pecan pies left in the freezer section of the grocery store…no one will know it’s not homemade right?!
This martini is inspired by the signature drink at Coco Sala, the chocolate bar in DC where I had my bachelorette party. However, this drink a) does not cost $12 each and b) is way better. It is rich and creamy combined with a little kick at the end from the vodka that was missing from the chocolate milk that your mom packed you in your lunchbox. This drink could easily be a dessert by itself but it also paired perfectly with the pie and made the beer pale in comparison. Sorry, Nathan. (see ingredients and directions below.)
My love affair with Belgian style beer continues with this tripel style beer from up north with those crazy Canucks. According to Unibroue, La Fin Du Monde or, “The End Of The World” (for those of you who don’t speak in Québécois), pays homage to the first intrepid explorers who found their way from France to the new world. They even have a video with an annoying guy to explain it all to you. Regardless of silly French accents, this beer is well worth your attention! Like all tripels, it is a strong beer at 9% A.B.V. with the typical citrus aromas from Belgian yeast. The astringent flavors from the yeast and hop flavors provide a great contrast to the sweet, chocolaty flavors from our pecan pie. I basically died and went to heaven with this combination!
1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable shortening)
3 cups All-purpose flour
1 whole egg
5 Tablespoons cold water
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg and pour it into the flour/shortening. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough in half and form 2 evenly sized balls of dough and then place each dough ball into a Ziploc bag. While the dough is in the bag use a rolling pin to slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. If the dough is sticking to the counter top use a spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan. Carefully lift the dough from the surface of the counter into the pie pan and gently press the dough against the corners of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
Whisk in a large bowl until blended:
4 large eggs
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs. Kahlua
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups pecans
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the edges are firm and the center is set but a bit jiggly when the pan is nudged. Let cool on a rack for at lest an hour. Serve warm or at room temperature and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
“Not the chocolate milk you remember” Martini
3 parts vanilla vodka
1 part Bailey’s Irish cream
2 parts chocolate liqueur
2 parts milk
½ part chocolate syrup
Combine all liquids and shake with ice. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with chocolate shavings.