to begin, some thoughts on blogging about slab pie: yes, i realize i’ve been going a little overboard with the slab pie posts as of late. and yes, i realize i am not the only slab pie-obsessive out there. and, no, i will not reiterate all of the slab pie’s amazing traits, as i have already done so here. instead, i will merely remind you that all of the slab pies on this blog (all made in half sheet pans, by the way), such as this one or this one, can easily be converted into a 9-inch traditional pie by cutting the filling recipe in half (the dough recipes on the blog (here and here) are already for a 9-inch pie, and are doubled for the slabs). okay, phew: got the blogging-about-slab-pies housekeeping out of the way. now, let’s talk about this particular slab pie:
so, i don’t know about you, but up until this past summer, i had never heard of, read about, tasted, or even imagined a carrot chocolate cake. and yet when a friend of a friend asked if i’d like the recipe for one (after she clicked on the link to my website in an email and discovered my preoccupation with all things sweet) i couldn’t email her back fast enough with a, “yes, please.” the combo of carrots and chocolate seemed suddenly so obvious, and yet so perfect. i mean, duh: it works for zucchini.
there is so much good stuff to say about this pie, i almost don’t know where to begin. this is a pecan pie that is not overly sweet (like, not at all). it has a slightly gooey, deeply chocolate-flavored, rich brown filling (from the cocoa powder and dark corn syrup) that pairs beautifully with the ultra-flakey and uber-buttery crust. it includes a healthy glug of bourbon (i’m partial to the one produced by my neighborhood distillery) and a copious amount of toasted and roughly chopped pecans. it comes together quickly (no cooking of fillings) and might just end up with a permanent place at your thanksgiving table.funnily enough, although i have always loved pecan chocolate pie, i did not have a go-to one in my repertoire until now. the first pecan pie-like treat i made was this, a bar of sorts, with cinnamon and honey, that i riffed on when developing this. and although quite tasty, when i set out to develop my own actual pecan pie recipe, i was leaning more towards tradition (ie: nothing “spicy” and at least some corn syrup). now, corn syrup is controversial (duh) and although i don’t mind somewhat cloyingly sweet sweets (yes, my palette is challenged) i know that i stand pretty much alone in that camp. however, when the pecan pie recon began, and i looked to my book shelves for inspiration, i found that dorrie greenspan, rose levy beranbaum, and joanne chang, to name only a few, ALL put corn syrup in their pecan pies, and i felt a bit better about my own intention to do so.deciding on what kind of corn syrup – light or dark – required a little more research (which i did both here and here) leading me to conclude that dark corn syrup (or a mixture of light and dark) provides a more complex flavor (almost a molasses-y one) and thus produces a filling that is less (cloyingly) sweet than one made with only light corn syrup. now truth be told, i did attempt to scale back on the amount of corn syrup i used, to appease the masses, but ended up scaling it back up (to appease me). to be fair, however, the recipe includes the option of scaling the amount of syrup up or down, depending on your sweetness threshold.once the syrup issue was tackled, the rest of the recipe sort of fell effortlessly into place: a mixture of brown and granulated sugar (as per the baked pecan pie bars that, back in the day, i used to so lovingly(ish) prepare); yolks in addition to eggs (cause that’s kind of my thing, as well as her’s); bourbon, vanilla, and salt (no explanation needed); and, finally, the most important ingredient/addition to the recipe, the one that takes it completely over the top: cocoa powder (from the queen of pies and from hershey’s – the actual creator of the one bowl chocolate cake, fyi). the cocoa powder adds beautiful color, amazing chocolate flavor (as is cocoa powder’s way) and counters the sweetness of the corn syrup like nobody’s business. the result? probably one of the best pecan chocolate pies ever. And, if you want to make it as a slab pie, i have included directions for doing so (you’re welcome)
okay, first let me just say that i get it that this is not the most seasonal of posts, but it’s hard to hold back a berry fanatic, even in november. second, i know i am going over board with all these posts about slab pie, but i’m a tiny bit obsessed. now it’s possible my obsession is just a response to having made almost nothing but icebox cakes for the last two years – a fruit-filled slab pie is about as far away as you can get from a cake made of pudding, whipped cream, and graham crackers. but i really think slab pies are kind of unusually special.