Nothing says Thanksgiving like pecan pie and this is one of the best recipes I have used. I doubled the recipe and made one pie with chocolate and one without. To add the chocolate, just layer 1/2 cup or so of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips in the bottom of the pie before pouring in the filling. I personally prefer no chocolate -- it overpowered the pie and was too rich for me -- but some people love it.
1 (9 inch) pie crust (I used an all-butter crust for this recipe). Find the recipe here: Butter Pie Crust
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 cups chopped toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 Tbs. bourbon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Roll out the crust, crimp/flute the edges, and freeze pie shell for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and put one rack in the center and one on the lower third of the oven. Line shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift out the foil/parchment to remove the beans. Continue baking until pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Check frequently and push dough down with a fork if it bubbles.
2. While the crust is baking, make the filling: In a medium saucepan (I used a large one because I doubled the recipe), combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring toa baoil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat, pour in bourbon and vanilla, and nuts.
4. Set the mixture aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth.
5. Pour the chocolate into the pie crust, if using. Then put the pie shell on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the hot crust.
6. Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes (if the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking). Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.