This extra nutty twist on a pecan pie brings in a layer of chocolate and a bit of bourbon to make a deliciously decadent dessert.
CLIFF NOTES: Pie Crust: In a food processor, add flour, salt, and sugar. Cut unsalted butter into 1/2″ cubes; add a third of the butter to the food processor at a time, pulsing 3 times in between each addition. Add ice water, a bit at a time, pulsing until the dough holds together when squeezed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out to about 1/8″ thickness, line a pie plate and crimp the edges. Refrigerate while you make the filling. Filling: Toast pecan and walnuts. Mix together butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Add dark corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and eggs and mix to combine. Mix about 3/4 cup of the filling mixture into the toasted nuts. Assemble: Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle in the chocolate chips, then arrange nuts on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the center of the pie is 200°F. Cool completely before slicing.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN: – Use all pecans, all walnuts, or whatever your favorite nut is. – Swap out the bourbon for rum or coffee or orange liqueur. – Add toffee bits in with the chocolate chips.
SIMPLIFY IT: – Use a store bought pie crust.
When my husband and I were dating, one of our favorite restaurants to eat at was Tippins Restaurant and Pie Pantry, which was well known for it’s hand made pies. My husband’s favorite pie was their Dixie Pie … a cousin to the more well-known pecan pie, but with a layer of chocolate and walnuts instead of pecans.
Well, the Tippins restaurants are now gone, but my husband’s love of the Dixie Pie is not. So I had to figure out how to recreate that delectable, layered pie for him. The trick was in figuring out how to get the chocolate to form a layer between the nuts and the filling. For something so straightforward and simple, the results are outstanding. It’s a rich, chocolatey and nutty dessert that’s perfect for a holiday, special celebration, or even just a weeknight treat.
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (very cold, cut into 1/2″ cubes)
4-5 Tablespoons Ice-cold Water
FOR THE PIE FILLING:
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Dark Corn Syrup
2-3 Tablespoons Bourbon (or to taste)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 large Eggs
3 oz Pecan Halves
3 oz Walnut Halves
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
PREPARE THE PIE CRUST:
Cut the cold butter into roughly 1/2″ cubes and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Put about a cup of water and several ice cubes into a measuring cup and set aside to let the water get nice and cold. You’ll only use 4-5 Tablespoons of this water, but it’s easier to measure out if you start with more than you need.
Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor with the multi-purpose (chopping) blade inserted.
Pulse 2-3 times to mix the ingredients.
Scatter about 1/3 of the butter cubes on top of the flour mixture, and do three 1-second pulses of the food processor.
Scatter another 1/3 of of the butter cubes into the food processor, and do another three 1-second pulses.
Add the remainder of the butter and pulse 3-4 times until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of a large pea.
Add 3 Tablespoons of the ice-cold water (not the ice) to the butter/flour mixture, and do three 2-second pulses of the food processor.
Carefully (the blade is sharp!) squeeze a small handfull of the mixture and see if it holds together. It likely won’t at this stage, but there are many things that can affect how much liquid the dough will need. If the dough does not easily hold together, add an additional 1 or 1 1/2 Tablespoons of ice water and pulse 3-4 more times, then test the dough again.
As soon as the dough easily holds together when you squeeze it, dump it out of the food processor onto a piece of plastic wrap, and use the sides of the plastic to shape it into a flat round disk.
Chill in the fridge for at least and hour and up to two days.
WHEN READY TO FINISH THE PIE:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Dust your work surface lightly with flour, then roll the pie crust out to about 1/8″ thickness, trying to keep it in a circular shape.
Gently roll the pie crust up onto your rolling pin and lay it into a 9 1/2″ glass pie plate (clear glass is my preference because you can easily see if the bottom of the pie is browned when baking.)
Trim the edges of the pie crust, leaving about 1/2″ overhang. Fold the extra dough up, and crimp the edges. Set the pie crust in the fridge or freezer while you make the filling.
FOR THE PIE FILLING:
Toast the nuts:
(Air Fryer): Spread the nuts out in the air fryer basket and toast them at 300°F for 4-6 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until the nuts start to darken and smell toasty. Watch them carefully to ensure they don’t burn.
(Oven): Place the nuts on a baking pan, and toast in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, and watching carefully until they start to darken and smell toasty.
Make the Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the brown sugar, butter, and flour together well.
Add in the corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and eggs, and mix together.
Put the toasted, unchopped half nuts in a smaller bowl, and add 1 cup of the filling mixture to them, stirring with a silicone spatula until all the nuts are coated.
Add the chopped nuts to the remaining filling, and stir.
Pour the filling with the chopped nuts into the unbaked pie crust.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the filling.
Cover the chocolate chips with the half nuts, carefully spooning or placing them on top of the chocolate chips to create a top layer.
Place the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet (in case the filling bubbles over) and bake for 45 minutes until the pie is set (using an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature at the center of the pie should be 200°F).
If the crust is getting too browned before the pie is fully baked, lightly lay a piece of aluminum foil over the pie and continue baking.