Chocolate Pecan Chess Pie with Bourbon Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Southern Pecan Pie 
Photo by Jennifer Hitchcock

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1 9-inch pie and enough sauce for each slice (plus a little extra for the chef)

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups sugar,¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs,2½ tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 pie shell
  • par baked (pre baked for 15 minutes in 350 degree oven)

  • Bourbon Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup cream, room temperature
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, sliced, room temperature
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  1. For pie, melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler. While still warm, stir in milk, cream, and vanilla until homogenous.
  2. Stir in the sugar and salt.
  3. Combine eggs and cornmeal in a bowl and then add to the chocolate mixture, stirring until smooth. Pour into a par-baked pie shell and then top the filling with whole pecan halves.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
  5. For bourbon vanilla cream sauce, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar is fully moistened.
  6. Place pan over medium heat and cook without stirring until sugar begins to caramelize around the edges. Once sugar is a medium brown color around edges, turn off heat and gently swirl pan until sugar is the same color throughout. Note: Be careful because the sugar is VERY hot.


  • from The Local Palate's Test Kitchen

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