12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold butter, cut in small cubes
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges. Prebake according to the instructions. Remove to a cooling rack and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Combine the pecans with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and the salt and spread in a baking pan. Toast for 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Mix the sugar, corn syrup, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the rum, and vanilla. Stir in the eggs. Add the pecans and the chocolate chips, if using. Pour into the cooled piecrust.
Place on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the center feels like Jell-O when pressed.
Remove to a cooling rack.
Mama's Butter Pie Crust
Mix the flour and the salt. Add the butter and work into the flour with your fingertips just like making biscuits until the mixture has the consistency of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix in the cold water by the tablespoon with your fingers until the dough holds together in a rough ball.
Flour a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Dump out the dough onto the paper. Flour the top of the dough and cover with another sheet of paper. Place the whole dough “sand- wich” on a baking sheet. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Remove from fridge and leave out for 30 minutes, keeping the dough sandwiched in the paper.
With the dough still between the sheets of paper, roll it out to a circle 12 inches in diameter, ¼-inch thick.
Peel off the top paper and flip the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.
Peel off the other piece of paper. Trim off any extra dough that’s hanging over the edge of the pie dish. Press the tines of a fork on the top edge of the crust to crimp it. Fill and bake as the recipe directs.
To prebake a crust before filling: Prick the crust in several places with a fork. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line the crust with waxed paper and fill with rice or dry beans to add weight. (Save them in a mason jar to reuse the next time. Do not cook them after using for piecrust.) Bake 15 minutes.
Remove the waxed paper and weights and bake about 5 to 7 minutes more, until golden brown.