There is nothing better for Christmas dessert than pie. That’s a fact.
Sure, the cookies are great, but those are just snacks. They totally don’t count as dessert. (Or maybe I just say that so I don’t feel bad about eating 843 desserts on Christmas?)
Pie, on the other hand, is dessert. Pecan pie is a classic, but spruce it up with some chocolate? Oh. My. Word. Especially if you go all crazy and fancy and make your own pie crust.
Seriously. I’m a homemade pie crust convert. I spent years and years buying the box of refrigerated dough from the grocery store and then I decided to just get over my fear and master pie crust.
I’m so glad I did. I’m shocked each and every time I bake a pie by how simple it is and what a huge change it makes. People tend to go a little crazy for homemade pie crust, which makes me feel like a rockstar.
Some helpful hints: If you have a food processor, use it! Seriously. It cuts together the shortening and flour beautifully and you can stream the liquid in as it’s working. Also, yes. I said shortening. Just do it. Butter crusts are great, but they don’t even compare to the magic of a shortening crust. This dough is so flaky, but still manages to be really easy to work with!
Chocolate Pecan Pie
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cup shortening
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of white sugar
- 1 large egg beaten
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 3 large eggs slightly beaten
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup pecan halves
- To make the crust, dump the shortening, flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl and work it together with a pastry cutter until you have coarse crumbs. (If you have a food processor, add these ingredients to the bowl with the pastry blade. Pulse until you have coarse crumbs.)
- Pour in the egg, water, and vinegar and stir until just combined. (If you're using a food processor, stream this in while the food processor is running, but turn it off as soon as the dough comes together. Generally, you can turn it off immediately after the liquid is fully added. Avoid overworking the dough.)
- Separate into 2 balls of dough and place in freezer bags.
- Place each bag in the freezer. You'll only need one ball of dough for this pie, the second should keep in the freezer for 6 months or more.
- Remove one ball of dough after 20 minutes in the freezer and roll it out on a floured surface into a 10 inch circle.
- Place the dough in the pie pan and tuck the edges under to make a neat, thick crust around the edges.
- Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.
- Place in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
- To make the filling, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients except pecans into a large bowl. Beat with a whisk until well combined. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 60 minutes or until set. Cool completely before serving.