Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada but our celebrations have finished and we are resting after a busy, social and incredibly fun and heartwarming weekend. We hosted a small Thanksgiving at our house on Saturday, (Orphans’ Thanksgiving as we call) which involved a Thanksgiving dinner for friends who don’t have family locally to celebrate with. This year that included an Australian friend of ours who had never experienced Thanksgiving at all. It was a lot of fun sharing the traditions we Canadians have been lucky enough to grow up with.
Following Orphans’ Thanksgiving, my extended family gathered, cooked, laughed and shared the traditional harvest feast, complete with turkey and all the things that come with it. Highlights included my brother wearing a turkey shaped hat and making an incredibly odd, yet accurate, gobbling sound, our grandfather proclaiming that next Thanksgiving we should all take to the road and celebrate at our cabin, despite its tiny oven, and lastly, but not at all least, my tiny nephew Gavin who is just 13 months old, pointing and laughing at everything and repeating his one phrase “what’s that?”.
So why, after all that, am I baking? Well, the truth is, I kind of failed at my post yesterday: I was supposed to bake these pies for Family Thanksgiving. Orphans’ Thanksgiving went late, I had cooked all day and I ended up sleeping in yesterday morning (thank goodness Costco was open so we were able to take a store-bought apple pie). Additionally, tomorrow is Baked Goods Tuesday in my office and it’s my turn to bring in the treat. What better to bring in after a holiday weekend than something that nods to Thanksgiving itself? (As if we haven’t had enough already …)
The recipe is simple enough, though I have made some tweaks to the original with a change of crust, amplified butterscotch flavours and earthy fall spices to offset the nuts and chocolate. It’s quite forgiving, so don’t stress — considering what its made of, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong.
Chocolate Pecan Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
preheat oven to 350° makes 1 – 9?pie
For the crust, combine the following and press into a 9 inch pie dish:
1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C butter, melted
Add to the bottom of the crust:
1 C chocolate chunks (chips would do fine)
2 C whole, raw, unsalted pecans
For the pie filling, mix together:
1/2 C butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 mins)
1 1/2 C light brown sugar, packed
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Scotch or dark rum (if you’re not into adding alcohol, use vanilla)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Pour the egg and sugar mix over the nuts and chocolate in the prepared pan.
Place the pie dish on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes until it is puffed and golden, still slightly jiggly and smelling richly of caramel.
Allow to cool and set fully before slicing and serving.