Happy Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!

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Happy Chocolate Pecan Pie Day Everyone

August 20th is the day we honor the humble chocolate pecan pie.  While chocolate pecan pie is an amazing dessert, it also has a rich and interesting history. Knowing the secrets of the pie’s past may not make it more delicious but it can be great conversational topic at a party.

Chocolate—the Magic Ingredient

You can get a complete history of chocolate in three different posts here on the chocolate guru (see History of Chocolate Parts I, II & III).

The Pecans’ Past & Role in Chocolate Pecan Pie

Like chocolate, the pecans have a long history in North America, too. In fact, the pecan tree is the only nut tree that grows on this continent naturally.   Long before colonists arrived on the continent, Native Americans were already big fans of pecans which were also a major food source in the fall. The word “pecan” actually comes from a Native American word which referred to the need to use a stone to crack open these delectable treats.

Which Came First, the Pecan or the Pie?

You can’t have chocolate pecan pie without first knowing the history of pecan pie. Native Americans in the area taught the French about pecans, and it is believed they began experimenting with recipes. However, the oldest known pecan pie recipe dates back to about 1925.  Pecan pies themselves were popularized by the company who made corn syrup, the primary ingredient (besides the nuts, of course) in the pies.
The good news is all of this delicious history has finally combined in one amazing treat: the chocolate pecan pie.  The following recipe, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse is a delicious example of what happens when the sum of the parts combine to make a rockin’ pie!  Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Caramel Sauce, for garnish, recipe follows
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spread the pecan pieces and the chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the pie shell.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour the filling over the pecans. Bake until the filling sets, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Cut into individual servings and serve with a drizzle of Caramel Sauce and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Add the cream (be careful; it will bubble up), whisk to combine, and remove from the heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of the milk, then add up to 2 more tablespoons, until the desired consistency is reached. Let cool until just warm before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

photo courtesy of tablespoon.com

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12 Responses to “Happy Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!”

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