Chocolate Pecan Pie

Adapted from Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: 30 minutes to prepare; 30 minutes to bake
Yield: 1 9-inch pie
Bittersweet and just rich enough, this is a very adult pecan pie. Serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and kids will love it too.

1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour (plus extra for rolling)
6 tablespoons cold butter
Approximately 3 tablespoons cold milk
  1. Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cut the butter into small pieces, add it to the flour, then pulse until it becomes a uniform mixture resembling coarse cornmeal.
  2. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, pausing after each addition until the dough holds together. (You may not need all of the milk.)
  3. Flour a clean, dry surface, and roll out the dough to fit a 9-inch pie pan, using extra flour to prevent sticking as you roll. Form a crust with artfully fluted edges. Set aside.
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 to 1 cup (packed) brown sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
A handful of pecan halves
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Gently melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler. Remove from heat.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat eggs at high speed with an electric mixer. Slowly drizzle in the chocolate mixture as you beat the eggs. Add all other ingredients except the pecans, and mix well.
  3. Spread the chopped pecans into the unbaked pie shell. Pour in the batter, and scatter a few pecan halves on top.
  4. Bake 30 minutes, or until solid in the middle when shaken. Cool at least to room temperature before serving. This also tastes very good cold, so you can make it a day or two in advance, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until use.
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