Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon Vanilla Sauce


Cocoa sugar dough:
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
23/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Chocolate pecan pie filling:
2/3 cup corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4" pieces

Candied pecans:
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Bourbon vanilla sauce:
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup egg yolks (about 5 large yolks)
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/3 cup heavy cream


1. Make cocoa sugar dough: Sift cocoa and flour onto parchment or wax paper and set aside.

2. Place butter and sugar in mixer with paddle attachment. Mix until combined, add yolk and vanilla.

3. Add sifted ingredients to butter-sugar mixture and mix until it just comes together. Do not overwork.

4. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

5. Place dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a disk between 1/8" and 1/4" thick.  Using a 5" round cutter, cut rounds and transfer to tartlet pans.  Set aside.

6. Make pie filling: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

7. Heat corn syrup with butter, sugar, and cocoa in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Gently whisk eggs and slowly pour corn syrup mixture into eggs, whisking constantly until well combined. Add bourbon and strain.

8. Sprinkle a thin layer of chopped pecans and bittersweet chocolate on bottom of each tartlet. Fill 3/4 of the way with filling.

9. Bake until set, about 10-12 minutes.

10. Make candied pecans: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.

11. In a small saucepan, combine water with sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Set aside 1/3 cup and reserve remaining syrup for another use, such as sweetening drinks.

12. Spread pecans in single layer on baking sheet and lightly toast for about 5 minutes. Drizzle half of syrup over nuts and toss until thoroughly coated.  Return to oven for another 7-10 minutes, or until syrup begins to crystallize.

13. After the syrup crystallizes on pecans, add remaining syrup and return to oven to finish, about 5 minutes.

14. Make bourbon vanilla sauce: Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean, and half sugar to a simmer. Whisk remaining sugar into yolks and carefully pour one-third of milk mixture into eggs, whisking constantly. Return milk/egg mixture to low heat, and cook until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add bourbon, remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve. Chill in ice bath and add remaining cream when cool.

15. Remove tart from tart mold and serve atop a pool of bourbon vanilla sauce. Place whole candied pecan on top of tart.

The Chanler, 117 Memorial Blvd., Newport, RI 02840; 401-847-1300.