Those of you who follow me on my personal Facebook page, are well aware that I am a bit of a reluctant baker, and often end up with disastrous results. It's probably because, as I've said so many times, I don't like to bake, but I do like to make people happy. So when I go out to have lunch with my dad, I like to take him something special. And by special, I mean good. And by good, I mean edible.
Pretty much these days, if I make a dessert, I'm happy enough if it's edible. I just don't like doing it. This morning when I got up I decided I was going to take my dad a pie. I'm always going through dessert recipes, I print out a lot of them, and set them aside for making later. This morning, while rifling through my stack, I saw a recipe for something I thought dad would like. It was called Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie. Chocolate. Bourbon. Pecan pie. What's not to like there? Pecan Pie is one of my dad's favorites, so I thought I would give this recipe a try.
I started off making the piecrust. I had it in the pan, the edges not fluted as expertly as they could have been, and headed for the freezer to get out some pecans to toast. It was then that I realized that I didn't have any pecans. I had three brand-new bags of walnuts, but no pecans. So, I thought to myself, does it really make that much difference? I mean, nuts are nuts, right?
So I used the original recipe and just substituted walnuts for the pecans. That done, I reached into the pantry for semisweet chocolate chips to pour into the crust along with the pecans, err, walnuts. It was then that I realized that I didn't have chocolate chips either. Well, I had chocolate chips, just not semisweet chocolate chips.
I have entire shelf in my pantry full of baking chips. I have cinnamon chips, pumpkin chips, white chocolate chips, salted caramel chips, Butterfinger chips (Yes, they make those, but I haven't tried them yet, I'll report.), mini M&Ms, Bits of Brickle (both with chocolate coating and without), and I also happened to have a few remnants of mini chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips. So, in place of the 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips that the recipe called for, I emptied the bag of mini chocolate chips into a measuring cup (it came up about 1/4 of the way), then I emptied the rest of the milk chocolate chips into that same measuring cup (bringing the measurement to 1/2 cup), and then I reached for the Bits of Brickle (those covered in milk chocolate), and dumped enough in to fill up the cup. Huzzah! I sprinkled this creative mixture on top of the toasted walnuts, and then continued on with the recipe as written.
As it turned out the pie was pretty darn good. Dad was more than happy with it, but that in itself is no recommendation, because he is a guy who eats a lot of Marie Calender and Aunt Jemima frozen meals. At any rate, the original recipe, a product of Southern Living, is below. The reason I shared this story is so that you won't be held hostage by recipes for which you may not have the exact ingredients. Feel free to use my example, or make some substitutions of your own. As long as the ingredients for the custard are there, you really can get a little creative in a pinch, as long as you substitute cup for cup.
Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie
As seen in Southern Living
1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts (or make your own, please make your own)
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon or water
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons plain white cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust.
Stir together corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk one-fourth of hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot corn syrup mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.
Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool pie completely on a wire rack (about one hour).
This post is linked to: