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Choc Chip Pecan Pie

We think sometimes pecan pies are sickly sweet, but THIS pie is perfectly sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar (not a drop of corn syrup!), both of which compliment the pecans to perfection. Add dark chocolate and . . . well, this pie is over-the-top delicious!!! Note to selves: a tot of bourbon served alongside does not go amiss!

Choc Chip Pecan Pie

For the pastry

10½ oz. all-purpose flour (2½ cups)
2½ oz. butter, cubed (5 tbs.)
3½ oz. cream cheese
1 tbs. confectioner’s sugar

For the filling

2½ oz. butter (5 tbs.)
4½ oz. light brown sugar (¾ cup only very lightly packed)
1¾ oz. dark brown sugar (¼ cup tightly packed)
3½ fl. oz. pure maple syrup
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
7 oz. pecans, finely chopped
3½ oz. dark chocolate chips, or a bar, chopped

First, make the pastry. Tip the ingredients into a food processor with ¼ tsp. salt. Blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Drizzle 2-3 tsp. cold water into the machine while the blade is running – the mixture should start to clump together. Tip onto a work surface and bring together, kneading briefly into a ball. Pat into a disc, wrap in cling film, and chill for at least 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften. Flour the work surface, then unwrap the pastry and roll to a circle that is ¼ “ thick. Use the pastry to line a 9” fluted tart tin, pressing the pastry into the corners and up the sides, making sure there are no gaps. Leave ½ pastry overhang (save some of the pastry scraps for later). Line with baking parchment (scrunch it up first to make it more pliable) and fill with baking weights. Blind-bake for 15-20 minutes until the sides are set, then remove the parchment and weights and return to the oven for 5 minutes more until golden brown. Trim the pastry so it’s flush with the top of the tin – a small serrated knife is best for this. If there are any cracks, patch tem up with the pastry scraps.

Meanwhile, put the butter, sugars, and syrup into a pan, and add ¼ tsp. salt. Heat until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 325°F.

Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the syrup mixture, vanilla, and pecans, and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the pastry case, then scatter over the chocolate pieces. Bake on the middle shelf for 50-55 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

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