Well, I guess the prep part is pointless since Thanksgiving has already passed. But I did want to document our time with family. So here’s a little overview of our weekend.
Alex wanted to make the sweet potatoes this year. At first we were worried because they weren’t cooking down as fast as we thought they would:
…but they turned out just fine. We were particularly impressed with the perfect level of marshmallow browning that was achieved:
Here’s the star of the show, carefully stuffed and baked by Alex’s dad:
Here’s the table, just before we sat down:
And here’s my plate:
My main contributions this year included a loaf of challah and a chocolate-pecan pie (recipe included below) with a surprise pretzel crust instead of the traditional flaky butter crust.
All in all, it was a wonderful, delicious meal. Alex and I have much to be thankful for. We hope you found the weekend as restful and enjoyable as we did.
Chocolate-Pecan Pie with a Pretzel Crust
The last time I was in Myrtle Beach, SC, I ate a restaurant (whose name currently escapes me) where I savored a slice of the chef’s famous chocolate tart. It was super rich, a superior texture, and our waiter made us guess what the crust was made of. It was slightly salty and a bit tougher than your traditional pie crust, so I guessed Saltine crackers. I was corrected when he explained that it was actually pretzels, which apparently holds up better than a pastry crust under the thick layer of chocolate.
When I was pondering what to bring to Thanksgiving for desert, I deduced that I love chocolate covered pretzels… and pecans and pretzels often find themselves co-mingling in party mixes… and chocolate and salt pair incredibly nicely. So, I thought it would work. And it did! The pretzels added a nice, sturdy crunch under the sticky pecans and rich chocolate layer.
P.S. This recipe will make enough for a 10″ pie pan. I used a cheap, disposable 9″ pan which I wouldn’t advise…if your pan is smaller than 10″, just reduce the amounts of your filling ingredients a little bit.
1. Make the pretzel crust:
Crush a few large handfuls of pretzels (I used lightly salted pretzel sticks) in a food processor or in a zip-loc bag with a heavy skillet. You’ll need about 2 cups of pretzel crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and slowly mix in 1 stick of melted butter. When it comes together, press into your pie pan and bake at 350F for about 10 minutes.
2. Make the filling:
Mix together 4 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup (without high fructose corn syrup), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
3. Assemble the pie:
Over your pretzel crust, add 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used a combination of semisweet and dark chocolates). Then add 1.5 cups pecans. Pour the filling over the whole thing, and bake at 350F for about 50-55 minutes. (Be careful not burn the sugars and the chocolate) Let cool completely. Yum!
**Remember! Send a photo of your creative Thanksgiving leftover concoctions to jkelliottinfood (at) gmail.com by 7pm (EST), Sunday, November 28. **