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I made these mini pies based on a recipe I saw Carla Hall make on an episode of The Chew.
OK, if you saw the episode (well, actually, if you read the title of this post), right away you noticed that either I have giant chocolate chips and giant pecans OR I made chocolate pecan tarts instead of a pie.
Because... well, portion control. I LOVE a pecan pie. Never had it with this much chocolate mixed in, but I was sure I was going to love it. But it is awfully fattening. Making them this size, I was able to control the size and as long as I have the will power to only eat one, well...moderation. Since each little tart is about 3 good size bites, I even didn't feel too guilty when i had a little bit of pumpkin pie along side.
And besides, they photograph so nicely...
And, besides the size, I made an additional change that you probably saw in the first photo in the above series... Bourbon in place of vanilla. First, the alcohol does cook out, leaving a deep rich earthy taste behind. Besides pure vanilla extract is actually mostly alcohol anyway. In a pecan pie, I just like Maker's mark in place of vanilla. Just one more layer of flavor.
Alright, first up is a pie crust recipe. I am constantly on the look out for a new pie crust recipe. I have tried several, but never could quite get one as good as my Mother-in-Law's. So, I phoned her and tried hers for the first time.
Lard. Shhh it's the secret ingredient that only grandmother's know.
So, My Mother-inLaw's Pie Crust recipe first...
Makes 2 pie crust, or one to freeze for later and one to cut into 6 tart size...
3 cups Flour
1 cup Lard
1 tsp Salt
Mix until crumbly. Then mix together ...
1/4 cup Water
1 tsp Vinegar
Combine, Divide and roll out, generously flour as you roll out.
OK, as I said, I was making tarts... tartlettes if you will. SO I rolled one of the crusts out pretty thin. I then took a large fluted edged round cookie cutter and made six circles. I sprayed a muffin tin generously and placed the circles in the bottom of the tins. This made a cup shape about 3/4 inch tall.
OK, in the recipe (that you can see on The Chew's website by clicking HERE), Carla made a pie. I cut the recipe in half, had more than enough to make 6 tarts. I also glazed the bottom with egg whites.
So, here's what I did. The measurements are @1/2 what Carla used (But you should check her recipe if you are making pies)...
1/2 cup Corn Syrup (I only had white on hand, she advises dark)
1 TBS Butter softened to room temperature
1 tsp Corn Starch
1/2 cups Pecans, chopped
1/4 cup Whole Pecans for decoration
pinch of Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp White Vinegar
1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 375
And the verdict is that these were PERFECT! An adult pie, let the kids have the pumpkin and cakes and sweets. Rich, earthy,nutty taste. Just a hint of the Bourbon and a very unique taste with the chocolate added!