Caramel-Pecan Black Bottom Pie


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Two new flavors enhance a classic.

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  • Crust
  • 1 1/3 C. sifted all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Filling
  • 2 Tbs. brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 5 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 C. half and half
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Topping
  • 2/3 C. sugar
  • 1/3 C. water
  • 1/2 C. plus 1 Tbs. whipping cream
  • 1/4 C. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 C. toasted pecans, chopped

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For crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and blend using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat water, egg yolk and vanilla together in small bowl. Add egg mixture to processor and process until large moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. (Dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Let dough stand at room temperature to soften slightly before continuing.) Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly butter 9-inch-diameter pie pan. Roll dough out on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to prepared pan. Fold edges under and crimp to form high fluted edge. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Line crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Pierce bottom of crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack. For filling: Combine brandy and vanilla in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and let stand 10 minutes. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk half and half and egg yolks into sugar mixture. Cook over medium-high heat until custard is thick and smooth and begins to boil, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Quickly add 1¼ C. custard to chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Add brandy and gelatin mixture to remaining hot custard. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Spread chocolate filling in crust. Spread brandy filling over. Refrigerate uncovered until pie is completely cool. For topping: Heat sugar and water in heavy small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil, without stirring, until mixture is deep amber, brushing down sugar crystals from sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 11 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream (mixture will bubble up). Add butter and stir until smooth. Stir over low heat until color deepens and caramel thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Mix in pecans. Transfer to small bowl. Refrigerate until cool but not set, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Spoon topping over brandy layer. Chill pie until topping is set, about 2 hours.

8 servings

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