This recipe was actually pictured on the front cover of the last issue of Cook’s Country Magazine. I really like this magazine as it has great recipes that are really easy to follow, along with some other great tips throughout. It was a toss-up yesterday to try making this pie or the lemon icebox pie that is on the cover of last month’s magazine and this one won out. I’ll be making the lemon pie later on this week, so for today we can talk about the Tar Heel Pie, a North Carolina favorite for many years that combines a great fudgy flavor of a brownie into pie form.
Tar Heel Pie
1 (9-inch) single-crust pie dough
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured counter. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it onto a 9-inch pie plate., letting the excess dough hang over the edge. Ease the dough into the plate by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the plate bottom with your other hand. Leave any dough that overhangs the plate in place. Trim the overhang to 1/2 an inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself; the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough evenly around the edge of the plate using your fingers. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer until the dough is fully chilled and firm, about 15 minutes.
Line the chilled pie plate with two 12-inch squares of parchment paper, letting the parchment lie over the edges of the dough, and fill the pie with pie weights.Bake the pie shell until it is lightly golden brown on the edges, about 18 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper and the pie weights, rotate the pie shell and continue to bake until the center of the pie shell begins to look opaque nd slightly drier, about 3 to 6 minutes. Allow the pie shell to coll completely.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Microwave 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips and the butter in a bowl, stirring often, until softened, about 60 to 90 seconds. Whisk in the oil and cocoa until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt together until smooth. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture until it is incorporated. Stir in the flour and the remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate chips until just combined.
Spread the pecans in the bottom of the pie shell, then pour the batter over the top, using a spatula to level the batter. Bake the pie until a toothpick inserted into the center of comes out with a thin coating of batter attached, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the pie cool on a wire rack until barely warm, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve. The pie can be re-heated, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven until warm throughout, about 10 to 15 minutes.
A couple of things about this recipe. I left the pecans out this time since we were bringing it over to someone’s house and I didn’t want to take a chance on any nut allergies and such. It came out fine without the pecans, but I think it would be even better with them in the pie. It was a very chocolate center, almost exactly like a brownie should be, with the added taste of a nice pie crust to go with it. We served it with some homemade whipped cream to top off each slice. As far as the pie weights, I personally do not have any in the house, but you can use many different things as a substitute. If you have any marbles around, these will work great as that is essentially what pie weights are anyway. I used some dried beans that I had on hand and they work just fine. Just remember that you can’t use the beans for cooking after that, but you can re-use them as pie weights in the future.
That’s all I have for today. Check back during the week for some more recipes. I do plan to try a few things out this week, including the lemon icebox pie and making my own ciabatta bread, so keep checking back to see those recipes. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!