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Fudgy Tar Heel Pie
From Cook”s Country
August/September 2013
To correct the cloying sweetness of this brownie pie without sacrificing fudgy texture, we replaced the white sugar with dark brown sugar, which introduces depth and molasses undertones. Upping the vanilla and salt and adding cocoa powder finishes the job. To make the pie gooey and fudgy but not runny, we backed the flour down to just ¼ cup (half of what most recipes call for), and we use half butter and half oil for the fat (oil makes for a softer, chewier crumb). Finally, prebaking the pie crust and toasting the nuts before adding them to the batter ensures that both stay crispy.

Serves 8
Total time:

Serve with ice cream.

1(9-inch) single-crust pie dough
1cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
4tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4cup vegetable oil
2tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4teaspoon salt
1/4cup (1 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into 12-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with 1 hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand. Leave any dough that overhangs plate in place. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Tuck overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers. Wrap dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and place in freezer until dough is fully chilled and firm, about 15 minutes.
2. Line chilled pie shell with two 12-inch squares of parchment paper, letting parchment lie over edges of dough, and fill with pie weights. Bake until lightly golden around edges, 18 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights, rotate pie shell, and continue to bake until center begins to look opaque and slightly drier, 3 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Microwave 2/3 cup chocolate chips and butter in bowl, stirring often, until melted, 60 to 90 seconds. Whisk in oil and cocoa until smooth.
4. In separate bowl, whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt together until smooth. Whisk chocolate mixture into sugar mixture until incorporated. Stir in flour and remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips until just combined.
5. Spread pecans in bottom of pie shell, then pour batter over top, using spatula to level. Bake pie until toothpick inserted in center comes out with thin coating of batter attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let pie cool on wire rack until barely warm, about 1½ hours. Serve. (Pie can be reheated, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven until warm throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.)

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