Pecan, pronounced pah-con, is a Georgia specialty. It is never pronounced pea-can. As the saying goes, it is not your grandmother’s (or great-grandmother’s for some of you youngsters) chamber pot. I will let you look up what a chamber pot was. Now that we have it settled how to say the pie correctly, let me introduce you to a twist on the recipe, Chocolate Coconut Pecan. Now some of you are most likely saying to yourself, “why does she not just call it German Chocolate Pie?” Well, my son-in-law is from Hamburg, Germany. I still remember the day we were at a place that served German Chocolate Cake. In his very unique German accent he queried, “what is that?” Evidently, there is no place in Germany that would put coconut, chocolate and pecans together in a baked good. I can only image a German immigrant opening a bakery in America and experimenting with the ingredients available. When someone bought the chocolate cake they had made at the German Bakery it became know as the German’s Chocolate Cake. Maybe you know the story of Japanese Fruit Cake. None of the ingredients are found in Japan. It does not come from Japan. However, the Admiral’s wife had returned from Japan and brought it to a fruit cake to a social event back home. It became known as a Japanese Fruit cake after Southern Living posted the recipe. Interesting the stories some of our favorite things to eat have to tell.shell
In a nutshell, pun intended: Pick an 8-9” pie plate. You can also buy a frozen pie pastry or use pastry from dairy aisle (next to biscuits and cinnamon rolls). You could also make your own pastry. I had an injured right hand and tried the dairy aisle pastry for the first time. After unrolling the dairy aisle pastry, I shaped into the pie plate, pierced the dough with fork tines and brushed with egg white. After mixing the ingredients, pour chocolate-coconut-pecan mixture into pie shell. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes until firm. Cool completely. Garnish with vanilla icing (optional) chocolate syrup drizzle, grated coconut and chopped pecans. I did not like the browning of the store bought crust, but it was all I could manage with one hand.
Now for the step by step.
- 1 Tbsp. Flour (I used coconut. You can also use almond flour)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsps. water
- 1-1/4 Tbsp. Cocoa powder (I use Hershey)
- 1 small can (1 c.) evaporated milk (You can make your own by slow cooking 2-1/2 cup any milk or non-dairy substitute down to 1 cup. You can also just use 1 c. Half-n-half)
- 2 Tbsps. Cornstarch
- 1/4 c. softened butter (I used unsalted. Do not substitute margarine).
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (imitation vanilla flavoring is not as rich, this is not the place to save pennies)
- 1/2-3/4 c. Chopped pecans – reserve 1-2 tsps. for garnish (nuttier the better in my pies)*1/2-3/4 c. grated coconut – reserve 1-2 tsps. for garnish (if you do not want to grate a coconut, you can buy unsweetened or sweetened. I used unsweetened.)*1/8 tsps salt* Vanilla writing icing in tube from baking aisle (optional). Mix in a large bowl – flour, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, and sugar. Add egg and butter mixing well until blended. Mix in water, milk and vanilla. Beat well for 3-5 minutes. Fold in pecans and coconut. Pour into a 9” pie shell (frozen, or pastry from dairy aisle. Make your own even better.)Bake 350° for 45 mins. Cool. Garnish with vanilla icing and chocolate syrup drizzles, reserved grated coconut and pecans pieces.
YIELD: 6-8 slices