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Tipsy Caramel Chocolate Pie with Pecans

Recipe By: Stephanie Jeter
Year Submitted: 2017
Winner Third Place


1 ¾ sticks unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon Apple Jack Brandy
½ cup cold water
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon granulated sugar

Chocolate Filling
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup 100% cacao unsweetened cocoa
1 Tablespoon honey
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Bourbon
3 large eggs
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 unbaked piecrust shell (see attached recipe)

Salted Caramel Topping
¾ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Bourbon
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 cups toasted pecan halves
½ teaspoons sea salt


Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes. Freeze 5 tablespoons for 20 minutes or overnight. Chill the remaining butter until ready to use.
Stir the brandy into the cold water and set aside.
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5-6 times to combine.
Add the chilled butter and mix for 25-30 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the frozen butter and pulse 15-20x, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
Add 6 tablespoons of the brandy-water and pulse 6x. The dough should start to look crumbly. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together, it is done. If not, add ½ Tbsp of the brandy water and pulse 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed until the dough holds together.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead together until smooth.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator until ready to use, at least 20 minutes, but preferably overnight.

Chocolate Filling
Prepare Filling: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, stirring until well blended. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (filling will be loose but will set as it cools.) Remove from oven to a wire rack.
Prepare caramel topping: bring ¾ cup sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Do not stir. Boil, swirling occasionally after sugar begins to change color, 8 minutes or until dark amber. (Do not walk away from the pan, as the sugar could burn quickly once it begins to change color.) Remove from heat; add cream and 4 Tbsp butter. Stir constantly until bubbling stops and butter in incorporated I(about 1 minute). Stir in table salt.
Arrange pecan halves on pie. Top with warm caramel. Cool 15 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt.