I hate to admit it, but I’ve actually been sitting on this recipe for two years, which teaches us two important lessons:
a) I often don’t know a good thing when it hits me (seriously, I’m always the last to get on board with new trends or ideas – ask me sometime about skinny jeans) and
b) I really do keep the recipes you send me (even if it seems like I’m not trying them, trust me, getting recipes from all of you is like Christmas morning every day of my life, and while I don’t have time to try them all immediately, trust you me, I try to!)
If you need one, fabulous, make-you-look-awesome recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas or for next Tuesday night (you little overachiever you), this is the one. Take classic pecan pie and kick it up like a hundred notches. That’s what adding a decadent chocolate cream cheese layer and a rich caramel layer does.
The winning news about this pie is that I realized (you know, from firsthand quality control taste testing experience) that it actually tastes better the second day which is a huge score for you when it comes to prepping for holiday meals ahead of time. A quick little warm up in the oven or microwave and topped with a smidgeon of whipped cream and you have a ridiculously amazing pie.
I’m not normally a huge nuts-in-pies-or-anything-else-for-that-matter person but lemmetellyou, chocolate caramel pecan pie has completely won my heart.
One Year Ago: Black Bean Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze
Three Years Ago: Monster Cookies
The original recipe calls for a 10-inch tart or pie pan. That may not be a common pan size/type to keep on hand (let's disregard the fact that I actually had one) so if you don't have one, I think this could be made in a deep dish 9.5-inch pie plate. It definitely won't fit in a standard 9-inch so go for a deeper, larger pie plate. It does bubble up while cooking so if you are worried about it spilling over if using a 9.5-inch deep pie plate, consider cutting the chocolate layer down just a bit (use 3/4 the ingredients: 3/4 cup chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons cream, 6 ounces cream cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar, egg yolk instead of the whole egg). My aunt actually made this before I posted it and divided the full amount of chocolate and caramel filling into two small 7 1/2- to 8-inch pie plates - worked great.
This pie actuality tastes better the second day, in my opinion, so consider making it ahead. It's also delightful slightly warmed (not hot, just a bit warm so the caramel layer softens).
- Single pie crust to fit 9.5- or 10-inch pan (my favorite recipe is here; a single batch rolled thin works great)
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- 28 caramels, unwrapped (or about 1 1/2 cups homemade caramel)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the pie crust and gently place it in a 10-inch tart or pie plate (see note above). Trim and flute the edges (see tutorial here). Refrigerate or freeze the crust until very cold. Line the crust with foil and weigh down with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the crust edges are lightly golden and the bottom is no longer doughy. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the chocolate layer, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and cream for one minute. Stir until melted and combined (microwave for short spurts if more time is needed).
- In a large bowl (or in a blender), beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and combined. Add the egg and mix until just blended. Scrape in the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth.
- Spread the chocolate mixture evenly in the cooled crust.
- For the caramel pecan layer, lightly toast the pecans in an even layer on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for just a few minutes until fragrant (watch closely so they don't burn).
- In a medium bowl, combine the caramels, cream and butter. Microwave at 1-minute intervals, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until melted and smooth. Watch carefully so the caramels don't overcook (this can happen more easily with store-bought caramels). Let the mixture cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar. Quickly whisk this mixture into the caramel mixture. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the chocolate layer. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet (just in case of any spillovers or splatters) and bake for 45-50 minutes until the center is almost set (it's ok if it jiggles slightly). Cover the edges of the pie crust part way through baking if it is becoming overly browned.
- Let the pie cool for a couple of hours. Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired. This pie actuality tastes better the second day, in my opinion, so consider making it ahead. It's also delightful slightly warmed (not hot, just a bit warm so the caramel layer softens).
Recipe Source: adapted a bit from a recipe Teresa R. sent me two years ago (originally from Southern Living Magazine, I believe) – thanks, Teresa!