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Sweet and Savory Pecan Pie with Chocolate-Bacon Roses


This is an irreverent and tasty update to a holiday classic.

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  • For pie:
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup dark brown, turbinado, or maple sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbs corn starch
  • 2 cups good dark beer (I used Nut Brown Ale)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans halves or hickory nuts
  • 6 strips good quality bacon, broiled crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup pecan or hickory halves
  • 8 strips high quality bacon
  • ¼ cup dark brown, turbinado, or maple sugar
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 8 basil sprigs
  • cooking oil
  • 1 tsp habanero sauce
  • 1 large sweet onion (Maya, Vidalia, Walla Walla)
  • 5 tbs butter
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup cream
  • 5 oz plain chevre
  • 1 tbs dark brown, turbinado, or maple sugar


Servings 8
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 120mins
Cooking time 180mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Caramelize onion: slice onion in half and cut into ” (too thin and they will burn) wedges. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-low. Add olive oil and 1 tbs butter. Spread onions over bottom of pan, stirring occasionally and deglazing with 1 tbs ale when they start to stick. Remove from heat when soft and brown--abt. 45 minutes. Set aside (can be frozen).

Preheat oven to 375. Get a mini-muffin pan and drill a hole in the center of each cup for drainage. Set it on a broiler pan. Begin tightly rolling eight bacon roses, one piece at a time. Start with the widest end of the bacon, with the fat edge down. Mix ¼ cup sugar with 4 tbs melted butter, cardamom, and hot sauce and dip roses. Conserve remaining mixture for pecans. Place roses in the muffin pans pushing down slightly to "seat" them. Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. Check in on them occasionally. Sometimes you will have to lift the rose so the grease will drain out the pan. Remove from heat and let cool.

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler and dip roses. Set upright on parchment lined surface and let harden.

Flash-fry basil sprigs in cooking oil until they harden (less than a minute). They should resemble green glass.

Dry fry 1 cup pecans over medium heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add reserved hot sauce mixture and stir until pecans are well-coated. Set aside.

Place pie crust in 9” pie pan, press down firmly, and flute edges. Refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Line with foil and weight with pie weight or another pie plate. Bake until the dough is firm and dry, around 25 minutes. Remove weight and foil and bake until just golden, 8-10 minutes.

In a bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the sugar; mix well. Heat ale until boiling and lower heat and reduce to half. Stir cornstarch into ale and cool to room temperature. Add ale to egg mixture and stir in vanilla and onions. Fold in crumbled bacon and nuts. Pour into pie crust.
Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely.
Combine the chevre, cream, and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
Arrange candied pecan halves decoratively over pie. Pipe chevre cream evenly in eight places in wagon-wheel pattern. Set bacon roses in wagon-wheel pattern with basil “stems” crossing cream.

The onions can be caramelized ahead of time and frozen. You can also candy the pecans and make the bacon roses the day before.

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