Southern Food Road Trip: Bettie’s Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

Humboldt, TN – My AirBnB hostess here, a ferociously charming woman named Christine Warrington, recently moved back home after making her international fortune, with designs on taking out the sitting mayor. Her very first Machiavellian move? Finding a caterer, of course, since the most effective Southern schmoozing is done over a plate.

Christine introduced me to Tim Hayes, owner of decadent dessert shop How Sweet It Is. With less than half a day’s notice, he whipped up for us his grandmother Bettie’s Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie, which must be tasted to be believed.

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Fortunately, Tim was kind enough to send with me the recipe to share with the good people of Tasmania, who I understand to be largely unaware of the existence of pecan pie.

Bettie’s Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 1/2 c sugar or suga (as my grandmother would say)
3/4 c melted butter or buttah
1/3 c AP flour
1/3 c of cocoa
1 TB light corn syrup
3 eggs
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 9in deep dish pie crust (any store brand is fine, but I like to use Ina Garten Pie Crust recipe, below)
Caramel Recipe
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c heavy cream
4 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp table salt
Enough toasted whole pecans to top the pie, approximately 1.5 cups, till pie is pretty!
Optional: Sea Salt
Pie Filling Directions
Mix all ingredients together then fold in chopped pecans…PSA MAKE SURE YOUR PECANS ARE TOASTED! Ok. back to our regular directions. Lol. Once pecans are in pour into your pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 35 mins. Let cool for 1 hour. while pie is cooling make caramel.
Caramel
Bring sugar and water to a boil until the sugar has turned an amber color (about 7-8 minutes) take off of heat and add heavy cream and butter and stir until the bubbling has stopped. Then stir in salt. Arrange toasted pecans on pie and pour caramel over and sprinkle with sea salt if you wish.
Pie Crust recipe (Credit Ina Garten)
Makes 2 10-inch crusts
1 1/2 sticks of COLD butter
3 c AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
1/3 c crisco
1/2 c ice water
Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. cut cold butter into small cubes and add to dry mixture. Cut in butter until it is the size of peas. Now slowly add ice water into mix until the dough can be formed into a ball. Roll in flour and wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Divide in half for two single-crust pies or may be used for one double-crust pie.

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