Home of Economy-Herald pie recipes: Evan Andrist's 'Chocolate Carmel Pecan Pie'

Here's a pie made to satisfy a sweet tooth.

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Evan Andrist's "Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie," submitted for Round 3 of the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.
Beth Bohlman/Grand Forks Herald
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How's this for a combination to satisfy a sweet tooth — chocolate pecan filling, topped with spicy candied pecans, salted caramel and maple cinnamon whipped cream?

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Evan Andrist, of Grand Forks.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

It sounds like a perfect pie for the holiday season, and it comes from Evan Andrist, of Grand Forks, a Final 4 contestant in the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off earlier this year.

Andrist won twice in the tournament to advance to the semifinals. He was eliminated in that round, but he still earned the respect of judges who raved about the flavor of the pies that Andrist consistently created for the tournament.

Following is Andrist's recipe for "Chocolate Carmel Pecan Pie," which he created for the semifinal round of the bake-off. During the holiday season, the Herald will be publishing the recipes of all 30 pies entered in this year's Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Recipes will variously publish in print, e-editions and online and will be compiled on the Herald's website.


Chocolate Carmel Pecan Pie

Baker: Evan Andrist

Town: Grand Forks

Business sponsor: North Dakota State Mill and Elevator


1 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup butter, very cold

¼ cup rendered leaf lard, very cold


3 Tbsp ice water

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Cut butter until pea sized.
  2. Add lard and cut until pea sized pieces.
  3. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing until dough begins to come together in a shaggy mass.
  4. Turn dough  onto a mat, form into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  5. Roll and place into a pie plate and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Spicy Candied Pecans

2 cups pecans halves

1 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1-½ Tbsp maple syrup

1-½ tsp kosher salt

¾ tsp cayenne pepper


½ tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Place nuts on a lined baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the nuts are toasting, melt butter in a large microwavable bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add nuts, folding until all surfaces are coated.
  4. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping the nuts every 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Cool on silicone mats or parchment paper.

Chocolate Pecan Filling

1 cup chopped pecans

6 Tbsp butter

2 oz bittersweet chocolate

¾ cup dark corn syrup

4 large eggs

½ cup light brown sugar

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp bourbon

¼ tsp sea salt

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Place nuts on a lined baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt butter and chocolate until smooth; set aside to cool.
  3. Increase the oven to 375°. On the bottom third of the oven, blind bake pie for 10 minutes with weights, 5 to 10 more without weights, until pale gold.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together chocolate/butter mix, corn syrup, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, bourbon and salt. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour into the crust.
  5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until filling jiggles. Remove from oven and cool for 2 hours.
  6. Make caramel sauce and pour a layer over the pie.
  7. Arrange pecan halves on top.
  8. Cool completely before adding whipped cream and serving.

Salted Caramel Topping

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

¾ cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

¾ tsp kosher salt, or to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan, (>5 cups), set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar has turned a deep amber hue, approximately 325° to 340°.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the cream in a small saucepan. When the caramel is ready, slowly whisk the warm cream into the caramelized sugar. THIS WILL BUBBLE UP AND STEAM SO BE CAREFUL. Continue whisking on low heat until the mixture is smooth, at least 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter, and  then the salt.
  3. Continue stirring while it cools until thick but pourable.

Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 Tbsp real maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

Whisk together on high until stiff peaks form.

Related Topics: GFH PIES
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