Another of our readers' best recipes, this one Chocolate Pecan Whiskey Pie.
Name: Gloria Josserand
City: Springfield, Ill.
Occupation: Retired from teaching in District 186.
Family: Husband Jerry; son Jeremy (fiancee Carmen) and children Macayla, Xavier and Gabe; daughter Jera and her son David.
Hobbies and interests, other than cooking: My husband and I are potters, meaning, we work in clay. I do mostly sculptural forms and he does very elegant wheel-thrown pots and vases, and art pieces. I also do pastels, when I have the time away from the clay. Another passion is gardening. We have turned our entire backyard into pathways and raised beds.
Favorite restaurant: It is hard to pick out one, because I like certain things at each place. We love Mariah’s for the lasagna, plus they know-how to make a dry Manhattan, my cocktail of choice. I also love Maldaner’s for just about anything, and especially the Queen of Sheba cake. And Saputo’s for the pizza sandwich, which is to die for. And the Feed Store for chicken salad. And T.G.I. Friday’s for the Jack Daniel’s burger. And Lime Street Cafe for mussels in wine broth. And Dairy Queen for the French Silk Blizzards.
Also, we belong to the Lanphier Retired Teachers Lunch Bunch that gets together over lunch once a week . . . so we do get to try out lots of places.
Favorite TV food show: We loved “The Chopping Block,” but it was canceled. We saw all of Julia Child’s shows, some more than once. And Jacques Pepin and Emeril Lagasse. But with the “new crop,” perhaps Giada De Laurentiis, and Guy Fieri, just for his outrageous everything.
Name of dish: Chocolate Pecan Whiskey Pie
Where and when did you get the recipe? I put three of my favorite things together: chocolate, pecans and Jim Beam and began experimenting with recipes. I had seen several recipes for pecan pie, but used as my blueprint the Betty Crocker cookbook. Then I decided I could add chocolate, which meant the whiskey was a logical next step . . . or I could have been out of vanilla at the time.
Did you tweak the recipe? The crust is one I make with oil, and it comes out flaky and beautiful and never gets soggy.
Why do you like this recipe? It is a never-fail showstopper. Also, so few people take the time to make something from scratch, so it says that extra “I care about you.”
Tell us about an occasion when you made the recipe for others: I always make it for special dinner parties and get lots of compliments. I also make it for the holidays, and there are never leftovers.
Any advice for someone who will be making the recipe? The crust has 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour, which adds a nutty flavor. It’s best to make the crust first, then freeze it while you make the filling. The crust will seem very soft and you will not believe it will work. The crust can also be wrapped tightly and frozen to use at a later time.
Also, I spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray and it slides out easily. Most impressive, of course, is to make it in a springform pan, let it cool completely, and very carefully slide the whole thing out onto a pedestal stand for a holiday party. It is awesome.
Describe your cooking style: I make all of our bread, and scones for our coffee. I try new things all the time, and adapt them from the cookbooks I read. I have had a number of disasters, but nothing we can’t scoop out of the pan, if need be. I try not to do a new recipe for guests, but am getting braver about that. My husband and I vote on the success of each new attempt.
Other dishes you have been complimented on? I have a black bean soup recipe from The Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz., that always gets compliments. There is an Emeril recipe for Cuban beef served with rice, which is very good. One of our favorite recipes is Chicken Gumbo, Texas Style. Another Southern recipe is Cajun mushroom dressing from “Real Cajun” by Donald Link. I made it for Thanksgiving last year, and my family loved it, especially the guys. It makes a huge pan, but there was nothing for leftovers the next day.
Chocolate Pecan Whiskey Pie
2 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 c whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c canola oil
1/3 c cold milk (Josserand uses skim milk)
1 c pecans
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c Egg Beaters
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c dark corn syrup (Karo brand preferred)
1/4 c bourbon whiskey, Jim Beam preferred (see note)
Make crust: Combine flours and salt in a bowl. In glass measuring cup, combine oil and milk. Make well in the middle of the flour and pour in the liquid. Stir gently with fork in circular motion; handle gently. Make ball with dough. Chill in freezer while making the filling.
Make filling: Coarsely chop pecans. Slowly melt chocolate chips and allow to cool. Into bowl, place Egg Beaters, sugar, syrup and whiskey; mix completely. Very slowly, stir melted chocolate and nuts into liquid.
Remove pie dough from freezer. Roll out between sheets of waxed paper and place in freezer briefly. Then press into 9-inch pie pan or springform pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. If dough tears, gently repair, then return to freezer until filling is ready.
Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes, covering edges if it begins to brown too quickly. Cool. Serve with whipped cream.
Note: For a nonalcoholic pie, substitute pure vanilla extract for the whiskey.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Kathryn Rem can be reached at 788-1520.