This Dark Chocolate Pie with Cocoa Nib and Bacon Praline is amazing, impressive dessert. It even has bacon fat in the crust!
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat (or shortening)
- 6–8 Tablespoons ice water
Cocoa nib praline
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 scant teaspoon golden brown sugar
- 1 scant teaspoon salted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
- 1 tablespoon crisp cooked bacon (about a half a piece of bacon)
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- Put the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend. Add butter and bacon fat and pulse the food processor until the mixture looks like wet sand. Remove and place in a large bowl.
- Add 4 tablespoons of water and, using only the tips of your fingers, gently mix the dough. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
- Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Place a piece of parchment paper, large enough to fit over your pie pan, on a work surface. Remove the pie dough from the fridge, unwrap and place on the parchment paper. Using the palm of your hand press the ball until it starts to flatten. Sprinkle lightly with flour and, using a rolling pin, roll into a circle 4 inches larger than your pie pan.
- Use the parchment paper to help place the pie dough in the pie pan, parchment side up. Remove the parchment and pinch the edges of the pie crust together to form a rough border.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a further 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the pie with parchment paper and add pie weights or dry beans. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375. Carefully remove the pie weights or beans (and parchment) and bake for a few more minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.
Cocoa nib and bacon praline:
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until mixture spreads and is deep golden brown, about 10 minutes (mixture will flow together into 1 piece on the baking sheet). Remove from oven; cool completely on sheet. Break praline into irregular pieces or shards. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight in a single layer, or between layers of parchment paper, at room temperature.)
- Bring 2 cups milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup milk to blend in medium bowl; whisk in cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Immediately pour filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until filling is cold and set, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
Cocoa nibs are coarsely chopped cocoa beans. They can be found at specialty grocery stores or well stocked super markets. You can substitute chopped nuts or some extra bacon instead if they’re not available where you live.