This Dark Chocolate Pie with Cocoa Nib and Bacon Praline is amazing, impressive dessert. It even has bacon fat in the crust!
1 ¼ cupsall-purpose flour
½ cupsalted butter, chilled, cut into ¼ inch cubes
3tablespoonsbacon fat, or shortening
Cocoa Nib Praline
1tablespoonlight corn syrup
1teaspoongolden brown sugar
1teaspoonsalted butter, room temperature
¼ teaspoonsea salt
1tablespooncrisp cooked bacon, about a half a piece of bacon
2 ¼ cupswhole milk, divided
⅔ cupbrown sugar, packed
6tablespoonsunsweetened cocoa powder
4ouncesbittersweet chocolate, chopped
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the butter and bacon fat and pulse the food processor until the mixture looks like wet sand. Remove it and place it in a large bowl.
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup salted butter, 3 tablespoons bacon fat
Add 4 tablespoons of water to the bowl 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.
6-8 tablespoons ice water
Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place it 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 it and place it 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 degrees. Carefully remove the pie weights or beans (and the parchment paper) 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 all the 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 and cool completely on the baking sheet. Break the 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 of milk to simmer in a medium-sized saucepan then remove the pot from the heat. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup milk. Whisk in the cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and boils. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until it is melted and smooth. Immediately pour the filling into the cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until the 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.