Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Pie
Published on Oct 22, 2023by Kristina Stosek
This decadent gluten free chocolate pecan pie is the ultimate dessert. The rich, nutty flavors of pecans with the smooth, velvety dark chocolate nestled in a flaky gluten free pie crust is a dessert hard to forget. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is failproof with exceptional results.
Today I will talk about how to make the VERY BEST gluten free chocolate pecan pie, ingredient substitutions, tips, adding various flavors, storing and serving suggestions.
Can I use a store-bought gluten-free pie shell for pecan pie?
Yes, many stores offer pre-made gluten-free pie shells. Just ensure the crust is the correct size for your pie dish, and follow the instructions for blind baking if required, as detailed in our gluten free food processor pie crust.
Can I use a sugar substitute for the chocolate filling?
You can use sugar substitutes like monk sugar, erythritol, xylitol, or stevia if you prefer to reduce the sugar content. Be aware that this may affect the texture and taste of the filling. I recommend adding an extra egg and 1/4 cup of butter if you are using sugar only.
Are all pecans gluten-free?
Pecans are naturally gluten free. However, cross-contamination can occur during processing or packaging. Please check with the manufacturer or buy pecans labeled gluten-free if you have severe gluten sensitivity. Another dessert made with pecans you will love is the Gluten-Free Fudgy Pecan Brownies or my favorite the Gluten Free Blueberry Pecan Breakfast Cake.
Can I make chocolate pecan pie dairy-free?
Yes, you can make a dairy-free version using dairy-free chocolate chips and a non-dairy alternative like earth balance instead of butter.
Do you need to par-bake the crust for pecan pie?
Par-baking, also known as blind baking, is a common technique used to partially bake a pie crust before adding filling. This chocolate pecan pie takes 55 minutes to bake, so the crust becomes sufficiently baked and crispy without par-baking it first.
What is the most important thing to know when making gluten free chocolate pecan pie?
Don’t Overbake the Pie:
The most crucial aspect of making a perfect pecan pie is to avoid overbaking it. Overbaking can lead to a dry, grainy filling with a less desirable texture and taste. Here’s why it’s so important:
Texture: Pecan pie should have a gooey, slightly caramelized filling that contrasts with the crunch of the pecans and the buttery, flaky crust. Overbaking can turn the filling dry and overly firm, which detracts from the classic texture of the pie.
Flavor: Overbaking can lead to a bitter taste in the pie due to the caramelized sugar becoming burnt. The best pecan pies have a sweet, nutty, slightly buttery flavor.
To prevent overbaking, here are some tips:
- Follow the recommended baking time in the recipe
- Use a timer to avoid forgetting the pie in the oven.
- Check the pie’s doneness. The center is set to the touch but still a little jiggly underneath.
Remember that pecan pie will continue to set as it cools, so even if the center appears slightly loose when you take it out of the oven, it will firm up as it cools. The perfect baking time is the key to a delicious pecan pie.
gluten free chocolate for baking – my favorite brands
When it comes to gluten free chocolate for baking, several reputable brands offer gluten-free chocolate products. Here are some I have tried and love.
- Enjoy Life Foods: Enjoy Life offers a wide range of gluten-free and allergy-friendly chocolate products, including chocolate chips, chunks, and bars. Their products are made in a dedicated gluten-free and allergen-free facility.
- Guittard: Guittard is known for its high-quality chocolate products. Many of their chocolate chips and baking bars are gluten-free, but checking the label for specific products is essential.
- Hershey’s Simple Pleasures: Hershey’s makes Simple Pleasures chocolate, which is gluten-free and suitable for baking. These chocolates have a creamy texture and work well in various recipes.
- Nestle Toll House: Nestle Toll House offers gluten-free chocolate chips that can be used in baking. They are clearly labeled as gluten-free on the packaging.
- Lily’s Sweets: Lily’s specializes in stevia-sweetened chocolate products that are gluten-free. They offer a variety of chocolate chips and bars, making them a great choice for those looking to reduce sugar intake.
Always read product labels and ingredient lists to confirm that a product is gluten free, as manufacturers may change their processes or ingredients. Cross-contamination can also be a concern, so it’s best to look for brands that clearly state their products are produced in dedicated gluten free facilities or are tested to be gluten-free.
Why should you roast the pecans before using them in a chocolate pecan pie recipe?
Roasting pecans before using them in a chocolate pecan pie recipe can greatly enhance the flavor and texture of the pie for several reasons:
Enhanced Nutty Flavor: Roasting pecans intensifies their natural nutty flavor. The heat brings out the oils in the nuts, which adds depth and complexity to the taste. This enhanced flavor contributes to a more robust and delicious pecan pie.
Improved Texture: Roasting the pecans gives them a crispier texture, which complements the gooey, sweet filling of the pie.
Removes Moisture: Roasting pecans removes any residual moisture from them. Moist pecans can release excess moisture into the pie filling during baking, potentially leading to a soggy crust or filling. Roasting helps mitigate this issue.
Why should you melt the chocolate before adding it to the filling of pecan pie?
Melting the chocolate before adding it to the filling of a pecan pie is important for several reasons:
Even Distribution: Melting the chocolate ensures that it is evenly distributed throughout the filling.
Smooth Texture: Melting the chocolate creates a smooth and uniform texture in the filling. It blends seamlessly with the pecans, preventing lumps or chunks of unmelted chocolate in the pie.
Binding Ingredient: Melted chocolate acts as a binding agent in the filling. It helps hold the other ingredients together and creates a cohesive, gooey texture characteristic of pecan pie, which is essential for the pie to set properly.
toppings for chocolate pecan pie
Toppings for chocolate pecan pie can add flavor and texture and elevate the presentation of this classic dessert. Here are some delicious toppings you can consider:
- Whipped Cream: A dollop of fresh, homemade whipped cream is a classic choice. You can also flavor the whipped cream with vanilla or a liqueur like Kahlúa, Amaretto, or Bourbon for a unique twist.
- Ice Cream: Vanilla or a complementary ice cream flavor, such as butter pecan or chocolate, can be served alongside or on top of a slice of chocolate pecan pie.
- Fleur de Sel: A pinch of high-quality sea salt, like fleur de sel, can enhance the overall flavor by balancing the pie’s sweetness.
- Powdered Sugar: Lightly dust the crust with powdered sugar for a pretty look.
- Crème Fraîche: A dollop of crème fraîche can provide creamy contrast to the sweet and gooey filling of the pie.
Can I add flavor to the chocolate pecan pie?
You can enhance the flavor of your chocolate pecan pie by incorporating various ingredients. Here are some ideas:
Bourbon or Rum: Adding a splash of bourbon or rum to your pie filling can infuse it with a delightful and slightly boozy flavor. Bourbon pairs exceptionally well with chocolate and pecans.
Coffee or Espresso: A small amount (2 tablespoons) of brewed strong coffee or espresso can intensify the chocolate flavor.
Cinnamon: A pinch of ground cinnamon can bring warmth and a touch of spice to the pie, complementing the sweetness of the filling.
Orange Zest: The zest of an orange can provide a bright, citrusy contrast to the richness of the chocolate and pecans.
Almond Extract: A teaspoon of almond extract can impart a nutty, marzipan-like flavor that pairs nicely with chocolate and pecans.
Chili Powder: A small amount of chili powder or cayenne can create a sweet and spicy contrast, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their desserts.
storing chocolate pecan pie
Storing chocolate pecan pie properly is essential to maintain its freshness. Here’s how:
- Room Temperature: If you plan to consume the pie within a day or two, you can store it at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Keep it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
- Refrigerator: If you want to store the pie for a longer period, it’s best to refrigerate it. Cover the pie with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer it to an airtight container. Properly sealed, the pie can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: To store chocolate pecan pie for an extended period, consider freezing it. Follow these steps:
- Allow the pie to cool completely.
- Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
- Place the wrapped pie in a resealable plastic freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Freeze the pie for up to 2 months.
- Thawing: When ready to enjoy the frozen pie, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw for several hours or overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain the pie’s texture and prevents condensation.
Chocolate pecan pie is a popular dessert during the fall and holiday seasons, particularly in the United States. It’s often associated with Thanksgiving, making it a classic choice for this festive meal. However, chocolate pecan pie can be enjoyed throughout the year, and its popularity is not limited to a specific season. The rich, nutty pecans and the luxurious addition of chocolate make it a much-loved dessert you can enjoy any time of the year.
Meet Kristina, on the “About Me Page”. She is passionate about creating delicious, innovative gluten free recipes, and author of two gluten free cookbooks.
Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Pie
Published on Oct 22, 2023by Kristina Stosek
Preheat oven 350 F with the rack on lowest position in the oven.
Prepare pie crust. If using uncooked homemade pie crust, prick the base a few times with a fork to prevent air bubbles before pouring in the filling. Place in the fridge while making the filling
Scatter pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 - 10 minutes. Roughly chop half of the pecans. The other half is going to be used for the topping
Fill a small pot 1/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and place a heat-proof bowl on the pot without touching the water. Fill the bowl with butter and chocolate and stir continuously until the butter and chocolate is melted and combined
Remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk in maple syrup, sugar, bourbon (if using), vanilla, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, slowly add the chocolate sauce, and combine. (I used an electric mixer). Fold in chopped pecans and pour into prepared pie crust. Top with remaining pecans
Bake for 50-55 minutes on the lower rack of your oven until the center is set to the touch but still a little jiggly underneath. If your pie is browning too fast, loosely tent it with foil.
The pie will be puffed up as soon as it comes out of the oven, but it will deflate and flatten as it cools. Cool on a wire rack for about 4 hours and serve at room temperature. Or, refrigerate overnight and serve chilled