TCP Kitchen
2014 Holiday Recipe Contest
Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie is the grand prizewinner of our $5,000 contest, sponsored by the Texas Pecan Board

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    Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie
    Mary Pat Waldron
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    Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie
    Mary Pat Waldron
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    Apple Pecan Upside-Down Pie
    Mary Pat Waldron
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    Holiday Brunch and Texas Pecan Bacon
    Mary Pat Waldron
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    Texas Pecan Praline Cheesecake
    Mary Pat Waldron
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    White-Bottom Caramel Cream Cheese Pecan Pie
    Mary Pat Waldron

Behind the Scenes

What are the perfect ingredients for a recipe contest? Readers’ great dishes—hundreds of them. Plates full of food during taste testing. And Texas pecans. Then the winning recipes get prepared one more time—not for tasting but for the photo shoot that produces the enticing Texas Co-op Power cover and Recipes pages.

Thanks to the Texas Pecan Board

The Texas Pecan Board sponsored this year’s $5,000 contest. Visit texaspecans.org for more information on top-quality Texas Pecans.

10 Years of Holiday Recipe Contest Winners

2014Griffin Clarke
Heart of Texas EC
Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie

 

2013Peggy Dickerson
Farmers EC
Pecan-Studded Crowns of Shrimp atop Royal Spring Greens

 

2012Rita Lutz
Pedernales EC
Texas Pecan Butterscotch Cake

 

2011Linda Morten
Bluebonnet EC
Pecan-Cranberry Bread Pudding with Lemon Hard Sauce

 

2010Sharon Fabianke
Heart of Texas EC
Better Than a Fruitcake Cheese Ball

 

2009Myrna Toote
Grayson-Collin EC
Peanut ‘Meat’ Balls

 

2008Donna Deteau
Bluebonnet EC
Kickin’ Christmas Confetti

 

2007Susan Riley
Grayson-Collin EC
Holiday Hazelnut Raspberry Chocolate Linzertorte

 

2006Jo Ann Kugle
Pedernales EC
Upside-Down Cranberry Puffs

 

2005: Anna Ginsberg
Pedernales EC
White Chocolate Ribbon Pumpkin Cake With Maple Glaze

Choosing a winner for the 2014 Holiday Recipe Contest was challenging, with so many tasty pies and other desserts, not to mention surprising savory dishes, all featuring Texas pecans. After multiple rounds of testing the top entries, we determined the winners in three categories—Savory, Sweet and Pecan Pie—as well as a grand prizewinner, Griffin Clarke of Heart of Texas EC. He collects $2,500 in prize money for his Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie, a delicious and densely flavored chocolate pecan pie spiced with cayenne and cinnamon.

The winner for best pecan pie, the two winners for best savory dish and the two winners for best sweet dish each claim $500 in prize money.  

Ultimate Chocolate Pecan Pie

$2,500 Grand Prizewinner
Griffin Clarke | Heart of Texas EC

Griffin Clarke “always loved Granny’s pecan pie and decided he wanted to make pecan pie as good as Granny,” says the prizewinner’s mother, Arla H. Clarke. Building on the family recipe, the 23-year-old experimented with chocolate and spice, seeking the “ultimate” pecan concoction.

Crust
1/2 cup Texas pecan halves
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup shortening, cut into chunks
4-6 tablespoons ice water, as needed

Filling
3 cups Texas pecan halves
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo corn syrup
1/2 cup Grade A dark amber maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salt to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch or 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie dish.
  • Toast all pecan halves—3 1/2 cups—in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat about 10 minutes or until fragrant. Stir often to avoid burning. Set aside 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves for pie crust. Pulse remaining 3 cups of toasted pecans in a food processor until finely chopped, and set aside to use in pie filling.
  • Crust: Pulse 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves with flour and kosher salt in a food processor until combined and the pecans are finely ground. Add shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water 1 teaspoon at a time and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate 1 hour, then roll out and press into pie dish. Refrigerate while making the pie filling.
  • Filling: In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate chips until fully combined. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large glass bowl, combine eggs, sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir in salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until incorporated. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of finely chopped toasted pecans.
  • Pour filling mixture into the pecan pie crust and bake 50 to 70 minutes or until the pecans have formed a crust on top and the filling is nearly set. Let cool completely while making caramel sauce.
  • Caramel Sauce: Combine butter and brown sugar in a cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved. Add the heavy cream and boil, stirring often, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and salt and mix well.
  • Chill pie before serving so that it slices neatly. Serve with whipped cream and warm caramel sauce. Store pie and extra sauce in the refrigerator.

Servings: 12. Serving size: 1 slice. Per serving: 1,129 calories, 12.07 g protein, 81.99 g fat, 88.56 g carbohydrates, 7.62 g dietary fiber, 568 mg sodium, 54.10 g sugars, 150 mg cholesterol

Cook’s Tip:

  • To save time and labor, a premade pie crust may be used. A premade caramel sauce may also be used, although it won’t be as good.

1 Comment Post Your Comment »

Love that calorie count!! But, I have a favorite pecan pie recipe from Luby’s. Yours sounds soooooo much better. Can’t wait to Serve it on Christmas Day
Beverly Phares - Redwater, TX - Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative, Inc. (December 10, 2014)