Evan Andrist’s ‘Chocolate Carmel Pecan Pie’

Five recipes for all that leftover ham

26 Nov. – How’s this for a combination to satisfy a sweet tooth – chocolate pecan filling, topped with spicy candied pecans, salted caramel and whipped cream with maple cinnamon?

It sounds like a perfect pie for the holidays, and it comes from Evan Andrist, of Grand Forks, a Final 4 entrant in the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off earlier this year.

Andrist won twice in the tournament to advance to the semifinals. He was eliminated in that round, but he still earned the respect of judges who raved about the taste of the cakes Andrist consistently created for the tournament.

Following is Andrist’s recipe for “Chocolate Carmel Pecan Pie,” which he made for the bake-off semifinal. During the holiday season, the Herald will publish the recipes of all 30 pies entered in this year’s Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Recipes will be variously published in print, e-editions and online and will be collected on the Herald’s website.

Baker: Evan Andrist

Location: Grand Forks

Corporate Sponsor: North Dakota State Mill and Elevator


1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup butter, very cold

1/4 cup melted leaf lard, very cold

3 tablespoons of ice water

1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter to pea size.

2. Add lard and cut into pea-sized pieces.

3. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until dough begins to come together into a rough mass.

4. Place the dough on a mat, shape into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

5. Roll and place in a pie pan and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Spicy Candied Pecans

2 cups pecan halves

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

1- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

1- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 350°. Place the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the nuts are roasting, melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

3. Add nuts, fold until all surfaces are covered.

4. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the nuts every 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Let cool on silicon mats or parchment paper.

Chocolate Pecan Filling

1 cup chopped pecans

6 tablespoons of butter

2 oz bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

4 large eggs

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon bourbon

1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Heat oven to 350°. Place the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth; set aside to cool.

3. Raise the oven to 375°. On the bottom third of the oven, bake blind pie for 10 minutes with weights, 5 to 10 more without weights, until pale gold.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together chocolate/butter mixture, corn syrup, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, bourbon, and salt. Fold in the chopped pecans. Pour into the crust.

5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until filling jiggles. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 hours.

6. Make caramel sauce and pour a layer over the cake.

7. Place the pecan halves on top.

8. Let cool completely before adding whipped cream and serving.

Salted Caramel Topping

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 cup of water

3/4 cup whipped cream

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

3/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

1. In a medium saucepan (>5 cups) over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, until sugar has turned a deep amber hue, about 325° to 340°.

2. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small saucepan. When the caramel is ready, slowly whisk the warm cream into the caramelized sugar. THIS WILL BUILD AND STEAM SO BE CAREFUL. Continue beating over low heat until the mixture is smooth, at least 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, then the salt.

3. Keep stirring as it cools until thick but pourable.

Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 tablespoons of real maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

Beat together on high until stiff peaks form.