This trip has been about people. And because of it, I’ve got to see some amazing places*. Last week I flew from the swamp to the high desert to see my friend Robin. Robin and I met a year ago in the woods in New Hampshire, at an artists’ colony, which is kind of like camp for grown-ups. But with better food. We bonded over lots of things, but mostly fiercely over our joint obsession with the chocolate pecan pie. Maryel, the chef at the colony, had prepared it for Thanksgiving, and, after going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds) we begged her for the recipe. Unfortunately I left that recipe back in Australia, not realising that it would be the perfect dessert to make for Christmas dinner with Robin and her boyfriend Don til I arrived in Santa Fe. So I winged it with help from the internet and my memory. And it worked out just fine - sweet, gooey, and all the shades of brown, which seemed appropriate in a place with that particular palette. Where that colour encompasses rust on a pick-up, the golden glow of farolitos lining the roads and rooftops at night, the warm cinnamon of the adobes, and the deep, dark brown of the Stetson I bought to keep the desert light at bay.
* And eat the most amazing things. In New Mexico: enchiladas with blue corn tortillas and green chile, Mexican hot cocoa with cinnamon, and the world’s largest, stickiest (and possibly most delicious) cinnamon roll.
Chocolate pecan pie
Adapted from this recipe, but inspired by memories and Maryel
As difficult as this is, you want to let this cool to room temperature before eating.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons strong coffee
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell (I used this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. While butter is melting, add beaten eggs to a medium sized bowl. Stir in brown sugar, flour, vanilla extract, corn syrup and coffee until combined. Add butter when just melted.
Place on a sheet tray and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.