Orange Zesty Twist to Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

I know the real reason coworkers at my previous employer loved me. It wasn't my free-spirit, work ethic or sense of humor. No. It was my Kentucky bourbon chocolate pecan pie at Thanksgiving. I discovered that when I announced I was leaving a few fans asked for me to bake the pie for my farewell party.

I'm heading to my cousin's for this Thanksgiving and last night while baking a regular pecan pie and a Kentucky bourbon chocolate pecan pie, I experimented with Florida oranges. I always have left over mixture - guess it's because I pie regular pie crusts vs. deep dish and wasn't sure what to do with it. I planned to make a cranberry and orange mixture (chutney???) to keep at home and decided to use the orange as a shell to cook left over pie mixture.

I sliced off the top of the orange and hallowed out the interior to place in the food processor with the cranberries. I poured the mixture in and baked it at 350 degrees for about 25 minute.

The verdict? DELISH! Juice from the orange infused the mixture for a nice balance of flavors. It wasn't overly orange and I was surprised how good it tasted with the chocolate.

A little bonus: the oranges were FREE from a friend's yard. The joys of living in Florida.

Here's my Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 Frozen Pie Shell (I used Pillsbury last night, any will do. If you're adventurous, feel free to make your own but why make things difficult?)

Pie Filling
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, melted
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup bourbon
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup pecan halves
1 cup chopped chocolate (I used chopped Hershey Kisses I had in the freezer; chocolate chips work well)

1. Beat eggs in mixing bowl with hand mixer 'til blended (about 30 seconds)
2. Stir in sugar, margarine, corn syrup, bourbon and vanilla.
3. Stir in pecans and chocolate.
4. Pour in frozen pie shell.
5. Cover pie shell edges with aluminum foil, place in oven for 20 minutes.
6. Remove foil and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes until inserted knife (I use a wood chopstick) comes out clean.
7. Cool on rack.
8. Enjoy!

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