How do you make an already delicious dessert classic even better? Add chocolate! We took a Southern favorite, pecan pie, and stirred in chocolate chips and chopped dates.
To bake a pie crust withouth a filling (called "blind baking"), generously prick the bottom and sides of the dough before baking to prevent blistering and rising. Or, cut a circle of foil 2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate. Fit the foil into the crust-lined pie pan (it will overlap 1 inch) and fill the foil with dried beans or rice to support the sides of the pie crust and keep it from shrinking into the center while it bakes. Metal or ceramic pie weights from gourmet specialty shops can also be used. Remove the weights and foil a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown evenly.
Cool the crust completely before adding the filling, which should ideally be at room temperature. If the filling is too hot, the crust may become soggy.
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