An heirloom recipe with a buttery pecan crust, a sweet cream cheese layer and homemade chocolate pudding
For the bottom layer:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (196g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6oz or 170g) room temperature
- 1 ½ cups chopped pecans (150g or about 5 ½oz)
For the second layer:
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (170g)
- 1 cup Cool Whip (80g) thawed
For the third layer:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (335g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
- 3 cups whole milk (24oz)
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the fourth (top) layer:
- 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
- 1 cup grated pecans
Prepare the homemade chocolate pudding (third layer):
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a deep saucepan combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour and cocoa. Whisk in the milk and then add the chopped chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat.
While whisking the yolks constantly temper the eggs by slowly drizzling in one-third of the hot chocolate mixture. Pour the tempered egg and chocolate mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stovetop. Bring to a boil (it will be very thick) and continue boiling for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
Pour the hot pudding into a large bowl. Cool slightly then press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from forming. Leave out at room temperature until warm but not hot, then refrigerate until needed.
The pudding can be prepared a day ahead before assembling the dessert.
Prepare the bottom layer:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the flour, salt, butter and pecans together and pour into a 13x9-inch pan. Gently press the mixture into an even layer using your hands or the flat bottom of a dry measuring cup. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the pecans are fragrant. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the second layer:
- Prepare the homemade chocolate pudding layer first so it has time to cool before assembling. Homemade pudding can be made one day in advance and refrigerated until needed.
- For an easy shortcut substitute two small (3.4oz) boxes Chocolate Instant Pudding for the homemade. Beat the pudding mix with 3 cups of cold milk for 5 minutes. If using instant pudding it can be assembled immediately after spreading the second cream cheese layer.
- Substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans if desired
- Top with grated nuts, mini chocolate chips, grated chocolate or chocolate curls.
Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1102IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg