My Cape Cod Kitchen: Delightfully Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie and Poems

Linda Maria Steele

Linda Maria Steele

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost

I have a pie baking in my oven now. I pulled out a recipe I haven’t used in years –it’s our own version of a Mississippi Mud Pie. I have it written on a small tattered piece of paper tucked into a little recipe box I keep in my kitchen. I pull it out when I want something especially chocolate. I am baking pies today because I want to choose what I am going to make for my upcoming Pies and Poems Workshop in Falmouth.

I came up with the idea for Pies and Poems because I thought it would be a fun way to share the chapter in my cookbook with the same title. When my kids were little I spent many days at home. Often I’d have a pie in the oven while my kids were napping and I’d sit down at the kitchen table with pencil and paper in hand and practice writing. A pie often takes about 45 minutes or so in the oven and with the house quiet and the kids resting it was a great opportunity to write. Poetry can be easy and fun.

I’ve loved writing for as long as I’ve loved to bake. I started my first diary when I was 8. I got it as a gift. I remember it had a felt cover with a little lock and key attached. I like to read poems too. I’ll search for just the right one that captures a particular mood or thought. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of David Whyte or Mary Oliver.

When I teach my Analysis of Literature course, students might be a little intimidated by poetry at first. They may feel shut out or turned off by it so I try to introduce them to specific poems that speak directly to their experience-like “Snapping Beans” by Lisa Parker. It’s about a speaker who comes home after being away at college. They can relate to that so they begin to appreciate the rhythm, mood and tone inherent in the piece. There is a spark of resonance between them and the poem.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

The pie should be out of the oven soon. I’m going to leave you with the recipe in case you’d like to give it a try. If you don’t have a food processor, that’s O.K. When making the crust you can place the ingredients in a zip lock bag and crush with either a rolling pin or a small kitchen mallet.

If you’re interested, please join me for a series of Pies and Poems Workshops at Falmouth Public Library beginning Friday March 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. For more information contact the Library Reference Department at 508-457-2555, ext.6 or by emailing:

You can also do the workshop at Historic Highfield Hall on Saturday April 30 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. To register online visit or call 508.495.1878 ext. 2.

All levels of bakers and writers are welcome for this fun and creative workshop.


Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie


Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

For the crust:

1 package of honey graham crackers

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the filling:

1 cup butter, plus a little extra for greasing the pie pan

8 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate (chips or bar)

½ cup dark corn syrup

4 large eggs, beaten well and set aside

¾ cup finely chopped pecans


Grease a nine-inch pie plate or a spring-form pan with a loose bottom. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust, put the graham crackers, pecans, sugar, and cinnamon into a food processor and process until crumbs are fine. Add the melted butter and pulse until moist.

Place the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and press into the bottom and about a ½ inch up the side. Cover and chill.

For the filling, put the butter, chocolate, and corn syrup into a saucepan over a low heat and stir until melted and blended. Let cool, then beat in the eggs and pecans. Pour the filling into the chilled crust and use a butter knife to smooth the top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until just set yet still soft in the center. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy and Happy Baking!

— By Linda Maria Steele

KA_Linda Steele_Cape Cod Kitche Cookbook_012116__3Linda Maria Steele is a teacher, writer and baker who lives in Falmouth. She is the author of “Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen: Recipes for Seaside Living” and is adjunct faculty at Mass. Maritime Academy in the Humanities Department. She adores Cape Cod and enjoys cooking good food to share with friends and family.

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