For those of you who love pie, you’re in for another treat this week, as I bring to you another awesome pie recipe I found. In this case, found is actually a bit of a stretch. It’s more accurate to say “given”. I will often find recipes when I’m looking for something in particular. But this one was specifically recommended by a friend of mine, and I just had to give it a shot.
I had always seen pecan pie from afar, but I’m not really a big nut fan, so I had never ventured near it, let alone made it. But when this recipe was recommended to me, I was forced to examine it, and upon closer inspection, it looked interesting. As it turns out, pecan pie is a bit of a trip on its own. Plus this one had chocolate and pretzels in it, so that pushed it right over the top, right into “let’s make this” territory. And I’m glad I did.
I had some dough left over from the pumpkin pie, so I didn’t have to start from scratch with making the dough. The night before I was going to make this pie, I took the dough out of the freezer, and put it in the fridge. When it came time to make this pie, I rolled out the dough and used it following the same instructions as I did the last time. (I actually still had a little bit of dough left over after this time, which I put back in the fridge, and eventually the freezer. Not enough for another pie, but maybe something else?)
I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe. I used sea salt instead of kosher salt. Also, after adding the amount of pretzels requested, it definitely needed more, so I added another handful. Typically, measuring something like pretzels is hard to do using volume, because the amount of pretzels you get for a particular volume will depend on how small you break the pretzels. (See my thoughts on measuring here.) Thankfully, they specified a certain amount, but, as I mentioned, more were needed. And finally, instead of using chocolate chips, I used a dark chocolate bar. I figured out the mass of the chocolate chips and used an equal amount of dark chocolate instead. I chopped it up into small pieces so it would work like the chips were intended to work.
I learned a couple of things about corn syrup when making this pie. For one, it is hard to stir. Maybe that should be obvious, but I hadn’t had much experience with corn syrup previously, mostly just a dab or two when making caramel for millionaire’s shortbread. This recipe calls for a whole cup of corn syrup. A cup may not sound like a lot, and in many cases, that’s true. A cup of flour or sugar is not hard to stir. Neither is a cup of milk or a cup of chocolate chips. But a cup of corn syrup is hard to stir, especially once you add in all the other stuff that gets added in for this recipe.
Another thing I learned is that corn syrup is super sweet. I mean that in a literal sense. When I was cleaning out the bowl, I tasted a little bit. Corn syrup is in a lot of the foods we eat, but I had never tasted it straight. Obviously, I knew it was sweet, but I didn’t know how sweet. Wow.
There was also some excitement when making this pie. Normally, there is some excitement when making any new recipe. It’s like exploring uncharted territory. You don’t know what you’re going to find or how you’ll need to react. But this time was a different kind of excitement. When cooking it for the second half with the foil on, I cooked it for 20 minutes more. However, a couple minutes of that was it cooking with the oven door open, because there was a smoke issue.
The pie was fine. It wasn’t smoking. It hadn’t done anything wrong. But I had. I had neglected to clean something up in the oven. Whatever that something was had started smoking. So smoke started pouring out of the oven while I’m trying to finish baking the pie. I had to open the oven, turn on the exhaust in the kitchen, try to clear the smoke out, and try to clean up whatever had been smoking in the first place.
After a few minutes of that, the smoke finally cleared up enough, and I was able to close the door and finish baking it normally. So while it was on the 20 minutes side of things, if the oven door had been closed the whole time, it might have only needed 15. (What I’m trying to say is YMMV.) At that point, while it was kinda hard to tell, it seemed like the pie had set. The crust looked nice, and it was definitely done. At that point, I let it sit out to cool, per the instructions. I was on my way out anyway. (Yes, I made a pie right before I had to leave. I know. Great timing.)
And after all that, how did it turn out? It is a ridiculous pie. In a good way, of course. It has all the yummy goopiness of pecan pie, plus the chocolate, plus the pretzels, plus the orange zest. There’s so much going on, it’s hard not to love it on ambitiousness alone. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes really good, but that’s only part of the reason to love it. At some point I should try making a regular pecan pie to see how it is without all the bells and whistles, but if this pie is any indication, it should be yummy fun as well.
There were a couple of minor issues that didn’t greatly detract from the pie, but were at least worth mentioning. One issue was that I couldn’t really taste the cinnamon. I wouldn’t necessarily blame the pie. Maybe it needs more cinnamon, but it could just as easily be that my cinnamon is a little bit old and has lost its flavor. (Yes, it has checked behind the couch and under the fridge.) It’s also possible that I don’t have a sensitive enough palette to be able to taste an individual ingredient like that, but that it is doing its job behind the scenes nonetheless.
The crust was also a little bit hard in places. That may be a result of having cooked the pie too long, because it was hard to tell when it was set. It could also have been my not yet perfected pie crust skills making the crust a little uneven and resulting in uneven cooking. Again, blame me, not the pie.
Also, the orange flavor was a little inconsistent at first. Some parts of the pie were super orangey. (Worst superhero name ever, BTW.) Some parts were not that orangey at all. Maybe I did a terrible job of mixing the orange zest in, so blame me, not the pie. Maybe I would put in a little less orange zest next time, or at the very least make sure I mix it better.
It’s also possible that I don’t really need to worry about the orange zest too much. Upon tasting the pie again over the next few days, the orange flavor tasted much better. It was much more evenly spread throughout. So maybe there were just a couple slices that were flukes. Overall, the pie tasted great for the few days it lasted. It was possibly even better as time went on.
I think the moral of the story is that this is a great pie. Many of the (minor) issues I had with it can probably be blamed on me. As they say, all pies are
innocent until proven guilty delicious until proven otherwise.
Go ahead and try making this pie. You will be glad you did. And then let me know: how was your pie making experience? How did you handle the pretzels? How long did you bake it? How was your crust? How even was the orange flavor? And have you called your mother recently? (Okay, that last one isn’t necessarily pie related, but it’s a nice thing to do.)
Recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day.