Hey friends, did you know today 3.14.15 is Pi day??
Not being much of a math geek it completely slipped my mind until Deb, over at Smitten Kitchen (click here to see her recipe) reminded me of this incredible once-in-a-lifetime event. Literally. The next time around is in oh, a hundred years or so, well to be exact. So, of course I had to bake a pie for this ultimate occasion, not that we reaaally need a reason to bake pie. This is kind of like a naughty nut-free pecan pie: no nuts detected yet bamm! rich bittersweet chocolate lining the entire pie shell. YES. Thank you ladies over at Four and Twenty Blackbirds for being so naughty.
And for those with nut allergies: a great substitute and good to keep handy when holiday baking comes around. So, without further ado … here’s a pie for happy pi day that I think is worth rolling up your sleeves and getting that rolling pin out for.
Let’s make pie for pi day!
Have a great weekend 🙂
Adapted recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who in turn “adapted just a tiny bit” from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a bakery known for pies in Brooklyn, NY.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Certified GF)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut oil, or Earth Balance soy free spread
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I use Guittard)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons Earth Balance soy free spread, melted
3/4 cup coconut nectar (blonde or amber), or honey or maple syrup (substitutions would work yet make it sweeter)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
5 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C)
For the crust:
Roll the dough out between two lightly floured sheets of parchment paper into a approximately 12-inch round shape. Gently peel off the top parchment, then lift up dough on the bottom parchment and reverse into the pie plate. Gently peel off parchment and fit dough into the pie plate. Trim overhang and re-roll (between the two parchment paper from earlier) then slice into four strips, roll out to resemble a thick rope (about 1/2 inch thick), press each section onto the edge of the pie crust. Repeat to cover all the edges and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before blind-baking the crust.
Place weights, or dried beans (on parchment paper) on crust and bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights. Let cool completely before filling.
Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 325°F (165°C). Spread oats on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Raise the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C) (last adjustment needed for this outstanding pie!)
For the filling:
To make the black bottom, bring the coconut milk and teaspoon of earth balance just to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan (preferably a 1 quart sized). Add chocolate pieces and whisk until melted and smooth. Scrape the chocolate into the bottom of the cooled pie shell and spread evenly. Place in freezer while making the filling.
For the pie filling:
In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar, ginger, salt, and melted earth balance. Add the coconut sugar (or substitute), vanilla, and cider vinegar; whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the cooled oats. Place chocolate-coated pie shell on a baking sheet and pour filling in.
Bake for 50-55 minutes (mine was perfect at exactly 55 minutes), rotating halfway through for even coloring. The pie is done when the edges are set and the center appears slightly puffed. It should not jiggle when removing from the oven, firm to the touch yet still a little soft — like gelatin. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
I waited 1 hour, which resulted in a very warm filling. Cooling for longer (2-3 hours total) will help set it more firmly and cool the filling to room temperature. Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Note from the Smitten Kitchen Blog: “The Elsen sisters (the ladies behind Four and Twenty Blackbirds bakery) use a trick to keep the bottom crusts of their pies from getting soft when covered with heavy wet fillings — they parbake the crust, then brush it with an egg white wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon water) and bake it on for a few minutes and letting it cool before filling the pie. I suspect that this is a great trick to keep in mind when you’re making those slumpy berry and stone fruit pies to this summer, but I didn’t care for it here; it made the bottom too papery/firm, and very hard to cut through, so I’ve skipped this step.” My note: I did not brush the crust with an egg wash either and agree with Deb over at Smitten Kitchen that it would be ideal for stone fruit, or berry pies.
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