Wednesday, November 24, 2010

National Pie Baking Day: Fudge Pie

You thought I forgot, didn't you? Well, sometimes life steps in for a bit and borrows your laptop....in this case, Thing 1 had a stomach bug (yep, just in time for the holiday break) and rather than tell her to lay in her bed and stare at the walls until she felt better (which, I suspect would have been instantly), she lay in bed, watching Harry Potter.
I keep my "pie weights"
in a ball jar
don't forget to line the shell
or you'll never get those
dried beans out

Again, this is a single-crust pie, so you'll need some pie dough. But unlike the pumpkin pie, you'll need to blind bake the shell first. Blind baking a shell means that you will add a weight of some sort to the shell while it bakes that can be removed afterwards; this process helps the shell or crust keep its shape while it cooks.  This pie makes a 9 inch pie.

Yes, this is what pie weights were invented for. But, you know, before the Pampered Chef, there was this other identity called "Mother Necessity." She's not nearly so expensive. So if you don't happen to have some pie weights, lay a piece of parchment or aluminum foil across the bottom of the pie shell, then fill the shell with dried beans or dried lentils. Like pie weights, you can use them over and over.

You need to preheat the oven to 350, then slip the weighted shell in and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the shell is lightly golden. You can remove the weights now--if the bottom of the shell seems a little raw, you can slip it back into the oven for a couple more minutes but don't be tempted to over-bake the shell because it is going back into the oven after you fill it.

While the shell is baking, gather your ingredients. You'll need:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup AP flour
4 Tbs + 2tsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

dry ingredients
mmmm, chocolate pie
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, including the sugar. Add the butter and blend. Now whisk the eggs until the mixture is evenly blended.

At this point, you're shell should be ready so remove it from the oven and reduce the heat on the oven to 325.
Fill the shell with the filling and return it to the oven.
Bake for 25-35 minutes.  The top of the filling will form a crust so it will be a little difficult to tell exactly when the pie is set. You will need to slip a thin knife blade or toothpick into the center. When the pie is set, only a little clump or two of filling will stick to the toothpick, instead of what looks like chocolate pudding. Remember, the pie will continue to cook a bit as it cools too.

Remove from the oven to cool on a rack. When you are ready to serve the pie, you may wish to chill it a little so it removes easily from the pan.

kinda looks like a brownie on top
but it's moister under that crust

Serve with lots and lots of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings for a nicer presentation.

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