I’m not an expert of pies but aren’t they supposed to be well, sweet? Don’t get me wrong, all because something isn’t as sweet as you’d expect them to be doesn’t mean they aren’t nice just not what you were expecting.
This pie is meant to be served with a fudge sauce but seeing as we aren’t big desert eaters I didn’t want to waste making the sauce to go with it.
This is the second pie that I’m baking in conjunction with my goal this year, to work my through 365 Pies and Tarts – Better Homes and Gardens, choosing a recipe to make each month and writing about it. I’m going to be teaching myself how to be a pie making pro by the end of 2014. Before this Lemon-Vanilla Tart I’d never made a pie or tart before. This year is all about challenges and teaching myself different skills in the kitchen and this is just one of them.
It’s a terrific looking pie, perfect for a dinner party where you could serve it with fudge sauce and ice cream too, it would be the perfect end to the meal.
The crust was really easy to prepare and looked fantastic when I unmoulded it, always a nervous task. I was surprised to see in the recipe that it required no chilling as I thought all pastry did. This to me was a great advantage as I could get on with baking it and not have to hang around.
I also got to use my new pastry cutter, it’s fantastic I love how easy it makes blending the flour and butter together. If you don’t own one I recommend you purchase one. I was bought this one Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Pastry Blender.
The pastry only contains a couple of ingredients flour, salt, vegetable shortening, butter and iced water. By using an equal measurement of vegetable shortening and butter you are guaranteed a flakey crust and this is what you get. I always use this ratio when baking any kind of pastry. As you can guess from that short list the base of the pie itself wasn’t sweet at all. It was however perfectly brown and baked through without a soggy bottom.
The method for the pastry is a standard format. Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and add the vegetable shortening and butter, both of which should be cubed. Now get your pastry cutter if you own one of use your finger tips to rub the ingredients together until breadcrumbs form. Add the ice water a little at time until you can bring the dough together. This dough is very easy to roll out, I sometimes have problems with it cracking but this one didn’t at all! It was very easy to move around my work surface and was a strong dough to transfer into my tart tin.
The filling is a thick, chocolate mixture made up of melted chocolate,sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and a little flour. The walnuts also get added to this unctuous combination. Again like the pie crust its very quick and easy to put together. All you do is melt the chocolate with some butter, let it cool a little. Meanwhile whilst it’s cooling in a medium bowl combine the eggs, sugar, flour, pure vanilla extract then pour in the chocolate mixture then stir through the walnuts. See a simple five-minute task!
You then pour this into your pastry case and bake until a cake tester comes out clean. Now that big crack on the top you can see, when I was testing to see if it was ready to come out of the oven I popped my cake tester in then wham, it cracked! It didn’t affect the outcome of the pie just the aesthetics of it.
I wouldn’t bake this pie to eat on its own as it’s just too plain and lacking in flavour. Instead I’d suggest gathering your family and friends round for this stunning deep dish pie. You can pile it high with your favourite ice creams and other sweet’s it’ll be a treat for everyone.
Yields – One 9 inch pie
- 210 grams (1 1/2 cups) Self raising flour
- Pinch of Maldon sea salt
- 55 grams (1/4 cup) Vegetable shortening, cubed
- 55 grams (1/4 cup) Unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 60-80 ml (1/4-1/3 cup) Iced water
- 110 grams (1/2 cup) Unsalted butter
- 90 grams (3 ounces) Dark chocolate
- 3 Large eggs, lightly beaten
- 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) Caster sugar
- 70 grams (1/2 cup) Self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 70 grams (1 cup) Walnuts, roughly chopped
- Over a low heat, melt the butter and dark chocolate and set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C,160C(fan),350F. To make the pastry add the flour, salt, vegetable shortening and the butter to a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to work everything together until you have a breadcrumb mixture. Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time mixing as you go until you have a dough that you can easily bring together.
- One a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough from the centre outwards until you have a 12 inch circle. Gently wrap the pastry over you rolling pin and lay it in a 9 inch circular pie tin with a removable base. Press into the sides and trim 1/2 inch over the rim of your tin. Set aside whilst you make your filling.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the eggs, sugar, flour and the vanilla extract. Drizzle in the melted chocolate stir everything together then add the walnuts. Continue to stir until everything has been combined.
- Pour into your pie case and bake for 55-1 hr 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack and either serve with ice cream or on it’s own.
* Recipe from 365 Pies and Tarts – Better Homes and Gardens
* This is the second recipe of the year as part of my Pie Year series. Check out my first tart, this citrus infused Lemon-Vanilla Tart.
* Store this is in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days.
* Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
* Serve this piled high with ice cream, fudge sauce and sprinkles.