Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pie 03 - Triple Chocolate Pumpkin PIe

Last night I made pie number three from the 25 Perfect Pie challenge I committed to a little over a month ago. In case you are lazy or busy and haven't read back that far, the goal is to make 25 pies this year in the hopes of becoming an expert pie maker and to add some impressive, go-to desserts to my repertoire.

Here are the preliminary results of the Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie:

Six out of six people who tried this pie either liked it or loved it. This is a big improvement from the last pie, the Honey Pie, which four out of five people disliked or strongly disliked, and one out of five definitely lied about liking it.

Its been a little while since I've made my last pie, but this is because I've been spending a lot of time trying to stock and a little time trying to promote my Etsy store. It's also been a while because it was kind of hard to decide what pie to make next. The "challenge" started at the end of September, but for some reason I felt it was a little late to go for apple pies. Something about apple pies screams Christmas though, so is there really such a thing as "too late" for apple pies? I don't know. Let me know what you think in the comments. Anyway, October came and went and I didn't make a pumpkin pie either, and there are two on the list! There are also two apple pies on the list so maybe I will save one of each for Thanksgiving and do the second apple pie during Christmas time... it's not a tough call I know, but for some reason I am making it into one.

Anyway, the Triple Chocolate Pumpkin turned out to be a really great choice because after going through the laundry list of ingredients I only ended up having to go out and get three ingredients: evaporated milk, bittersweet chocolate (which is surprisingly good) and milk chocolate. Milk chocolate doesn't survive long in my house.

Butter is another thing that doesn't last in our house because we don't typically keep it, and if we do, usually someone has a brilliant idea to bake, because "HEY" we actually have butter. Back when I decided to make all these pies I knew butter would be a big part because of the many crusts I had to make. It turns out, butter is something like $5.50 a box. That's a lot when you consider how much butter I need to use throughout the year on this one project. I will think twice before taking up butter sculpting. As luck would have it, the butter was also on sale the day that I went to gather all the ingredients for all the pie crusts, so I stocked up. Not only did I stock up, but I stashed the butter in the basement fridge where my Dad keeps his beer. So, yes, in the basement of our house is a mini fridge currently full of Michelob Ultra and 8 lbs of butter.

Here's my prized butter stash:

Here are all the other ingredients I needed for the recipe all laid out on the counter for you to view:

... Ta Daaaa.

Now that show and tell is over we can move onto the pie making experience. This is not a typical pumpkin pie, because obviously there is chocolate in it, but also because there is a graham cracker crust. What do you know? This is the first graham cracker crust I've ever made. Lots of learning today, as always.

I got Valuetime graham crackers because I love to buy generic if I can. They taste exactly the same and they're half the cost. Take that Honeymaid. So for the graham cracker crust I had to finely grind up the crackers with this awesome food processor we have. Good thing I am making all these pies or this food processor would never see the light of day. 

Learning moment number one happened right here at the first step. I ground up two batches of graham crackers and ended up with slightly over two cups of crumbs, which is what the recipe called for - two cups only. So I mixed all the rest of the crust ingredients with a little over two cups of crumbs, and later I realized what I already knew, which is - FOLLOW THE RECIPE. A little over two cups was a little too much and the resulting mixture wasn't quite moist enough.

Here are the crumbs with the rest of the ingredients: butter, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, etc. I then had to press the crumbs into the pan. This was pretty successful, although the mix was a little crumbly. I figured this would resolve itself after baking for ten minutes. This was not quite the case.

The next step after baking was to put some of the bittersweet chocolate in the crust and close the oven back up for another minute to melt the chocolate. Next I had to spread the melted chocolate over the crust. This is where my trouble with the graham cracker crumbs began. It took a long time to get the result you see below. It was like trying to write over already dried dry erase marks with a dryish dry erase marker. Struggles.

The next step was to make the filling. I took a lot of pictures of the filling ingredients before mixing because look how beautiful:

Seriously, LOOK!

Then after I mixed it all up, it got ugly. Womp womp.

So, the directions instructed me to melt chocolate with butter and then mix some of the pie stuff you saw above, and then mix the rest all together; but as I mentioned in the Honey Pie recipe, I feel weird when dairy is on the stove. This is why I decided to mix all the pumpkin stuff before melting the chocolate and butter, and then I continued on with the remaining steps as soon as the stove part was completed. Lastly I had to pour the mix into the cooled crust and bake it. Believe it or not, that's the end of the recipe. It was surprisingly easy. I guess the name is deceiving. This is one of those pies that make it look like you worked harder than you actually did... my favorite kind of recipe.

This is the pie first thing out of the oven:

And this is the pie after we all had a slice:

One last step, which is optional, is to drizzle milk chocolate over the pie. The recipe mentions to wait for this step until right before you serve the pie. This concerned me, because I wasn't planning on anyone eating the pie in one sitting, and I wasn't sure how the drizzle on top of the pie would age. What if it gets weird after one day? I'll never know because I didn't try, I guess.

The drizzle did look really nice on this piece of pie right before it was eaten.

I'm not sure what pie recipe is coming up, but I plan to have readers vote on which one I should make next. I'll be making it sometime between now and thanksgiving, so keep a look out for the pie poll soon.

As a reminder here's how much time I have left to make the next 22 pies:

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