Friday, September 14, 2012

Pie Day

Friday is pie day.  And not just any pie - it's a Fancy Pie.  This weekend is the community schoolhouse picnic - and the Chamber of Commerce has a pie contest.  And my DH gives me full baking dispensation to make the most decadently decidedly delicious pie that I can dream up.

Anything goes, but I like using something that we grow here at our bucolic manor in the pie.  This year, our apple trees did not fruit.  They were too damaged in the storm last October.  My pumpkins got eaten by - well, they got eaten by something but it wasn't me or my DH.  That left me with raspberry jam.

So what goes best with raspberry?  Chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.

So, fair warning, this pie takes 4 1/2 hours over the course of 2 days to make.  It's from scratch.  But it is so well worth it.

The crust is a hazelnut and raspberry shortbread.  Full of butter.  Pre-baked.  Delicious and crisp.

For the crust:  1/2 cup toasted ground hazelnuts, 1/8 cup raspberry sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup butter, 6 Tablespoons strong iced coffee, 1 cup flour.

Mash a raspberry into 1/8 cup flour to make the raspberry sugar.  Set it aside so the sugar will absorb the juice from the raspberry.  Combine the dry ingredients, mix together.  Cut in the butter.  Add the raspberry sugar and 2 Tablespoons of the coffee.  Blend the dough gently and quickly adding more of the coffee until it makes a paste.

Wrap the paste in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to rest.

Roll the dough out and line the pie pan.  Dock the dough (poke a lot of holes in it with a fork so it won't bubble up when it bakes).  Put it in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Weigh down the crust (put a piece of foil in the pan and fill it with rice or beans or pie weights) and bake for 20 minutes at 350-degrees.  Remove the foil.  Bake for 7  more minutes until the crust is done. Gently press down on any bubbles in the crust and set aside to cool.

Coat the crust:  1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate.

Melt the chocolate, then paint the inside of the crust with it up to 1/4-inch from the edge of the crust.  You want it to be a surprise!  Let the chocolate cool and harden.

Melt the raspberry jam.  Paint the chocolate with the jam - again, up to 1/4-inch from the edge of the crust.  Let the jam set.

The filling is just a really rich chocolate mousse pudding.  2 1/8 cup whole milk, 6 egg yolks, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 6 Tablespoons cocoa, 4 teaspoons corn starch, 2 ounces chopped dark chocolate, 2 ounces chopped milk chocolate, 3 Tablespoons butter, 1/8 cup cold strong coffee.

Simmer the milk, remove from the heat.  Whisk together the egg, brown sugar, coffee and 1/8 cup milk.  Mix together the cocoa and cornstarch.  Add the cocoa and corn starch to the egg mixture - whisk until smooth.  Slowly slowly slowly drizzle in the hot milk, whisking continually (put a towel under the bowl so it won't spin) until the hot milk is combined with the chocolate egg mixture.

Return this lovely chocolately mixture to the heat and keep stirring it until it comes to a boil and gets nice and thick.  Thicker is better, so let it go and worry about cleaning up the spatters of chocolate after you eat the pie.

Remove it from the heat and add in the butter and chopped chocolate.  Whisk until they are melted and delicious.

Pour this into the crust, cover immediately with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin and chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours until the filling is set.  Don't mention to DH that it is in the refrigerator or you may end up with some missing filling...

But is that really enough chocolate?  Nope.

Time for the ganache.  Take the pie out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap.

Ganache:  6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, 1 1/2 teaspoon strong room temperature coffee, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Put the chocolate in a bowl.  Simmer the cream.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute so the cream and the chocolate can become acquainted.  Start stirring the chocolate in the center of the bowl - keep at it and it will start to come up and be a beautiful chocolate.  If you don't know what I mean by "come up", keep stirring - you're not there yet.  Once it comes up, stir in the edges of the cream and then stir in the coffee and vanilla.  Let it cool for a minute or two.  You're going to pour it over the top of the pie and you don't want to shock the filling - because then you'll have a layer of water between the filling and the ganache.

Spoon the ganache over the top of the filling and smooth it out - the smoother the better.  If you can find your offset spatula for this, your results will be better than mine.

Let it sit on the counter while you prep the decorations.

Melt 1/2 cup raspberry jam and toast 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts.

Brush the raspberry jam around the edge of the ganache in a 1 1/2 wide circle.  This is your "glue" for the decorations.

Dip the raspberries in the jam (use a fork to get the drips of jam off) and place them around the pie.  Fill in between the raspberries with the toasted chopped hazelnuts.

Take many pictures of your pie since it's the last one you will ever make because you are so totally exhausted from making this one pie - at least until next year.

Carefully transport the pie to the judging table - explaining to your DH on the way that it's a good thing that he'll have to buy a piece of pie, he can't eat the whole thing by himself because it is way too rich and would give him a tummy ache.  Remind him that charity events are a good thing - not an evil pie robbing thing.

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