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March 26, 2012 / Kate

Seven Layer Bar Pie

Happy Belated Pi Day Pie

Here it is, late, but complete, my official original 2012 Pi Day Pie Recipe. It’s based on one of my absolute favorite desserts ever, the seven layer bar. You’re welcome.

In a bit of irony, although seven layer bars are one of the easiest desserts to make, rendered as pie it proved to be one of the hardest. Mostly because I tried time-saving by making the custard/cream base comprising most of the fillings in one go. And, well, it didn’t go. I should know better. My time-saving in the kitchen usually results in another trip to the grocery store to buy ingredients to replace the ones I just totally wasted trying to save time. But the second time was the charm and I did manage to keep the ingredient list as small as possible by keeping the custards as similar as I could. And you all got a kick butt St. Patty’s Day dessert, so win/win right?

Speaking of winning, make Seven Layer Bars with kids. It’s a great experience for all and no one has to really know anything about cooking as it’s mostly dumping a bunch of things in a pan and then putting it in the oven for a small period of time. The kids also get to smash stuff with a rolling-pin. Kids, and I cannot overstate this, LOVE smashing things. My nephew fervently idolizes the Hulk almost exclusively because of his unrivaled smashing abilities. And he’s tall. And green. All excellent things when you’re six. Just be prepared for this inevitable conversation when you hand your selected child a rolling-pin for smashing:

Child: “Can I use the giant mallet?”
Adult: “No.”
Child: “Can I use a hammer?”
Adult: “No.”
Child: “Can I use [insert random power tool here]?”
Adult: “Absolutely not.”
Child: “Awwwwwwww”

There’s a large school of thought out there that says cooking with children is terrific for them as it teaches a valuable skill while instilling in them confidence and allowing for family bonding. That’s all well and good, but I think cooking is great for kids as it teaches them that even the most exciting things in life will be made duller through counter-top and extremity-protecting compromises forced upon them by a higher authority. Life lessons made more delicious through desserts.

SEVEN LAYER BAR PIE

Note: This recipe calls for a deep dish pie pan, at least 2 1/2″ deep. If you are using a regular pan, cut ingredients by approximately 25%.

Graham Cracker Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar

Heat oven to 350°.

Place crackers in a plastic zip bag and Hulk-out until they have been reduced to fine crumbs. Melt the butter and mix thoroughly with crumbs, and sugar. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9″ deep dish pie pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set. Bake at 350° for 10 min. Let cool completely before adding filling (can be done in the refrigerator).

Dark Chocolate Layer

Adapted from “Black-Bottom Chocolate Pie” from Epicurious
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup half-n-half
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 tsp dark rum

Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in half-n-half. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in rum. Poor into prepared crust. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Almond Butter Layer

6 ounces whipped cream cheese or mascarpone
1/2 cup smooth almond butter (can substitute peanut butter)
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

Using mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, almond butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Spread onto chilled dark chocolate layer, chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

White Chocolate Layer

1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup half-n-half
3 oz white chocolate, chopped or chips
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in half-n-half. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Poor into prepared crust. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Milk Chocolate Layer

1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup half-n-half
3 oz milk chocolate, chopped or chips
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in half-n-half. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Poor into prepared crust. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Butterscotch Layer

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup half-n-half
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in half-n-half. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Poor into prepared crust. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Coconut Cream Layer

1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup half-n-half
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in half-n-half. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla. Poor into prepared crust. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

As an optional decoration, you can toast a handful (1/2 cup) of coconut flakes in the oven (broil about 2 minutes) and then sprinkle over the top of the pie.

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. kat / Mar 26 2012 10:23 pm

    yuuuum! that came out perfect!

    • Kate / Mar 27 2012 3:21 pm

      Thanks! I was worried the whole layers thing wouldn’t work, but it turned out just as I’d pictured it (which is extremely rare). It’s insanely tasty too.

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  1. Happy Pi Day! « Summer of Pie

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