Fudge Bottom Pie
Week Ten: Smackdown Pie
We’re (sorta, almost, not really) famous! Tonight the Summer of Pie’s inaugural pie challenge made the local news! Big thanks to NBC15 here in Madison and welcome to all new pie lovers.
Ok, ok, so I challenged the storied Memorial Union fudge bottom pie to a taste-off and lost. 4 to 1. Now, I could be all pouty and point out that one of the judges mixed up the two pies (A for B) and thus actually voted for my pie. Or, I could point out that another judge, in an attempt to be an awesome friend, changed her vote because she wanted me to win and assumed the pie she preferred (mine) was too professional to be homemade. Or, I could say that in unofficial tastings with the remaining Union pie, mine was the clear crowd favorite. I could then, justly, say that after all the hanging chads were counted I actually won 3 to 2 with the popular vote. I could, but where would that get me… Maybe I’ll just have a rematch or maybe someday I’ll make a movie about it and win an oscar. “An Inconvenient Pie,” sounds good.
Anyway, however you want to look at it, my first-time ever fudge bottom pie held its own against a famous local favorite — the judges really had a hard time choosing. And pie was enjoyed by all. That’s a win in my book.
So is this the pie that beat the Union? Make it, invite some friends, alert the media and decide for yourself.
FUDGE BOTTOM PIE
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 9 crackers or 1 package)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 stick butter
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter and thoroughly combine with crushed graham crackers and sugar in a medium bowl. Press mixture firmly onto the bottom and sides of a greased 9″ pie pan. Chill the crust for an hour before baking; bake for 10 minutes until the sides are a light golden brown. Set crust aside while you prepare the ganache filling.
5 oz heavy cream
3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium/low heat until steaming, but not boiling. While cream heats, chop chocolate into small pieces (fine) and place in medium heat-proof mixing bowl. When cream is steaming, pour onto the chocolate. Mix until thoroughly combined and pour into pie shell carefully swirling the liquid chocolate up and around the inside of the crust to coat. Chill for at least 1-2 hours to set up completely before adding the vanilla custard.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vanilla
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pods and add with remaining pods to pan. Slowly whisk in milk, constantly stirring until it’s steaming and slightly thickened. Remove bean pods.
In a separate bowl slowly pour about 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks by whisking constantly. Whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture; stirring continuously. Switching to a heat proof spatula, stir in the butter and vanilla and continue to cook until mixture thickens. At first the mixture with become quite lumpy, keep stirring and eventually it will smooth out and thicken to a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 30 minutes until cooled. Then fill the remainder of the pie shell. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp rum or vanilla
Whisk together whipping cream, rum (or vanilla) and sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form (frosting consistency). Pipe or spread onto finished pie to decorate as desired. Add shaved (grated) chocolate on top to finish.