We’re all so tough on ourselves, aren’t we? We hold ourselves up to unrealistic ideals, then feel badly when we fall short of them–even though we’re the only ones who even know about our short-comings. It’s all so ridiculous, isn’t it?
Pie is one area where I am particularly tough on myself. In order for a treat to count as “home made,” I feel like it has to be made from scratch as much as possible. Not for other people–just myself. So if I rely upon convenience items, like boxed cake mixes and pre-made crusts, a little part of me inside worries about discovery of my fraudulent presentation–that it really isn’t the product of my work at all, but rather, the Pillsbury dough boy’s. It’s like cheating on a test–it just doesn’t seem worth the risk of ridicule. The truth is, most people don’t care. As long as the final product tastes good, that’s all that counts.
In an attempt to remind myself of this, even though I had been putting off making pie for a while now due to lack of enthusiasm for making my own crust–and reluctance to rely upon one from the frozen foods section–I made this pie anyway. Please don’t burn me at the stake for it. You can make your pie crust from scratch if it makes you feel better.
If you like pie, you’ll really like the blog I got the recipe from. For Your Pies Only is focused on both the savory and sweet options, presented by Sunny in Syracuse, who can make any day sunny. (You should follow her on Twitter, too!) She gave me a reality check with her Slice of Advice. There she recommended buying pie crust if you are holding yourself back because of having to make it yourself. She’s right. Don’t let something silly like that prevent you from a tasty treat. Nobody cares–and anybody who does doesn’t deserve your pie anyway!
I did alter the recipe a bit, changing out the corn syrup for maple syrup and adjusting the measurements for some of the ingredients. I also used walnuts instead of pecans and bittersweet instead of semi-sweet chocolate. Either way you make it, you’re sure to love this chocolatey, fudgy pie. It makes no excuses, and neither should you. Life is too short for that!
- 1 flaky pie crust (your own recipe or a frozen deep dish one)
- ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) salted butter (I used Kate's of Maine), cut up
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 ounces 60% cacao (bittersweet) Ghirardelli chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 large eggs + 1 yolk from a large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups walnuts, chopped coarsely (plus extras to decorate)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out your pie crust in the dish (or take it out of the freezer) and poke some holes in the bottom with a fork to allow steam to escape. Place on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet (to catch any drippings later when the crust is filled). Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat at medium flame until the butter is melted and it just starts boiling. Try not to stir if you can--you can swirl the pan around a bit if you need to. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes or so, then stir in the chocolate. Let it sit for 10 more minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whip the eggs and egg yolk until frothy. Mix in the vanilla. Dribble this into the melted chocolate, stirring the entire time, until it is completely incorporated. Stir in the walnuts. Pour into your prepared pie shell and top with some un-chopped walnuts.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then turn it around so the front is now facing the back of the oven. Bake for another 20-22 minutes. Allow it to cool completely before cutting.