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Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Always Time for Pie!

One of the first pies I ever baked was a black bottom pie. I can even remember the recipe. I found it in Young Miss magazine (which later became YM, which later came to stand for Young and Modern, which later ceased publication entirely). The recipe required that I make one custard then add chocolate to half of it, then place the chocolate layer at the bottom of the pie crust and spread the remaining layer of custard over it.

Over the years I lost the recipe, and I have occasionally been interested in making black bottom pie again but have not found the same recipe. I have seen many variations on black bottom pie. Some are topped with meringue. One was just chocolate custard topped with whipped cream (which is not black bottom to me, but is just chocolate cream pie). I even decided to try my own variation where the vanilla layer was panna cotta (a disaster). Why was no one making a double-custard pie?

Pie is always on my mind, and with the lazy days of summer upon us, I have much more time for baking (even though it's not baking weather, which just shows I'm nuts). One of my most exciting inspirations for baking has been the homemade dulce de leche I had made recently. I had plenty left over and so many ideas of how to use it. A pie seemed like the perfect idea.

One day I had the coolest idea ever. I was going to make a black bottom pie, but instead of having the top layer of custard be vanilla, it would be dulce de leche flavored! How is that for an original pie idea?

Once I had the idea in my head, I had a dilemma. To make the custard, you have to split one recipe in half and flavor one with chocolate. I would have to flavor the other half with dulce de leche. My dulce de leche was quite thin despite three hours of cooking. I was afraid if I added it to an already-thickened custard, I would thin the custard out too much. I thought about simply making the dulce de leche part of the custard itself. The only problem with that is I still would have to use half of the custard for the chocolate layer and I wanted two distinct flavors. Could I cut a custard recipe in half? Considering most pastry cream recipes use an odd number of egg yolks, that seemed unlikely.

I finally decided to make two recipes of pastry cream. Why not? Will the pastry cream I don’t use in the pie go to waste? I think not.

I started with a basic pastry dough.  After baking, I lined the bottom of the crust with melted chocolate.  It makes the pie easier to cut, keeps the bottom from becoming soggy, and makes it taste even more delicious.


The chocolate pastry cream was easy.  It came together quickly and was perfectly thick and rich.  I started with a basic cream and melted semisweet chocolate in it. 

The dulce de leche custard was more problematic.  It did not tighten nearly as much or as quickly as the one made with just milk.  I didn't have as much left over because I had to cook it so long that much of it had reduced.  My top layer was definitely looser than the bottom.

Cover it with whipped cream. Who can tell?  My cream was flavored with kahlua and cinnamon.


Cut it and you can see the layers - until the top layer runs down a bit.



Overall I'd say this would be one of my best pies ever if it weren't for the loose custard on top.  Very tasty.  I brought it to work and surprisingly had few takers, although I received some compliments from those who tried it.  Sir Pickypants certainly didn't complain.

My recipe will come with a few caveats in that you will have to make your own recipe adjustments for the dulce de leche pastry cream.  My DDL was quite thin, so I used a half cup and made it part of the custard. If your DDL is more like it should be, you might want to adjust your amounts of milk and DDL.

Dulce De Leche Black Bottom Pie

Chocolate Pastry Cream

Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
Prepare an ice bath.  Set a bowl in a larger bowl full of ice water.

In a small bowl combine egg, egg yolk, and corn starch with 1/2 cup of the milk.  Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan combine milk and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.  Add some of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking quickly  Then whisk the tempered yolks to the mixture in the saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook whisking constantly until thick with a good pudding-like consistency.  This can take anywhere from 3-10 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Add butter, vanilla and chocolate.  Stir until butter and chocolate are melted.  Strain into the bowl in the ice water.  Allow to cool about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap on top until ready to use.

Dulce De Leche Pastry Cream

Ingredients
  •  1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • Pinch cinnamon
Prepare an ice bath. Set a bowl in a larger bowl full of ice water.

In a small bowl combine egg, egg yolk, and corn starch with 1/2 cup of the milk. Set aside.

In a small heavy saucepan combine remaining milk, dulce de leche and sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Add some of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking quickly.  Then whisk the tempered yolks to the mixture in the saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook whisking constantly until thick with a good pudding-like consistency.   Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook whisking constantly until thick with a good pudding-like consistency.  This can take anywhere from 3-10 minutes

Remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla and cinnamon.  Stir until butter is melted. Strain into the bowl in the ice water. Allow to cool about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap on top until ready to use.

Pie Assemblage
  • 1 baked pie crust
  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocloate, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbl Kahlua
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Chocolate pastry cream
  • Dulce De Leche patry cream
Spread melted chocolate in the bottom of the pie crust and allow to cool and harden.

 Pour chocolate pastry cream into the crust, filling it about halfway.  Pour the dulce de leche cream over the top to cover it.  If you have more cream than you need to fill the crust, simply enjoy the extra pudding snacks!

Mix cream with cinnamon and and Kahlua.  Beat to stuff peaks.

Top custard layers with cream and serve!

1 comment:

katiez said...

I don't make pies - never learned. My mother was a great pie maker. One of my favorites was chocolate custard... It's been more years than I car to admit since I've ad a slice.... I would have been very happy with yours, too.