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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chocolate Salted Caramel Pie (ie.Best Pie EVER!)

(Note : This photo is the dulche de leche version)




After I made the original version of this pie the first time I was always looking for another reason to make it again.   I was also thinking I need to change it.   The crust on this pie is so easy and I love that it is gluten free.  So over the last year the one thought that would never leave my head was adding a caramel layer to the pie.  However, over the year I got side tracked with other recipes.

One fine day a week ago...there was a reason.  Yippee!  It was the birthday of my good friend Katie who I work with and I wanted to bake her a birthday treat.   I had to do a little re-con and ask her husband secretly through facebook what she loves for dessert.   His response was anything coconut, red velvet, lemon and salted caramel.   Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner, I can make the pie.  I was so excited I could barely keep it a secret from her.

The original version of this pie (sans caramel) is the most viewed item on my blog.   Trust me when I say this,  this version is SOOOOOOO much better.     I also actually made two versions of this pie one with salted caramel and one with salted dulche de leche.   I wanted to see what version might be better, there is a clear winner.
coconut, salted caramel, chocolate, pie, bestpie


I made some changes to the crust from the previous version aswell, the original had way to much coconut.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Pie

(Loosely adapted from Martha Stewart)
Makes one 9-inch pie.


INGREDIENTS:

Crust
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp xylitol or granulated sugar
Filling


Chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (72% cacao)
Caramel
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp sea salt
or exclude all of the caramel ingredients and use homemade dulce de leche --> Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS:
1 Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, process butter and 2 cups of unsweetened coconut and xylitol until mixture starts to stick together, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Combine this mixture with all the remaining coconut,  using your hands to bring together


2 Press coconut mixture into bottom and up sides of pie pan to form crust, leaving top edges loose and fluffy. Cover the crust lightly with tin foil over the edges, and cut a hole in the center.  Keeping the edges covered to prevent burning. Bake until center begins to brown, 10 to 15 minutes; remove foil and bake until edges are browned, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer crust to a wire rack to cool completely.


3) Make the caramel sauce.   Place sugar and water in a sauce pan or small dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Allow the mixture to boil until mixture begins to darken, watching carefully so the mixture doesn't burn.
I always keep a pastry brush and small cup of water close by, and occasionally brush the sides of the pan to prevent crystallization.  If you noticed uneven browning, you may have to give the pan a light swirl.


4) When the mixture has turned to a medium amber add the heavy cream, whisking constantly.   The mixture will expand and bubble from the steam.   Add sea salt and stir to combine.


5) Allow the caramel to cool for approx 15 minutes before pouring into the cooled coconut crust.


6)) Make the chocolate filling:  In a small sauce pan bring cream just to a boil.  While cream is heating up, place chopped chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to melt.  Stir to combine and melt remaining chocolate.  The mixture should be smooth and completely melted. Pour onto the caramel layer, smooth out if needed.  Refrigerate until filling is set, 1 hour or up to 1 day. 



If you are using the dulche de leche, omit the caramel steps and pour half can of dulche de lech over the coconut crust and top that with the chocolate.



I think this may be my favorite pie of all time. The people at work were two thumbs to both versions.  I even got a note left on my desk with the statement "AMAZING PIE".    If you have to choose between the salted caramel and the dulche de leche I would choose the salted caramel version.  It is less creamy but salted caramel just has that extra UMPH vs. dulche de leche.

Make this for your Easter dinner, your family won't be disappointed!!

MEG's RATING: D-EEEEEE-LICIOUS.   (That is one E above the limit!)





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