A Very Special PiePosted: November 14, 2011
I have a…ahem…special friend who is about to have a birthday. Or just did, as I’ve finally discover how to time post publishing for later dates, I’m sticking to the safe side of things and putting this to publish after his birthday. Though I doubt he knows about this blog. But just to be safe…
Anyways: special friend+birthday=birthday festivities. Also, coincidentally, he is also gluten-intolerant. I met him a year before my own diagnosis, and it was the time spent with him that really prompted my to guess that gluten was my issue, and to start the food journal that confirmed that diagnosis. It was gluten or it was coffee, folks. I have to say I’m glad it was the former. I love my lattes. Or any coffee really. But I also love alliteration. Deal with it.
Anyways. Birthday. I’d toyed with the idea for a while, knowing my friend’s love of pie and, frankly, his obsession with snickers. All of my searching for snickers pie resulted in some odd mixture that used the candy bars and cream cheese. Probably still delicious, despite the promised heart attack, but I wanted something more pure, something undeniably “Snickers+Pie”. When I found this chocolate caramel tart from mybakingaddiction.com I knew we were in business. Here was the starting point I was looking for.
Adapted from Jamie’s Chocolate-Caramel Tart on mybakingaddiction.com
The Crust:(I tried several different crusts for this pie: Jamie’s shortbread, traditional pie crust, and finally settled on a graham cracker crust. I like the touch of cinnamon and the guaranteed crunch against the soft caramel and chocolate.)
- -2 c. graham cracker crumbs (while I’ve made my own before, I saved some time and crushed up Kinnikinnick Gluten-free Graham Crackers)
- -6 Tbsp butter, melted
- -1/2 c. brown sugar
- -1 tsp cinnamon
The Filling (Caramel & Peanuts)
- -1 1⁄2 cups sugar-3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- -1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- -6 tablespoons water
- -6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- -6 tablespoons heavy cream
- -1 tablespoon sour cream
- -1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- -1 1/2-2 c. dry-roasted, salted peanuts
The Chocolate Ganache
- -3/4 c. heavy cream
- -3/4 c. (4 oz) bittersweet or dark chocolate chips/pieces
Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk graham crackers crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar in bowl until well-mixed. Add melted butter, stir until all crumbs are coated and mixture sticks together when pressed between fingers. Press mixture into 9-inch pie pan or 6 (3.5 in) tart pans. Make sure crust is even throughout bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes). Bake for 13-15 minutes. Allow crust to cool.
Make the Caramel: Put a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340° (PLEASE check your candy thermometer before use. Temperature is crucial here. Attach your thermometer to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Water boils at 212 degrees F. Read what temperature your thermometer is at when the water boils and adjust your waiting for the caramel temperature accordingly. For instance, my thermometer read 5 degrees to low. I had to wait until my thermometer read 345 degrees for this caramel). Remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients (butter, cream, sour cream and vanilla) until smooth. Pour a thin layer caramel into cooled pie or tartlet shells. Then add peanuts to remaining caramel and stir until thoroughly coated. Pour peanut-caramel mixture into shells and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, about 3-4 hours.
Make the Chocolate Coating: In medium bowl, combine cream and chocolate pieces, reserving about 1 Tbsp of chocolate pieces for seed. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring well between each intervals. After 3 or 4 intervals, stir chocolate and cream for 1-2 minutes. The remaining lumps should melt into the mixture. Add you seed chocolate and continue stirring until those melt in as well. Spread chocolate evenly over pie/tartlets and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. If desired, slice a mini snickers as garnish. Serve cold.