Friday, April 26, 2013

Birthday Pie for a Gal and Her Dog

Butterscotch Cream Pie with Hazelnut Praline

I'm going to (try to) keep this birthday pie post short, as it happens to be my birthday and I need to venture out on my annual solo birthday hike, as well as finish packing for two months in the woods. But before I do, I want to share these two pies I made for my friend Elizabeth and her dog Chickpea's birthday. Yes, the share the same birthday, which some might say coincidence, but I say is fate.

Elizabeth and I made the Pie Almanac together, and she would occasionally bring Chickpea to our meetings, which was just fine with me. Chickpea is TINY. Every time I see her I'm amazed that she is actually that small. She is also very sweet and verrrry chill (except when there's squirrels around), and her little wiry fur shakes when she's cold. Seriously cute, and the perfect mascot and occasional subject for Elizabeth's illustration work.

When Elizabeth asked if I would make birthday pies for her and Chickpea, I felt fine about the pie for Elizabeth--a Butterscotch Cream Pie with a Hazelnut Praline from Martha Stewart. But I was very nervous about the pie for the dog.

I'd never made dog treats before, let alone a dog pie. But it was something I needed to do for Chickpea. I found this homemade dog treat round-up on The Kitchn and chose one from King Arthur Flour. I halved the recipe and fit the dough into a small 4-inch pie tin, then rolled out the rest and used cookie cutters to make a little doggie treat bag as an added gift. It all came out well, but I was worried that it might not have enough "dog appeal" flavor. Then, as I was whipping the cream for Elizabeth's Butterscotch Cream Pie, I had a dog pie revelation--bacon grease whipped cream!

Butterscotch Cream Pie with Hazelnut Praline

Before we get too far down the dog pie rabbit hole, I will say that this here Butterscotch Cream Pie (for people) is a new favorite. It's essentially a homemade butterscotch pudding, topped with a candied-hazelnut studded whipped cream. It almost went just as fast as Chickpea's bacon grease.

Butterscotch Cream Pie with Hazelnut Praline
Adapted from Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts

Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved

For filling:
3 oz. (6 Tblsp.) unsalted butter
1 c. dark brown sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. salt
2 c. whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For hazelnut praline:
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. light corn syrup
1 Tblsp. water
1/3 c. hazelnuts, toasted & skinless
Salt, to taste

1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions, reserving the leftover egg for an egg wash. Chill dough at least 1 hour before rolling out and fitting into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Pierce the bottom of the shell all over with a fork, and let chill for 15 more minutes in the fridge. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375.

2. Brush edges of crust with egg. Line chilled pie shell with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes just until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven, and take out parchment and dried beans. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more until the crust is golden brown. Let cool.

For filling:

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter begins to brown. Stir in sugar until it dissolves, approximately 5 minutes. Slowly pour 1 cup of the cream down the side of the pan, stirring constantly until smooth (the caramel will bubble, so be careful!). Remove saucepan from the heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, salt, and milk until smooth. Whisk into the butter mixture until well combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes (2 minutes after it comes to a boil).

3. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks until well combined. Pour in the milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until incorporated. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it returns to a boil, about 1-2 minutes.

4. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let the custard cool in the saucepan, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

5. Pour the custard into the fully baked crust. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and refrigerate until it is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

6. Whisk remaining cup of cream until stiff peaks form (I was rushing and went a little overboard--yours should be a little more smooth). Reserve 2 Tblsp. praline (recipe below) and fold remaining praline into the the cream. Spread the cream over the pie and sprinkle the reserved praline on top. Serve immediately.

For hazelnut praline:

1. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar, corns syrup, water, and a pinch of salt until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook without stirring until deep amber in color. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. Spread evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool.

2. Using a chef's knife, cut praline into small bite-sized pieces. Use to top pie.

Butterscotch Cream Pie with Hazelnut Praline and Pie for Dogs

When we placed Chickpea's pie in front of her, she dove tongue-first into the bacon grease top. I was worried she might go for the grease and ignore the pie, but she did methodically nibble on the crust and decorative cut "Cs". Maybe with a little work on some recipes and a new dog pie blog "Nothing-in-the-Dog House," I can expand our nation's favorite dessert to our dog's best friends.

Pie for Dogs
Instagram by @Elizabeth_Draws

1 comment:

Levine said...

Excellent blogs. I really appreciates with your article. thanks for sharing useful tips with a wonderful, nice and simple photos.

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