In my family, “pie” means “apple pie.” Especially on holidays: an apple pie (specifically my unscrewupable version, which was handed down from my mom) is just what’s getting made. Except more pie is good pie, and so I always make a second pie that’s…something else. Usually pumpkin, because pumpkin seems obvious. But this year, for our Friendsgiving, I wanted to make something a little more decadent and fancy-looking…except given my history with baking, I figured a test-run was in order so as not to leave our friends who braved holiday traffic sitting around our dinner table all pie-less because I effed something up.
Little confession: I didn’t actually make this pie; my son (who – heart swell heart swell – has announced that the “wants to cook things” when he grows up) did. (Minus the actual reading-of-instructions part, because he is four.)
And CHECK IT OUT.
That is a beautiful pie.
I mean, we killed it. And I wish I could say that it was skill on either Indy’s part or mine, but it’s not: it’s just a really, really simple recipe: so simple that a four year old and a baking disaster (that would be me) can make it. And it’s definitely got the “decadence” thing covered – it’s sort of similar to a pecan pie, with all that butter and cream and nutty flavor – but the orange zest gives it a nice little unexpected pop of citrus flavor that lightens the whole thing up.
This Thanksgiving, I suggest you give this pie a try. (Rhyming!)
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CROSTATA (from a recipe found in a People magazine, because People recipes are the best recipes)
What You Need:
- 1 9-in frozen pie shell
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup hazelnuts, skinned, chopped (I just put whole ones in a Ziploc and bashed them with a rolling pin a few times) and lightly toasted
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, beaten
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
What You Do:
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and toasted hazelnut pieces directly into the frozen pie shell, and mix lightly so they’re evenly distributed.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all the other ingredients (make sure you blend well). Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips and nuts. (FYI, I ended up with a little more mixture than I needed to fill the crust, but I think that’s because I went slightly overboard with the hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Just don’t overfill the pie; nobody needs to end their day scrubbing an oven.)
- If the pie shell has defrosted to the point where it’s a little pliable by now, give the edges a little crimp to make them look pretty.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until just set. Let cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.