Honestly, this is one of those accidental recipes. But, I loved it so much I perfected it over several trials. In fact, I don’t think I am done with experimenting!
So when I made a delicious looking pie for my colleagues, it got over much, much sooner than expected. And when my colleagues asked me if there was more, it was like music to my ears. In my opinion, asking for a second serving is a better compliment than “oh, its so good” or even “yummm”. Right? Thats like a compliment with proof!
Anyway, here is the recipe:
The trick to making buttery, flaky crust is to have everything chilled/cold. This means you will have to keep your equipment in the fridge for a few hours and the butter has to be frozen. Next, get your ingredients together. Weighing them is crucial here.
- 125g flour
- 100g butter
- 55g ice cold water
Combine the flour, salt and butter to form a corse mixture resembling cornmeal (or rava). You can either do this by hand or use a hand blender. However, make sure it remains cool throughout the process. This will help in retaining the structure of the butter, ensuring a flaky, buttery crust. Chill the flour-butter mixture for about half hour. Once chilled, slowly incorporate the cold water to the dry mixture and mix till it all comes together, for a few minutes. Again, remember not to over-mix.
What happens when you over mix? I think there is a certain amount of gluten that is released and the more you work it, the less flakey the crust will be. This is why bread dough is always kneaded- it helps develop gluten which gives the dough some elasticity and the bread structure and fluffiness.
Next, wrap the dough in cling film and chill it again for about an hour or till it is firm. Chilling the dough helps it from shrinking and warping. Your final crust will have a cleaner finish. Roll the dough (you might have to beat it a couple of times) transfer it to a pie tray, poke the bottom of the crust with a fork. This will help it release some of the air, giving the crust an even bottom. Blind bake (with weights in) for 10 mins at 180C and continue to bake for another 10 mins removing the pie weights. Cool before adding the filling.
Note: To make this interesting, you can even substitute a few tablespoons (not more than 2 for this recipe) of flour with almond flour. This gives a nice light brown colour to the crust and makes it nuttier!
To make the chocolate filling:
This is just a modified ganache. Instead of adding hot cream over chocolate, add creme anglaise! That basically gives you a firm ganache that sets without gelatin. Here is what you will need:
- 1 1/4 cup cream
- 250 gm chocolate
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean (or essence will do)
Warm the cream, seeds from the vanilla bean and the bean on low heat till you start to see small bubbles on the side of the bowl. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar and beat it with a whisk till you get to the ribbon stage. The sugar is added only to prevent eggs from scrambling when you add the hot cream and it wont make your filling super sweet. What is the ribbon stage? Basically, you beat the yolks till it is pale yellow in colour which forms pretty yellow ribbons and folds into itself when you make ribbons with the whisk. Next, add a few spoons of the cream (remember to discard the vanilla bean) and temper the eggs yolks to ensure it doesn’t scramble. Add the remaining cream, combine well and take it back on the heat. On low heat, continue to cook the cream and eggs till thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the hot creme anglaise to the chopped chocolate, let it sit for two minutes and combine. In a few seconds, it’ll turn to this incredibly smooth and glossy chocolate mixture. Transfer it to the pie crust and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
Variations: The bottom of the crust can be lined with bananas soaked in rum, caramel, dulce de leche, candied ginger or orange peel- just go crazy! Same applies for the filling- perhaps a little paprika? or sea salt? mm..
A good snack for rainy days too!