Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Rush You Really Need...PIE!

Fun fact! Did you know that the only form of guilt more powerful than a mother's guilt is Catholic guilt? Last week and once again, Lent decided to show up earlier than I was prepared for...I mean, I'm used to giving up meat on Fridays during it for reasons that are pretty much unknown to me but subsequently fall in line with Shrimp Fest at Red Lobster, so I don't ask too many questions. But I always like to come up with something to give up that actually ends in real sacrifice and character building (who is this Kate and what have you done with the original mean one?!). I try nixing terrible bad habits like cussing, fast food runs, general laziness, etc. I've seen many friends give up Facebook for Lent, but I'm not sure how I would ever pass the time if I wasn't acutely aware of all my friends' stances on politicians, religion, and Taylor Swift. So I'm going for my old fallback favorite: giving up drinking alcohol. Notice I prefaced alcohol with the word "drinking." I still intend to bake with it, but a cupcake topped with boozy frosting has never once led to the eating of seven other cupcakes and a foggy memory haze the follow morning. Same hangover gutbomb, but without the remorse and regret! Since I'm on the path to fancy hangover-free adulthood thanks to Lent, I decided I needed a dessert hoity toity enough to reflect my newfound status of droll teetotaler. Know what can make anyone have a good time? Pie. Know what can fill a boring situation with excitement? Chocolate. Know what just tastes really good no matter what? Salted caramel. Now pair those together, and you get the most beautiful amalgamation of all three: Salted chocolate and caramel pie. Did I mention the crust is made of Oreos? Because it is. And it is spectacular.
Pictured: decadence.
I've got my Blue Bell back, and now I've got the perfect platform upon which to place it. This pie is so insanely rich and delicious that it is the only thing I ever want to eat from now until the day I die of a sugar-related heart attack. This pie is so good that my entire house could be burning down around me, and as long as I had a slice, nothing else would matter. Although it is without a doubt not 'light' or 'fat free,' it is worth the extra time on the elliptical. The kicker? It's only six ingredients!!! I promise I'm not tricking you. Stone-cold sober (but full of pie), I kid you not.
All the best desserts start with Oreos.
Like anything worth eating, this pie (original recipe here) is full of butter and all the right stuff. Gather up:
  • 1 package of plain Oreos ...these do, in fact, still exist which is shocking, because...Double Stuff.
  • 2 sticks of butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 12 ounce bag of dark chocolate chips ...if you don't like dark chocolate, use regular. I think the pie is the perfect amount of sweet with the dark chocolate, though. Milk chocolate may cross over into that "It's so sweet I'm gonna gag" territory.
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Optional: extra caramel sauce for drizzling and God's gift to ice cream: Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla
I was starting to feel bad for my blender considering I wasn't going to be making any frozen adult beverages any time soon, and then I found this recipe. I don't own a food processor, so I make life work by beating things into tiny, crumbly submission with a rolling pin in most instances. But this recipe requires an entire bag of Oreos, cream and all, so I decided to give the old blender a chance to shine outside the realm of margarita making.
I was pleased with the results.
To make the crust, blend about 10 Oreos at a time into a fine pulp and dump into a medium-sized bowl. Once the Oreos are all crushed, melt one stick of butter in the microwave, and then blend it together with the crumbs to form a crust.
Gonna start dunking my Oreos in melted butter from now on...
Press the crust mix into a pie pan and freeze for about 20 minutes.
Homemade caramel...is there anything better?
While the crust is setting, get a medium saucepan out and melt the other stick of butter and the brown sugar together. Whisk it quite frequently, and once it starts to really bubble, stir constantly for a minute before removing from heat. Pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and blend well. Set this aside to cool for 15 minutes.
I'd even have settled for the pie as is at this point.
Once the crust is set and the caramel cooled, pour the caramel into the crust. Place back in to the freezer for 40 minutes so the caramel can firm up and form a skin. This way the layers of chocolate and caramel stay separate later.
I didn't even need the spatula...this dessert is so kind when it comes to dishes.
When the caramel has about 5 minutes left to finish setting, bring one cup of heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour out the bag of chocolate chips into a large bowl while this is taking place. Once simmering and almost to a boil, pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and let rest for a few minutes. Once the chips have had a few minutes to get melty, stir together the cream and chips to form a nice, thick chocolate sauce.
Dear God, you're perfect.
Once the chocolate sauce is fully mixed, get the pie out of the freezer and pour the final piece of the literal pie on top. If you need to smooth things out, go for it. I didn't have any weird unevenness or lumpy bumps, so you'll probably be fine. If anyone is gonna ruin a dessert, let it be me. I'll still eat it. Place the pie back in the freezer to set for 2 hours or into the fridge overnight.
The waiting was the hardest part.
I was DYING to try this pie. Once the chocolate was solid, I sprinkled coarse sea salt on top and took about 50 pictures because it was so beautiful I wanted to cry. I thought about skipping dinner, but the pie was taking too long to set and my hunger anger over waiting for Adele to perform at the Grammy's was full-force. But when the time finally came, I loaded a slice up with a caramel drizzle and a scoop of Blue Bell. I no longer cared about anything else in the world. To say this pie is good is like saying we need air to breathe. It's the right combination of so many flavors- sweet, decadent, salty, and just downright the best pie I've ever had in my life. I'm an avid dessert eater, obviously, but even I was taken aback by just how good this combination of caramel, chocolate, salt, and Oreos came together, especially with only six ingredients and some super simple steps. Basically, if you want to wow the crap out of everyone you know, bring this to your next social gathering. You won't even miss the beer or wine with this bad boy handy, I know I don't! Pie...the anti booze! I'm going to be incredibly dumb, fat, happy, and pie-drunk for the next several days, and I recommend you do the same. Make the pie. Eat the pie. Let the pie wash away your Catholic guilt. Although anything that tastes this good is probably sinful in some way, but that's a problem for another Lent. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
I want to thank this pie for making Lenten sacrifices possible. You're the real MVP.

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