It’s Pi Day! So we had to celebrate, given that this blog is called Pies and Plots. Also given that we have to take the celebrations we can get. And um, I kind of missed my ninth blogiversary about a month ago, so we have all kinds of reasons to take a few minutes to celebrate.
Especially if it involves this pie.
It’s funny, I named my blog Pies and Plots because I wanted something alliterative (hello writer brain) that expressed my love of both writing and baking. But I don’t make a lot of pie recipes to share on here. I love pie. Oh, how I love pie, but truthfully, I have never made a ton of pies.
They are a labor of love. Something to be made, at least in my kitchen, now and then. Baking them is an experience, something I do because I genuinely want to for whatever reason. It’s something I often do with Mom, and then I share my pies, that are almost always truly a piece of me, with the people I love most.
Pies are not something to be sliced up and stuffed into Ziplocs to be sent to work with Dad and set out for whoever. They are to be savored. Appreciated. Enjoyed.
Though I don’t always take enough time to actually enjoy things, this Caramel Nut Pie was enjoyed heartily.
It kind of happened accidentally. I made some caramel that I knew needed to be in another recipe. Then I realized it was Pi Day and my blogiversary and this just happened.
And I’m so glad it did.
I made the caramel first, but let’s start with the base, a super easy to make, versatile paleo crust adapted from Bakerita that I didn’t even chill or roll. I pressed it into the pan and baked it and it turned out super well. Needless to say I will be making many many many more pies with this crust.
I filled the crust almost all the way with toasted nuts. Use whatever nuts you have and love, just be sure they aren’t roasted or salted. I heaped caramel all over those nuts and let it run all over them, coating and filling all the nooks and crannies from top to bottom. After some baking and bubbling, I chilled it and topped it with a controversial carob ganache. I though the sweet pie needed that bitterness, but Mom liked it without. Go with your instincts!
Pi Day feels like a pretty good celebration for nine years of blogging. Thank you for your continued support!Print
Decadent pie with gooey caramel, crunchy mixed nuts, and rich ganache on top for the perfect balance of sweetness.
2 cups coconut sugar
1 cup maple sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon espresso powder
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 heaping cups whole mixed nuts, toasted and unsalted
1 ½ cups almond flour
½ cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
6 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature – which should be pretty solid
2 tablespoons olive oil
2–4 tablespoons very cold water
¾ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup carob or cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Make the caramel. In a large saucepan, stir together sugars, espresso, syrup, and water. Scrape the beans out of the vanilla bean, add those, as well as the bean pod, and turn the heart to medium. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves. After this, the mixture should bubble and darken slightly in color. Watch it carefully, cooking about five minutes until the bubbles are even and the mixture is fragrant and rich in color without being burnt. Remove from the heat and add the cream. Stir it in and replace the caramel over the heat. Cook until the mixture is thickened slightly and deep amber in color. Pour into a heat proof bowl, stir in the salt, and allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator. Caramel may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
When ready to assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together the flours and sugar. Add the oils and mix with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Be sure all the coconut oil is broken up and smeared into the flour. Sprinkle in the water and mix until the dough comes together. Pour into a pie pan and press into the bottom, working it up the sides. It’s pretty easy to work with so this shouldn’t be a big problem. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the crust to cool slightly before filling with nuts and topping with caramel up to the brim of the crust. Place the pie pan on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil to catch possible drips. Bake 20-30 minutes until the caramel is thickened and bubbly. Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating at least two hors and up to 3 days.
Make the ganache before serving, if desired. In a small saucepan bring the cream, espresso, syrup, and vanilla to a simmer of medium heat. Once simmering, but not boiling, remove it from the heat, and whisk in the carob powder until fully combined and glossy. This could ta couple minutes. Pour onto the pie and spread into an even layer. Top with edible flowers if desired, allow to set in the refrigerator about 20 minutes, slice, and serve.
Pie may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.