Aka coffee spice and everything nice pie
It’s my eighth blogiversary. Like how is that possible??? First I turn thirty this year and now I realize I’ve been blogging for eight years. I’m kinda not okay with this.
It’s been quite a journey blogging. When I look back on some of those old posts, the pictures, the words, I see how much I have really grown. I’m a better baker and photographer, and I’ve matured a lot. I’ve become comfortable in my own skin and my little space here on the internet, even if it still hasn’t really grown as much as I would like … or as much as I have myself.
I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted and needed from life eight years ago, writing this blog, and I’d be lying if I didn’t think the same thing now. I can see with all that distance that eight years ago I had a lot of learning to do. And with that wisdom, I can say the same is true right now.
It’s okay that I know where I want my life to head right now, and it’s okay, wise even, to know that may change in this distant or even not too distant future.
I have experienced a very small portion of the world. I learn new things every day and set new goals, big and small, for myself. The more I learn and experience, the more I’ll know where I want my future to go. But our world is evolving so rapidly that it’s hard to set too many things in stone.
In fact maybe one of my biggest lessons has been not to set much in stone at all. Being open to the possibilities of each day, of meeting other people, or trying new things … being open to the universe, what it has to offer, and what it puts in my path, that’s pretty important. And much of the time it leads to quite awesome things.
I don’t know if I’ll be blogging for eight more years. I don’t know if I want to be. Eight years is a looooooonnngggg time. I don’t have to make that decision today. The only thing I have to do today is say thank you for reading and commenting and trying my recipes.
Oh, and eat this pie. So I mentioned I turned thirty not even a month ago. They call the thirtieth birthday dirty thirty. Apparently it has something to do with ticking clocks, having kids, and finding a mate … things I’m not worried about at all. But it got my thinking, because if there’s anything my brain likes to do, it’s ruminate over things.
Enter Mile High Dirty Chai Meringue Pie. I kind of wanted to post this for my birthday, but I just didn’t have time to make it and realized this would be the perfect time to make it since pie always celebrates the anniversary of this decidedly not very pie oriented blog.
The pie begins with a hazelnut crust that provides some texture and that deep nutty flavor. Then there is the dirty chai pudding. It packs some serious flavor with espresso powder and tons of spices. It warms you from the inside out and really is reminiscent of a dirty chai. Because it’s so strongly flavored, the honey meringue swoops in to bring delicate sweetness and balance. It’s a cooked meringue because it’s safer, sturdier, and tastier. Together they are a match made in heaven.
Oh, and did I mention this towering treat is all paleo??? You could totally de-paleofy it, but I’ve been on a healthy treat, paleo kick that results in some surprisingly tasty treats, like this pie.
Here’s to whatever life has in store in my future. And to you for reading.Print
1 cup almond flour
1 cup hazelnut flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 vanilla bean
½ cup coconut sugar
6 large egg yolks
¼ cup tapioca starch
3 tablespoons coconut butter
6 large egg whites
1 cup honey
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together almond and hazelnut flours, tapioca, and sugar until well combined. Stir in the olive oil until the mixture begins to clump together, adding more oil as necessary. Pour into a 9 inch pie pan and press into the bottom and up the sides. Bake 15-20 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Make the pudding. In a medium saucepan, stir together milk, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, cloves, and espresso. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the scrapings and the bean to the pan as well. Stir in the sugar. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and tapioca starch. When the milk is simmering, remove it from the heat and slowly add about 1/3 of the milk to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Once this is done, add the egg mixture to the pot with the rest of the milk mixture and place over medium low heat. Cook until the pudding thickens considerably, 2-4 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in the coconut butter until emulsified. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until completely chilled.
When ready to assemble the pie, make the meringue. In a medium saucepan, cook the honey over medium heat, stirring frequently until it comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until they reach stiff peaks. Once the egg whites are beaten and the honey is boiled, turn the egg whites on medium low and slowly stream in the boiling hot honey. Once all the honey has been added, turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is glossy, voluminous, and cooled to room temperature. Beat in the vanilla.
Assemble the pie. Pour the pudding into the crust. I do recommend pushing it through a fine mesh sieve first to remove any clumps of spice, tapioca, or egg. Top with the meringue, using a spoon to make swooshes. Place the pie under the broiler, keeping a very close eye, until it is golden brown. Serve immediately or store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 40 minutes