Friday, July 6, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie

 Check out that ooey-gooey caramel layer!

Bubbly, warm caramel

I've already mentioned my love for Pinterest here. Ask my husband, it borders on obsession. Well this is another Pinterest find-- veganized! It by no means falls into the "low-calorie" category, so find many friends to share this with- or don't and pretend it's your birthday, whichever. The top of this pie would have looked a million times better if I had had room in my fridge to use the lid that came with the pie crust and not just covered it with foil, which stuck to the chocolate filling. The parts that weren't stuck came out shiny and smooth, just so you know.

When I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I had to make a vegan version. I love anything caramel and anything with extra salt, and the chocolate on top and the shortbread crust just pushed it over the edge. The method of caramel-making I used is different that the original recipe, but it's one that I find easier, even without a candy thermometer. We should all thank David Lebovitz for his incredible tutorial on caramel, without which this post would have been impossible, or considerably more tricky. Once you learn this technique, there are a million things you can do with it, including making an absolutely amazing salted caramel ice cream inspired by another of Lebovitz's recipes, which I'll share with you all later. His website is incredibly inspiring, and though most of his recipe are in no way vegan, many could be adapted and there are a few that are including some sorbets and a lovely strawberry ice cream (which I haven't actually tried yet, unfortunately, and does include honey, but that can be replaced), and some of his techniques are quite useful.

I took a shortcut with the crust for this pie and bought a pre-made one-- I can never get my cookie crusts to be anything but extremely crumbly, but if you have better luck, then definitely substitute your favorite shortbread or graham crust! So without further ado, the recipe:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie
Makes 1 pie plus just a little chocolate leftover. I did 8 slices, but really, I think thin 16ths would be perfect.

  • 1 can coconut milk, divided
  • 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons maragarine
  • 1 ready-made shortbread crust
  • 1.5 tsp coarse salt
  • 1.5 cups sugar


For the caramel: 

Melt the sugar-- I used this tutorial as a guide, and I always use a cast-iron pan for this technique-- any heavy-bottomed, even-heating pan will work though. It always seizes up on me, but just keep stirring with a whisk and it will melt eventually.

When it's melted, add the margarine (watch out for popping and spattering and wear long sleeves!) and whisk, then 1/4 cup coconut milk, whisking until combined, paying close attention to the edges since it will cool there first. Once combined, pour into the crust and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes-- I had to run it through the blender because it was a little lumpy, but if yours isn't just skip that step and go straight into the crust. 

 Also, feel free to just skip the pie altogether and eat the salted caramel by itself off a spoon, on ice cream, on apple pie, or in any number of other ways-- use your imagination! You could also omit the salt for a normal caramel sauce.

To make the ganache:

Combine the rest of the coconut milk with the chocolate and melt, either in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals.

Pour over the cooled caramel and chill 4 hours to overnight. I had a little extra ganache leftover and next time I won't fill the crust quite so full. This ganache is also quite good on it's own-- really simple and not too sweet. It would be perfect piped on a cake, in a tart crust of it's own, or swirled on strawberries and oatmeal.

Note: Due to the gooey/spready/sticky nature of the caramel layer, I would recommend cutting each piece directly before serving-- the caramel stays solid for about a minute before it starts "melting".

cals: 514kcal | fat: 24.41g | carbs: 77.74g | prot: 4.06g

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