Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

DSC_0019This is the recipe that made me fall in love with my new cookbook, The New Midwestern Table by Amy Theilen. This book is gorgeous, and full of amazing recipes that bring me back to Minnesota flavors and midwest charm.

A lot of Amy’s recipes are meat and fish based, so I’ve had to skip out on a pretty big section of the book. But I’ve also managed to vegetarianize (is that a word?) a few dishes, and they’ve come out wonderfully. Like her chicken wild rice hot dish – I subbed tempeh and cauliflower for the chicken, and it was so so good. The Glorified Hash-brown Cake with Frying Peppers… crispy, creamy and amazing. This weekend I plan on trying her honey dutch baby recipe, and I cannot wait.

Every recipe comes with a story about Amy’s life or midwest culture, and there are some great tips throughout the book about where to pick up rare scandinavian cooking utensils, or how to get prep done ahead of time. It is truly a beautiful book, and I’d recommend it to any proud midwesterner with a love for simple flavors and good ol’ slow food.

I didn’t get quite as many pictures of the finished pie this week, since I brought it to book club where it was mostly demolished, and then brought it home where it was demolished completely. But this is officially my go-to winter pie, so maybe I can get a few more shots when I make it next time. I’ve been describing it to people as pecan pie with oats instead of pecans, and an amazing layer of chocolate ganache. It also kind of tastes like undercooked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies… Seriously, so good.

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

adapted from The Midwestern Table by Amy Theilen

  • Single crust portion of your favorite pie crust. Mine can be found here, halve it.
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt, and a little extra too, for a little salty-sweetness)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup sugary syrup of your choice, Amy recommends dark corn syrup, I used a combination of agave and brown rice syrup and it turned out great.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 4 large eggs.

Start by making your single crust of choice, chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

DSC_0003Fit the dough into your favorite pie dish and chill it again! I skipped this step and paid the price with a shrunken crust… not so cute. So chill it in the pie pan for another 30-60 minutes. You can preheat your oven to 350 degrees during this time.

When the dough has been double chilled, parbake the crust for 20 minutes using pie weights. My technique: I have a stash of dry pinto beans that I call my “Pie Beans”, I crumple up a piece of parchment, put it in the crust and fill it with beans. No, you do not need to buy these silly looking things that I see everywhere now, ugh.

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While the crust is baking you’ll need to toast the oats. Spread them out on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven with the crust, but only for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

DSC_0007Then make the ganache for the “black bottom.” Heat the 6 Tbsp of cream any way you’d like, stove top, microwave, double boiler… just don’t let it come to a boil. Then pour it over the chocolate, wait 5 minutes and stir it all together until it’s smooth.

DSC_0010When the crust comes out of the oven, let it cool for a couple minutes, then pour in the ganache and spread it evenly around the bottom. Put the crust in the refrigerator so the ganache can set up while you make the custard.

For the custard, combine the butter, sugar, salt and ginger in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugary syrup of your choice, then the vinegar, vanilla and eggs. Whisk until smooth, then add the toasted oats.

DSC_0016When the ganache is set, pour the custard on top, filling the shell completely. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 min. until the filling is puffy and bounces back a little when poked.

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It’s going to be difficult… but allow it to cool almost completely before slicing, or you will have a huge gooey mess. I know some kittens that love gooey messes, but not as much as they love cuddling!

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