A bite of this chocolate and salted caramel pie tastes just like a bite of a candy bar -- it's sweet, salty, decadent, creamy, and crunchy all at once.
I found the recipe for salted caramel pie in Food & Wine. The pie was described as easy to make and consisting of few ingredients. I thought a little chocolate would take the pie up a notch, so I added a few more ingredients to it, but it's still really easy to make.
One of the things that makes it so easy is that the caramel filling is simply condensed milk cooked in a water bath in the oven. There's no heating sugar, monitoring its temperature, and so on while making a stovetop caramel. I was a little worried about how good this condensed milk caramel would be, and truth be told, I thought it smelled a little funny as it was cooking, but the end result was creamy, thick, and gooey with a nice caramel-y flavor.
With gooey caramel sandwiched between a graham cracker crust spread with bittersweet chocolate and light, fluffy whipped cream, the pie was just heavenly. If you love sweet, salty, candylike desserts, this is the pie for you. It's definitely one of my new favorites.
Chocolate And Salted Caramel Pie (adapted from Food & Wine, November 2011)
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
Fleur de sel
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, and brown sugar in food processor until crumbs are moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool, and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Pour condensed milk into 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish (I didn't have one so I used a metal pan, and it worked just fine). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel. Cover the dish with foil, and set it inside a roasting pan. Add hot water to the pan until it reaches one-third of the way up the side of the baking dish.
Bake, stirring 2 to 3 times, until condensed milk is golden and thickened, about 2 hours, adding more water to roasting pan as necessary.
Transfer caramel to a bowl and let cool.
Meanwhile, once pie crust is cool, chop and melt 4 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate. (Microwave in small bowl for 1 minute; stir until smooth.)
Pour the chocolate into the crust and spread with a small offset spatula.
Sprinkle a little fleur de sel over the chocolate. Refrigerate the crust until the chocolate has set.
Once caramel is cool and chocolate has set, pour the caramel into the pie crust and spread it evenly with an offset or rubber spatula.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray, cover the pie, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream with confectioners' sugar and vanilla, until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the caramel.
Melt the remaining 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate in microwave. Let cool slightly, and then use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the whipped cream.
Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel, and serve.
(Or refrigerate until ready to serve, keeping in mind that the whipped cream will hold up best for a few hours and then it may start to loosen. Mine held up for two days as we continued to eat slivers of leftover pie.)
The chocolate layer will make the pie a bit more difficult to cut, so I suggest letting it sit out for a few minutes before slicing it and using a heavy, sharp knife.
Have you had any noteworthy desserts recently?