From my story, “Pies and the Man”
25 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (see notes)
3 tbsp butter or butter substitute, melted
3 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Crush the cookies by blitzing them in a food processor or by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and pounding them with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and sugar, stirring until combined (mixture will be sandy.) Transfer to a greased 8-inch Springform pan. Using your hands or the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup, press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
Pinch of cardamom
Pinch of mace
½ tsp salt
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp molasses
1 – 15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 – 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and mace. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peak stage.
3. Using a rubber scraper, fold the maple syrup, molasses, and orange zest into the egg whites.
4. Fold the spice / sugar mixture into the egg white mixture.
5. Fold the evaporated milk and pumpkin into the egg white mixture. There should not be any lumps of egg white.
6. Pour the mixture into the Springform pan with the prepared chocolate crumb crust.
7. Place the filled Springform pan on a parchment lined sheet pan or cookie sheet and bake at 425˚F for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350˚F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes. The pie is fully baked when a toothpick or small knife inserted approximately 1 to 1 ½ inches from the center comes out clean. (Over baking causes the top of the pie to crack.)
8. Cool in pan on wire rack for two hours.
9. Serve with lightly sweetened, lightly spiced whipped cream.
A: If you’re sensitive about hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup you can substitute the Famous Chocolate Wafers with Newman’s Own Chocolate Alphabet Cookies (caution: also addictive.)
B: If you buy the prepared chocolate cookie crumb crusts, you may find that this recipe makes enough custard to fill two of them. Adjust your baking time accordingly: 25 to 35 minutes may be enough. The “done-ness” test remains the same.
C: If baking this pie in a Springform pan it is important to bake on a lined cookie sheet as the filling is very loose, and will leak slightly when first in the oven. A lined sheet pan will prevent the leaks from burning on the bottom of your oven.
*The recipe was created by me in honor of Alfred Lunt.