The contest for the Cool Whip gift basket continues to move forward. Last week, I narrowed the field down to five semi-finalists, and of those five, I selected four finalists (I know, not a major whittling down of contenders). I then spent Thursday and Friday baking pie, culminating in an eight-person tasting Friday night. The race was close, and I can assure you that the final selection was not easy.
Before we get to that though, each pie gets its moment in the spotlight. The first recipe I attempted was Daner’s Turtle Pie. With only a handful of ingredients and three simple steps, it seemed like an ideal way to dip my toes into the proverbial pie waters. Pictures after the jump…
First and foremost, I place one of the Williams-Sonoma towels from the gift basket on my refrigerator handle (a.k.a. the Featured Kitchen Towel location). It will be used frequently.
A 2 tbs pat of butter in my brand new ramekin. Actually, not sure if it’s a ramekin or simply just a little sauce dish. Whatever.
Thirty seconds later and the butter emerges warm and melted from the microwave.
In a bowl I beat three eggs. INTO SUBMISSION.
Joining the eggs is the melted butter as well as a can of sweetened condensed milk and some vanilla extract.
Things get interesting when pecans and chocolate chips enter the picture.
I swirl the mixture around with a spatula. Soon we are ready for pie assemblage.
Enter the graham cracker crust, also from the Cool Whip basket.
I pour the mix into the pie shell. The pecans immediately float to the top while the chips sink. There’s little I can do to fix this.
50 minutes later, the Turtle Pie emerges from the oven looking brown and delectable. Plus, its rounded shape coincidentally resembles, well, a turtle.
Last but not least, I drizzle pre-made caramel ice cream topping on the pie. The Turtle is ready for consumption.
It’s Tuuuuurtle time!
Well, this pie may seem rather low-tech and unsophisticated, but I can assure you it was absolutely tasty — like some divine union on a Pie-Blondie-Cookie Venn diagram. The chocolate chips all settled at the bottom of the filling, thus forming a very satisfying chocolate layer to dig into. This, of course, was made all the better by the crunch of the pecans, the sweetness of the caramel, and the doughiness of the egg filling. Sure, it’s not very highfalutin, but the Turtle Pie strikes all those comfort food notes that we love so much.
Plus, as an added bonus, the Turtle Pie is somewhat healthier than its competition. I’m not saying it’s actually healthy, but considering it requires only two tablespoons of butter (as opposed to the other pies in contention, which all seem to demand at least a stick), the Turtle isn’t as bad. Heck, it doesn’t even call for cream or sugar; although, there is sweetened condensed milk. As for eggs, the pie calls for three, which is no worse than a standard omelette. Don’t get me wrong though: this is still pie. It’s not good for you, but it’s healthier than the rest. Bonus points!
Chocolate Turtle Pie
3 eggs, beaten
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup milk chocolate morsels or semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Graham Pie Crust
Caramel ice cream topping
1. In medium bowl stir together eggs, sweetened condensed milk, margarine or butter and vanilla. Stir in pecans and chocolate morsels.
2. Place crust on baking sheet. Pour pecan mixture into crust. Bake on baking sheet at 350Â°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour.
3. Drizzle with ice cream topping. Store in refrigerator.
On to pie #2…