First Place Pie

My Sunday morning has gotten off to a little bit of a rough start. It started with a cup of coffee that made my archaically old Keurig short out 3 times before producing a hot cup of ‘dark magic’ coffee, one of the time was halfway through that cup which means re-brewing it and it overfilling. Proving that dark magic coffee does involve some dark forces at work indeed. Then after consuming a little dark magic, I felt confident in taking on some eggs and hash browns. Which all cooked perfectly and finished together, but when trying to carefully take the second egg out of the muffin pan, it slipped off my spatula, bounced off the counter .. partially exploding in the process, to land face down on the carpet. Luckily I’d vacuumed yesterday and believe a perhaps a little too strongly in the 5-10-30 second rule, so I scooped it up and blooped it back on my plate. It took me a few minutes to notice that most of the egg had exploded on to the clean shirt I had just pulled from the laundry.

So after this rough morning of culinary slip-ups I felt it was fitting to reminisce on my week and a culinary victory.

My office, I’ve been told, never misses an opportunity for a competition. So when I heard our Thanksgiving Pot-Luck would actually be a cook-off, I knew I had an award winning pie.

Now, this recipe has been developing over a few years, but I think this time might have been my best pie yet. This recipe developed from a few different ideas and a few of my favorite things.

To follow is my recipe for… Deep Dish Nutella Pumpkin Pie. 

I love pie crust, all kinds of pie crust, but my favorite is definitely a mud pie crust, also known as the ‘Oreo Crust’. The key to a great ‘Oreo Crust’ is to not use Oreos. I always use Famous Chocolate Wafers, which are pretty much the outside of the Oreos. I’ve found using Oreos make the crust very sweet and can over-power the subtile flavors of the pie and make it overall a little too sweet.

The Crust:

1 1/4 package of Famous Chocolate Wafers

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

Pinch of Sea Salt

The How:

Pulverize the chocolate wafers in a food processor, don’t add them all at once, sometimes I even do them in batches so all the wafers are crushed finely. Add melted butter slowly until mixture is all moist but holds it’s shape, you may not quite need all the butter. Finally add a pinch of sea salt and mix thoroughly. I love a deep dish pie (more pie to love), so I use a spring form pan and press the mixture into the pan with my hand wrapped in some plastic wrap. Do not grease the pan, there is butter in the crust, and that’s all you need. I push the mixture up about half way up on the sides of the pan trying to keep the top edge even around the sides, to make for a clean presentation. Make sure the corners aren’t too thick or it will be very hard to cut.

Bake at 350, for 10-15 mins until crust appears dry. Cool overnight or at least a few hours so it dries out nicely.

The Filling:

28 oz Pumpkin Puree

14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 lemon – juiced

5 tbsp melted butter

2 eggs

2 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp extract if you don’t have the bean)

1/2 tbsp fresh nutmeg (ground is fine)

Pinch of salt

The How:

Mix it all together, order does not matter. I love the fresh vanilla bean and fresh nutmeg in this mix. If you don’t have them on hand I recommend seeking them out, they make a world of difference. I had whole nutmeg which I micro-planed for optimal flavor. For the vanilla bean, I slice it down the middle and use my knife to scrape out the insides.

Pour mixture over the crust and cook for 10-15 minutes at 350 then pull out  for the final touch… Nutella

The Nutella:

Put a few spoonfuls of Nutella into a piping bag, and make concentric circles on the top of the pie, about an inch/ inch and half apart. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of this. When all your circles are done, drag a toothpick from the edges to the center, all around the pie. This also makes it easy to slice later.. just follow the lines. Super easy and looks super fancy!

Finish the pie by cooking for another 40 mins with foil over the top at the end (last 10mins) to prevent the Nutella from burning. Pie shouldn’t jiggle and a toothpick should come out of the middle relatively clean.


I let the pie cool completely on the counter, then refrigerate until your ready to serve. This causes the pie to pull away from the pan just a little, so when the spring is released it comes out perfectly clean. Slice with a big sharp knife and enjoy cold.

I presented this pie at work and it took first place in deserts, against homemade flan, brandy cupcakes, and 3 kinds of pudding. But more than anything I was just happy to share my favorite pie with all my new work friends!

Good luck going back to regular pie ~ M 



*Disclaimer, this pie was not cooked in my closet kitchen. It’s too big for Curt, and I don’t have all the necessary appliances. Shout out to my parents for letting me borrow their kitchen and appliances for this masterpiece. xo



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