A few weeks ago, I was the wedding photographer for a friend, Candice. Candice is the older sister of my close friend Kellie from college, and she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. When she got engaged the day after I did, she asked me to be her photographer and I was delighted. So, the first weekend of November we hiked up to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and spent the weekend celebrating with the happy couple and their (incredibly fun) families.
Because I never go anywhere empty handed, I brought up a pie. At first I was going to bring my caramel apple pie, but then I changed my mind and decided to bring cupcakes. Then I changed my mind again because I was invited to join this Springpad Thanksgiving recipe contest and I needed to try out my perfect Thanksgiving pie idea before the deadline.
I came up with the plan for this pie a few months ago and I am so excited about it. One of my favorite holiday treats is the caramel turtle, a chocolate candy stuffed with caramel and pecans. Usually when a candy has the chocolate/caramel pairing the chocolate is hard and the caramel bursts out in a displeasing fashion. Not so with the turtle. It’s all the same consistency and texture. It all smooshes together and nothing bursts. I really hate it when the caramel bursts out.
This pie is layers of chocolate ganache, caramel, and toasted pecans. Candice called me a few days after the wedding and told me how much she and Trent (her new husband) were enjoying the pie. My favorite part was when she told me that Trent cut himself a big piece, exclaimed “this is like eating 10 candy bars” and couldn’t finish it. I love when I make pies that are too rich for even the biggest sweet-lovers to eat. It’s as good as winning an award.
This is also a good time for me to announce, officially, that Dan and I started a small business this month, Pressed Magnolia Studio. I’d always kind of felt like working as a wedding photographer was a sell out of my BFA in photography, but something about seeing Candice tear up the day after the wedding while looking at the pictures just made me so happy. Made me think I could do it, officially. So here we are.
Caramel Turtle Pie
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pie crust (recipe here)
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp water
1 cup heavy cream
11 oz bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. When it is melted, stir in the cream.
Bake the pie crust in a pie dish with nothing in it. Allow to cool. Poor half of the ganache into the pie dish and let cool.
Heat sugar and water in a heavy medium size pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly as sugar melts and turns a golden color. When sugar is completely liquid, remove from heat. Add cream and continue stirring. The caramel will bubble and steam like crazy- it’s okay, just keep stirring. When it is calmed down, allow to sit for 15 minutes.
When the ganache has hardened in the pie dish, pour half the caramel over it.
Toast the pecans for 3 minutes at 350. Chop and spread over layer of caramel. Cover with another layer of caramel- use the remaining. Top with the remaining ganache.
Let sit for 2 hours or until everything has cooled and set to room temperature.
**The second time I made this pie I used a springform pan, which was awesome because it allowed you to see the layers. If you’re going to do this follow the same instructions, just make sure to butter the edges of the pan so that it comes apart easily!