A Baker and her Toys
Chess Pie is a southern comfort minus the booze classic. The sweet chess pie custard lends itself to being flavored with citrus or chocolate or tanged with buttermilk. It is often a bit on the over-sweet side (if that is possible). This rendition, however, takes a whole new twist on southern chess pie tradition. The addition of oats adds a delightful nutty chew to the soft custard texture while the maple syrup softens the cloying sweetness. The pie is then topped with a swirl of chocolate that perfectly pulls it all together. Think of it as a cross between traditional southern Chess Pie and Amish Oatmeal Pie with a chocolate genache twist.
This recipe came to me via the mom of a student who found it on another website from a blogger who likely pulled it out of Amish country where oatmeal pie reigns supreme. It is something like the friend of friend whose cousin's ex-wife's boyfriend's daughter...
This pie, unlike corn syrup sweetened oatmeal pie, is flavored with maple syrup. The great maple flavor retains the sweetness of the pie while adding a most delightful flavor. The addition of maple syrup allowed me to reduce the granulated sugar called for in traditional chess pie. I also increased the oats from ½ cup to ¾ cup. This gave the pie a little extra chew.
The filling is suitable for a shallow 9 inch pie pan. I made it in my usual deep dish pie pan and discovered that the recipe is a little on the scant side. It fills a 9 inch shallow pan or disposable tin very nicely.
For the pastry use either your favorite recipe or visit my Pastry! Pastry! Pastry! blog for my favorite recipes.
I finally revised the ingredient list for the chocolate swirl that is piped onto the baked pie. The original swirl was so thick that it could not be piped. To remedy this I made a simple genache (chocolate melted in whipping cream) and waited for it to cool to piping consistency. Perfecto!
I think a sprinkling of large flaked salt on the chocolate piping would knock this pie out of the ballpark. I will try that next time I bake Maple Oat Chess Pie. I might react with, "I shouldna' oughta' done that." I sometimes do after I try my crazy ideas but I really think a little salt on this sweet would make the pie sing.
If it does sing would I have to change its name to Opera Chess Pie? Would that make it a high falutin pie?
Maple Oat Chess Pie
1 partially baked pie shell; instructions are given below to blind bake the pastry shell to prevent the dreaded soggy bottom
Filling: 1¼ cups sugar ½ cup butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten ¼ cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup of old fashioned oats
Chocolate Swirl 6 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
¾ cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 375° degrees Fahrenheit.
To blind bake the pastry for Maple Oat Chess Pie line pie pan with pastry and crimp edges. Let pastry chill for 45-60 minutes. Line the chilled pie pastry with a double layer of aluminum foil, covering the edges to prevent burning. Fill the crust with ceramic pie weights or dried beans. Bake pastry for 25 - 30 minutes. After baking carefully lift the aluminum foil (and weights) out of the pie pan. Let the partially baked pastry cool on baking racks. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Combine the sugar, melted butter, eggs, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add old fashioned oats and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The top of the pie should be slightly brown when it is done and the center of the custard filling should feel firm when you touched.
Let pie cool on wire cooling racks for 1½ - 2 hours before piping chocolate on top.
To make chocolate swirl place the chopped chocolate into a medium sized, heat proof bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it just begins to simmer and then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit a minute, then gently stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has fully melted and the genache is smooth. Cover the bowl and let the genache cool until it is of piping consistency. This will take 45-60 minutes depending upon the temperature of your room. If your genache becomes too firm to pipe then place in the microwave for 3-5 second intervals until it is of piping consistency.
If you do not have piping bags and tips then spoon genache into a small zip lock bag and snip its corner to create a simple, disposable piping bag. Pipe a design or pattern of your choice over the top of your Maple Oat Chess Pie.
For an extra delicious topping for your pie try whipping up some maple flavored whipped cream. To make this whip 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks form. Dollop liberally on pie!