Tag Archives: dessert

Salted Nutella Pie

When one of my dearest flickr/facebook friends posted about these Mini Salted Nutella Tarts, she knew that I would have to come up with my own pie version. Straight Nutella is a little intense for a whole pie, so I mentioned that whipping it with cream cheese sounded tasty, much like my popular Peanut Butter Pie. Kelly agreed, her family not so much. Well, sweet Kelly, thank you for the inspiration. I am pretty sure you would love my pie.

I used the base ingredients of my Peanut Butter Pie—cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped cream—and the divine Nutella took over the role of nut butter.

I used a 9-inch pie pastry for the crust, but I think it would also be tasty with a shortbread or almond cookie crust. I found the salty pastry as a nice foil to the sweet Nutella, though. I am a huge fan of the salty-sweet harmony.

This is a grand pie on its own, but I had fresh strawberries on hand and I thought it would be tasty (and a tiny bit healthy) to add a layer of sliced berries along the bottom of the pie. It was quite delicious.

Salted Nutella Pie

½ cup powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup Nutella (I pretty much used the whole 13 oz jar)
1 tbs vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top*
1 cup strawberries, sliced*
1 9-inch pie pastry, prebaked and cooled

*optional, but tasty

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in Nutella and vanilla. Set aside.

If you want to add a layer of strawberries, it is a good idea to spread a thin layer of Nutella along the bottom of the pie crust before arranging the sliced berries to keep the crust from getting soggy.

Beat heavy cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whipped cream mixture into the Nutella mixture, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream. Spoon filling into crust (over strawberries) and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Sprinkle the top of the pie with sea salt before serving, if you desire. (Seriously, do not be afraid of the salt. It is so, so good.)

I added a sliced and fanned strawberry as a garnish. A drizzle of chocolate syrup is another option if you’re feeling fancy.

Let’s look at some pretty pictures now.

I just had to show you how much butter goes into my pie pastry. This is for 2 9-inch pastry rounds

The simple ingredient lineup

Whip the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in large bowl and try not to make a mess

Properly whipped cream cheese and powdered sugar

Now add the delicious Nutella. So thick and so rich, rich

I spread a bit of this mixture over the bottom of the pie crust before layering the berries

I know, right?

The strawberries are layered and the heavy cream is whipped to perfection

Gently fold the whipped cream into the Nutella mixture. You want to keep it fluffy. Where's Fluffy?

This is me trying to hold the camera and take a photo while pouring the filling in the pie

Looks delicious, but it must chill at least 4 hours

Here's the chilled pie in bad lighting

The perfect slice of pie makes me crazy happy

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My Little Grasshopper Pie

One of my dearest and bestest friends detests mint. I can’t stand mint tea, so I can understand Miss Holly’s disdain. I do like mojitos, though. I guess I am an enigma. But that’s a therapy session for another time.

Anyway, my (Secret) Care Sister, Holly, really hates mint. I believe it results from a morning sickness versus toothpaste incident. Correct me if I’m wrong, my dear Holly. Hey, it’s her prerogative to not like mint and that’s okay.

When I started researching recipes for this project/blog, I remembered a popular pie from the ’70s called Grasshopper. Apparently there is a drink by the same name. (A cloying cordial is not my thing, so I’ve ignored its existence all these years.) The older woman at the ABC Liquor looked up the recipe and said it contains creme de menthe, creme de cacao and milk or cream. “So you’ll have plenty to make some after your pie,” she nodded at my two cheapo bottles of cordials. Rock on. Maybe I need to host an early ’70s cocktail party. Who’s bringing the aspic?  Bleh.

Back to pie. Grasshopper pie. I found the original recipe on that crazy Pioneer lady’s site. Thanks, Ree! I changed it a bit to make me happy. First I will give you the This is NOT for Holly Pie, then I will be all sweet and give an alternative recipe just for Holly.

This is NOT for Holly Grasshopper Pie

20 whole Oreo cookies
3 tbs butter, melted
1 jar marshmallow fluff (fluff does not contain gelatin)
2/3 cup half-and-half
2 tbs creme de menthe
2 tbs creme de cacao
1 cup heavy cream
Extra cookie crumbs or chocolate curls for garnish.

This is the fun part. Put the cookies in a large Ziploc freezer bag and bang the heck out of it with a wooden rolling pin. Just be careful not to break the bag. Add the melted butter and smoosh and smash a bit more. Good times. Dump the contents into a pie pan and evenly press along the bottom and up the sides.  Set in the fridge while you work on the filling.

Add marshmallow fluff and half-and-half to a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and combined, then set the pan in a bowl of ice to cool. Now is the time to make some fancy chocolate curls or cookie crumbles. Add the creme de menthe and the creme de cacao to the cooled fluff-n-stuff. I don’t add food coloring because it’s just gross and unnecessary.

Beat the whipping cream in a cold mixing bowl until stiff, pour in the cooled marshmallow mixture and gently fold them together.

Pour into chocolate crust (don’t overflow the pan; if you have extra, just drink it!), and decorate with crumbs or curls. Set in the freezer for at least two hours or until very firm. (Tee hee!) Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

For Holly’s version, let’s call it Holly’s Cicada Pie, I’m going to omit the creme the menthe (duh!), substitute 2 tbs Navan vanilla liqueur to go along with the creme to cacao (or you can use real vanilla extract), and throw in the option of using the golden Oreo cookies, or other vanilla cream-filled cookies, as the crust. How does that sound?

P.S. I know that Sweet & Sara make gelatin-free marshmallows, but they are crazy expensive, so unless you are willing to plunk down some serious dough for a fluffy sugar confection, go with the fluff.

This is NOT for Holly Grasshopper Pie with Bonus Bokeh

Once You Go Blackberry….

If I had to pick a favorite berry, it would definitely be the blackberry. The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice, right? I used to pick wild blackberries in a field near my childhood home in Sarasota. There was something dangerous and exciting about picking the berries, like we thought there was a slight chance they were poisonous and all of us neighborhood kids would be dead by sunset. As you can see, we survived. And those blackberries were exceptionally tasty. Mmm…. Danger tastes good. Plus blackberries are just so darn pretty.

Still Life with Blackberries

This is one of the pies I baked with my defective “perfect” pastry, the dough was too moist and just crumbled apart. Yes, I was sad but pie should not make you cry, so I sucked it up and enjoyed the deliciousness of my ugly pie.

Again, this a pretty standard recipe for all types of fruit pies. So easy and delicious.

Blackberry Pie

4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs flour
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs unsalted butter (cut up in small pieces)

Mix berries with sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour into prepared pie pastry. Dot with butter and top with lattice crust or whole crust sliced with steam vents and decorated as you wish. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about an hour, or until bubbling and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, and love

Look how pretty all plopped in a pie

And here is my failed lattice top. *sigh* Looks more like snakes.

I will report that my official taste-tester declared this pie to be the best he’d ever had.  Two thumbs up and sweet declarations of yumminess. So my theory of taste over looks still stands. WINNING!