Monday, September 28, 2015

Mud Turtle Pie

There are all sorts of recipes, blogs, and cookbooks along the lines of "ooey, gooey, sticky, yummy, messy, chewy," and I always look at them with a little disdain, thinking, "do we really have to be children with out desserts?"  I'll admit, however, that this pie pretty much fits all those adjectives that I don't much like, and yet I do like this dessert."

When Jim saw that the recipe gave a choice between dark chocolate and milk chocolate ganache, he said, "you're going to make the dark chocolate, right?"  (He's kind of a food snob himself by now).  I said I was not.  He said, "Don't you think it'll be too sweet?"  I told him not to worry.  I put a little extra cream in the ganache to make it a more spreadable consistency; then I put it aside, and went on to the pie crust.

Cutting the edges off the circle before putting it in the pie pan has been a real help to me.  I could never roll out anything like a circle in the past, so I'd always be trying to put a jaggedy uneven oblong (or even rectangular) crust on top of the round pie plate.  And I'd inevitably end up with spots where the crust didn't come all the way up to the top and spots where I had a massive hangover of thick dough.

Much better now!  And lest you think that this is a paid advertisement for Rose's pie collection--her pastry mat, rolling pin, and pie plate--it took me a while to get used to all of them, so I wasn't an instant convert.  But now I'm sold.

This is the plastic bag where I put any pie scraps and then immediately put it back in the freezer.  I'm hoping that by the time we get to the Rolly Pollies I'll have enough pie scraps for this old-fashioned, kids' favorite, use-up-the-leftovers treat.

I bought these weights from King Arthur, and Woody gave me a big stack of urn-sized coffee filters.  He knew I wouldn't have any and would be too cheap and/or lazy to go out and buy some.

Some crust shrinkage, but the crust still keeps its shape, thanks to Rose's pie plate.

All good things go into this pie--pecans, golden syrup, Muscovado sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla.  And eggs too, although they're not quite in the same category.  That is, they're not ooey, gooey, sticky, yummy, or chewy.  They can be a bit messy, though.

I really prefer the texture of the ganache with extra cream for this pie topping.  If it were going on a cake, you'd need less cream so it would stay on the cake as frosting, but as a topping for this pie, I like the more glaze-y consistency.

I made a design with caramelized pecans.  It's not as cute as the mud turtle, but it'll do.  With the consistency of my ganache, it was going to be hard to shape a turtle that didn't look like road kill.

Here's a picture of my pie when I made it for beta bakers.  As you'll notice, the shape of the crust is just not very pretty.  The ganache I made for this year's pie is shinier and creamier, although the one from a few years back did make a turtle that didn't resemble a turtle that'd met with bad fortune on a highway.

Aesthetics aside, I loved this pie both times.  And so did Jim, who admitted that the ganache was not at all too sweet.


  1. The pie is gorgeous, although the turtle does look a little bit like it's drowning. I didn't even attempt a turtle, since my artistic abilities aren't up to it! Love the lighting in your pics.

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  3. This was a really good pie. To roll out a round dough perfectly every time. I shape the dough round as I can instead of rectangle.this way you get a good start when it time to roll out the dough, it will naturally roll out round.hope that help. great post as always.

  4. This looks so rich! Lovely results. I love your turtle, looks like it's really enjoying swimming in chocolate.

  5. That is a stunning picture of a stunning pie. Really captured the chocolate ganache perfectly. Adding extra cream was a good call; I should have done that with the dark chocolate. You have enormous self discipline to save the pie crust dough; it is the first thing I bake while Rose has us chilling the dough in the pan!

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  7. This looks so great! No doubt about how it tasted lol. I hope the monthlies will be done and I can make mine on Sunday. See you soon. xo j

  8. That turtle looks a bit grumpy! Vicki's right, that first photo of your pie looks absolutely luscious.