I think of a turtle pie as being thick and muddy with chocolate. The rich, tangy stickiness of pecan pie filling blends perfectly with this new milk chocolate ganache “mud” topping. Both deserve a decorative little turtle perched on top.
Plan Ahead Make the ganache 1 to 2 hours before spreading it on the cooled pie.
|dough for a 9 inch standard pie shell||.|
|golden syrup or corn syrup|
|light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar|
|unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)|
|fine sea salt||.||.|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
|pecans, coarsely chopped|
|Milk Chocolate Ganache (reserved from above)||.||.|
|corn syrup (optional)||.||.||.|
|several Valrhona dark chocolate pearls (optional)||.||.||.|
One 9 inch pie plate | An expandable flan ring or 13 inch round cardboard template | A large coffee urn filter, several smaller cup-style filters, or pleated parchment to be filled with beans or rice as weights (spray the bottom(s) lightly with nonstick cooking spray) | A baking stone or baking sheet | A foil ring to protect the edges of the crust
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until it is malleable enough to roll.
On a floured pastry cloth, pastry mat, or between two sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap, roll the dough into a ⅛ inch thick disc 13 inches in diameter, or large enough to line the bottom of the pie plate and extend
Transfer the dough to the pie plate, easing it into place. If necessary, trim the edge to extend about
Forty-five minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the lowest level and place the baking stone or baking sheet on it.
Line the pie shell with the coffee filter or parchment and fill it three-quarters full with beans or rice to weight it, pushing the weights up against the sides.
Set the pie plate on the baking stone.
Remove the foil ring and set the pie plate on a wire rack. If any holes have formed, seal them with a little egg white and return the pan to the oven for 30 seconds for the egg white to set and become opaque. Alternatively, seal the hole or holes with a little melted white chocolate.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°F/175°C.
The baked pie shell will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days.
Have ready a strainer suspended over a
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the golden syrup, brown sugar, egg yolks, cream, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until it is uniform in color and just begins to thicken slightly, without letting the mixture boil, 7 to 10 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer should read 160°F/71°C.) Pour it at once into the strainer and press it through. Stir in the vanilla.
Spread the pecans on the bottom of the crust. Starting at the center, with the glass measure’s spout just above the pecans, slowly pour in the filling, lightly coating the nuts and working from the center to the edge. Once the filling is completely poured, the pecans will float. Gently shake the pie plate to distribute the pecans more evenly.
Re-place the foil ring on top of the pie to protect the edges from overbrowning.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour, or until the filling feels very firm to the touch, before topping with the chocolate ganache.
Scrape the ganache onto the pie and, with a small offset spatula, spread the ganache evenly over the entire surface. Use the spatula to make a “water wave” design in the ganache by rippling across the top of the ganache in rows.
Let the pie sit for 1 hour, uncovered, and then cover it with a cake carrier dome or large bowl for several hours to set the ganache.
With your fingers or a small metal spatula, form the ganache into an oval shape, about 1 inch wide and 1¼ inches long. Place the turtle’s “shell” on the pie. Use the tip of a knife to draw lines in each direction to make a crosshatch pattern on the shell.
Cut 1 of the pecan halves in half the short way to become the turtle’s head. If making the eyes, set the turtle’s head, rounded side up, on a counter. Dab a small dot of corn syrup on either side, about halfway down. Place a chocolate pearl on each of the dots of corn syrup. To keep the pearls from sliding, set a stack of four pennies on either side up against the pearls to support them until they set. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes. Position the cut edge against one end of the turtle’s shell and set the pecan at a 45 degree angle up from the pie’s surface.
Position the remaining 4 pecan halves, rounded side up, on the sides of the turtle’s shell to make the turtle’s legs. If desired, place a few chocolate pearls, starting at the end of the shell, to make the turtle’s tail.
Cut the pie with a sharp, thin blade, dipped in hot water and wiped dry between each slice.
Room temperature, 5 days; refrigerated, 1 week.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.