Mud Turtle Pie. At first I thought this must be another of those imaginatively named Southern US creations, but it seems that this pie, which features in The Baking Bible, comes from a chocolate carmel turtle-shaped sweet popular in the US. I'm not sure how that turned into a pie, or whether my research is really accurate, but the Alpha Bakers are making it for this week's project.
I have to admit I wasn't that keen on baking this. I thought it would turn out to be sickly sweet. But while it certainly was sweet, it's amazing how much I managed to 'sample'. As one of my taste testers said, 'oh my goodness, what was that decadent chocolate thing? It was divine, I couldn't stop eating it!' The pie is composed of a pecan caramel filling in a pie crust with a chocolate ganache layer on top. Somehow the chocolate layer melds with the caramel and softens its sweetness. I would recommend serving small pieces but your guests may ask for seconds.
I wouldn't have included any photos of the pastry making process since this is the same cream cheese pastry we've made quite a few times now. But, well, I can't help myself, plus I tried a different method of putting it together in the neverending pursuit of perfect pastry. I decided to grate the butter, so I rubbed the cream cheese into the flour by hand, then mixed the grated butter into the flour mixture.
It wasn't too much trouble (although I dislike grating butter for some reason) and I got some nice flakes of fat in the pastry.
I rolled the pastry quite thinly and cut it into small rounds to fill some mini pie plates. It was very easy to roll, just using a bit of flour to dust.
I did have to re-roll some pastry to get all the pie plates filled but I didn't notice any toughness in the end product. I'm not entirely sure I'd notice unless it broke a tooth but still...
The caramel filling was easy to make (hurray) with everything mixed in a saucepan and heated to thicken slightly. I was pooh-poohing the recommended sieving at the end of this process when I notice a few egg yolk floaters in the caramel. Okay so I did need to sieve it.
Pastry shells blind baked.
I browned mine for about 4 minutes without the weights to make sure the bottom wasn't soggy.
The pecans are placed in the pie and the caramel poured onto them and then baked.
The chocolate ganache is a mix of milk and dark chocolate and cream - I just heated mine together gently on the stove. I'm sure Rose's method comes out nicer but not enough for me to go to the bother of using the food processor. Or another sieve.
And a mini turtle found its way onto one of the pies.