Intro: Chocolate Bacon Chess Pie
Forget the cutesy pi/pie puns. This dessert is a straightforward combination of the universe's two most awesome foodstuffs: pie and bacon. I won't speculate here as to whether such an amalgamation a good idea or, even a great idea. Try it out, and judge for yourself!
6 tbsp butter, chilled
2 tbsp bacon fat, chilled.
6 oz (~1 cup) all-purpose flour (Measuring flour by weight instead of volume helps with accuracy.)
1/2 tsp salt
~1/4 cup ice water
4 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled.
Pie filling :
8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used Callebaut), chopped
4 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 nine inch pie pans. (Metal is recommended.)
Food Processor (suggested, but not required. Try a fork or pastry knife if you don't have a food processor)
Step 1: Cook the Bacon
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a baking sheet with foil, and lay out bacon strips side by side. (Note: I went ahead and made the entire 12 oz package of bacon, however, you'll only need about 4 oz of bacon to make this pie.)
Bake for about 18 minutes. You want the bacon to be nice and crisp so it will crumble easily.
Drain off and reserve bacon fat. Pat remaining grease off of bacon, and allow to cool.
Crumble bacon once cool. Chill bacon fat in refrigerator until ready for use.
Step 2: Make the Pie Crust
Put the butter and bacon fat in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and cut into small pieces when ready to use. Put water in a small spray bottle and chill.
Combine flour and salt in a food processor. (Pulse 3-4 times in food processor)
Add butter. (Pulse 5-6 times)
Add bacon fat. (Pulse 3-4 times)
Spray water over the mixture in the food processor. (Pulse 5 times.)
Add more water and pulse food processor just until mixture holds together when pressed.
Empty contents of food processor onto a sheet of parchment paper. Press mixture in a small round and wrap tightly with parchment paper.
Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
To roll out the pie crust, carefully unwrap the chilled dough and lightly flour the round.
Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, roll out a round approximately the right size to fill the pie pan.
Carefully peel the top layer of parchment paper off, and set your second pie pan on top of the dough, with the top side of the pan facing up.
Holding the lower piece of parchment paper, flip the dough and pie pan over together.
Carefully peel the last piece of parchment paper from the dough.
Place the first pie pan over the dough with the top side of this pan facing down.
Flip the dough over again between the two pie pans.
Carefully remove the top pie pan.
Remove any excess pie crust from around the edges, and patch any holes in the pie crust. (Tip: Don't mess to much with the crust trying to get it "just so." The fats in the crust will soften the more you handle them, and you'll quickly have a gooey, frustrating mess if you overwork the dough.
Chill the pie crust in the refrigerator until you are ready to add the pie filling.
Step 3: Prepare the Pie Filling
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Finely chop the chocolate and melt.
Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Whisk butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
Add melted chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Add the eggs, vanilla and cornmeal and whisk until smooth.
Step 4: Assemble and Bake
Pour mixture into pie shell.
Bake for 30 minutes, then sprinkle bacon bits over the top of the pie.
Bake for another 30 minutes.
Immediately after removing pie from over, sprinkle 1 oz finely chopped chocolate over the top of the pie. The heat from the pie will melt the chocolate and help to "cement" the bacon bits into place.
Allow pie to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Note: for additional information, I drew heavily upon the following resources for inspiration:
Pie Crust #2
Good Eats: Pie
Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Chess Pie