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The finished Oatmeal Pie is a surprisingly less sweet than you might think. NewsTribune photo/Cindy Rolando
Recipes and blind baking
OATMEAL PIE Makes one 9-inch pie 1 single-crust, blind baked All-Butter Pie Dough shell (recipe below) ¼ cup granulated sugar 4 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup grade B maple syrup 3 large eggs 1 cup old-fashioned oats Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour in the maple syrup and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the oats. Pour the batter into the pie shell and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean. The baked pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. ALL-BUTTER PIE DOUGH Makes one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies 1¾ sticks unsalted butter, divided 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar ½ cup cold water 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt ½ tablespoon granulated sugar Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes. Freeze 5 tablespoons for 20 minutes or overnight; chill the remaining 1 1/8 sticks in the refrigerator until ready to use. Stir the red wine vinegar into the cold water and set aside. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times to combine. Add the chilled butter and mix for 25-30 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter and pulse 15-20 times, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add 6 tablespoons of the vinegar water and pulse 6 times. The dough should start to look crumble. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together, it is done. If not, add ½ tablespoon of the vinegar water and pulse 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed until the dough hold together. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and knead together until smooth; dough should never come together in the food processor. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator until ready to use, at least 20 minutes but preferably overnight. After rolling the dough and crimping the edges, place the prepared shell in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. BLIND BAKING Blind baking is used for pies like Chocolate Cream, where the filling is not cooked in the pie shell, and for quiches and some custard, where the shell needs to bake longer than the filling. In blind baking, pie shells are lined with parchment paper and filled with weights to keep air pockets from forming as the shells bake. You can buy ceramic weights or stainless steel pie chains at specialty cooking stores, but dried pinto beans are inexpensive and work just as well. At the shop, we line the shells with 13-by-5-inch coffee filters instead of parchment paper; they fit the 9-inch crimps perfectly and let air flow through to the bottom crust. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a frozen, crimped pie shell on a baking sheet. Line the inside of the shell with parchment paper or a coffee filter. Fill with uncooked beans until the beans are even with the top edge of the crimp. Press down on the beans to make sure they spread to the edges of the shell. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through. The outer edge of the crimp should be dry and golden brown. Remove the shell from the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper/coffee filter full of beans. If the paper sticks to the pie, bake it for 3 minutes and try again. Once the parchment paper or coffee filter is removed, prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Bake for 3 more minutes, until the interior of the shell is dry and light golden brown. author and owner of Hoosier Mama Paula Haney
If you grew up in Hoosier Land, chances are you love pie. And often pie is the center of holidays, according to “The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie” author Paula Haney, who also is owner of Hoosier Mama, a pie store in the Ukrainian neighborhood of Chicago. “Pie is big in Indiana and even bigger in my family,” she said. “We almost always celebrate birthdays and holidays with pie. So pie was the first thing I learned to make all by myself. Later, even after I graduated to “fancy” desserts, my dad would always ask when I was going to make another apple pie (which we will make later in this series).” Haney and fellow baker Allison Scott often conduct classes at local supermarkets with classrooms. Scott is the developer of savory pies featured at the pie store. We’ll make savory pie in this series, too. I chose to make Oatmeal Pie. I’ll be honest, I chose it because it seemed easy to make. I have a busy week and didn’t want something so time consuming. I’m not sure it sounds like something delectable, but turns out it may be. Haney compared it to Pecan Pie. And while it is similar in texture, it’s not as cloying sweet and would be great warm with a little ice cream. Here in the newsroom we enjoyed it for breakfast (it is oatmeal after all) and no one complained.
Cindy's Experience Well, I bought a Kitchen Aid food processor. The first time I made the pie crust, I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and it worked fine. But let me tell you the food processor, as recommended by Paula Haney, was much better. It seemed to process quicker, too, or was it because I had a new toy to play with? Now my biggest challenge is finding a place to put it. May be time to clean out some cupboards. But I often have a hard time cleaning out this part of my life because I think these are things I don’t want to have to replace when I move into my dream kitchen, right? Anyway, this pie was mixed in my mixmaster, which I have had forever. I even have an extra set of bowls from my mom when her motor went out. I have used the extras infrequently; maybe those could go. All ingredients were readily available. I used a tradition glass Pyrex 9-inch pie plate and it was the perfect size. My local grocery store did not carry Grade B maple syrup, but did have a high-quality Grade A, so that is what I used. Blending of the sugar/butter mixture with the eggs and syrup took a little persuasion from my spatula but we got it done. The mixture is very soupy when poured in the plate. My pie took about 47 minutes with my knife very clean. The pie gets a little poufy while baking but will level out as it cools. It did not become concave. The pie was sweet but not overly so. The oatmeal was a great idea.