Schadenfreude Pie (Insert Maniacal Laughter Here)

Wikipedia defines Schadenfreude (pronounced shah-den-froy-da) as  a feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune. It’s a dark and heavy emotion, which can come in quite handy when attending the 50th birthday celebration of a friend:) I’m not a jerk, I’m just not 50 yet (but almost).  This is more of a savory pie, both dark and bittersweet, with quite a bit of heft. It’s both dense and heavy.  Just like Schadenfreude. I attribute this pie to John Scalzi over at Whatever. The original posting is from 2006 and sent along to me by Alicia:) Thank you.

The crust:

Pre-made 9 or 10 inch graham cracker pie crust. I recommend 10 inch as you will have leftover filling if you choose the 9 inch crust.

Dark, heavy, bittersweet and tasty. Suffer, you!

Dark, heavy, bittersweet and tasty. Suffer, you!

The filling:

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

3 large eggs

2 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 splashes Kahlua or other coffee liqueur

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl add melted butter, corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Melt chocolate and blend into syrup mixture. Add eggs and coffee liqueur; blend until mixture has smooth consistency. Pour mixture into your pie crust. Smile in sinister fashion.

Place on center rack in oven, bake for about 45-50 minutes. At 45 minutes, poke pie with butter knife. If it comes out clean, pie is ready; otherwise give it five more minutes.

Once pie is out of oven, let it set about 20 minutes if you are desiring to eat right away. When I took it out of the oven, it actually looked like it was breathing. It freaked me out a little.

John’s rec (and I agree) is that this be eaten in small slices. It’s really rich and very heavy, and you’ll regret eating a large slice. And this would make me happy:) Have with a scoop of ice cream or a large glass of cold milk for maximum joy.


Pie #51 – Home Made Pumpkin Pie

This has been a pretty lazy weekend. The only item of note is that myself and my wife are now volunteers with Austin Pets Alive! We have the t-shirts to prove it:) We’re looking at a couple of different areas to help out, but we’re pretty interested in fostering some cats. She would also like to do

It’s homemade. So much better.

the kitten bottle feeding thing with the kids. They will probably love that. Onward toward something new…

We’re pretty close to Thanksgiving so I decided this would be a good weekend to make pie number 51, homemade pumpkin pie. I made the pumpkin purée from scratch. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and, besides some minor spillage drama, it went well. If you are so inclined, I highly recommend this one…

The crust!:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 tbsp. cold water

In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and blend using on/off turns. Process until coarse meal forms. Add water and blend using on/off turns. Add water by teaspoon if dough seems dry. Gather dough into a ball, flatten and chill for at least one hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13 inch diameter circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the edges to 1/2 inch off side. Fold the extra dough under the edge and flute or crimp your edge. Chill at least an hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Line the crust with foil and place dried beans or pie weights. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the crust is a light brown. Set aside to cool.

While the crust cools its jets, you can make your pie filling.

The filling!:

1 medium size pumpkin that should yield one cup of purée

2 tbsp. corn syrup

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2  tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

2 eggs, separated

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup milk (1%, 2%, or whole, your choice)

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. Captain Morgan Coconut Rum, pouring liberally (because I’m liberal, if you’re conservative, you can pour conservatively)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

To make the purée, Cut your pumpkin in half.  Clean seeds and string at core. Fill microwave safe dish with 1/2 to 1 cup water and place your halved pumpkins in the dish, with core facing up. Cover in plastic wrap and microwave on “Vegetable” setting. Approximately 7 minutes or until very tender. Remove from microwave and, using a spoon, separate the meat from the rind. Put immediately into a large bowl and using a mixer, blend until smooth.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.

In the mixing bowl with the purée, combine all ingredients except the egg whites.

Blend mixture for one minute.  Fold in the egg whites and pour into the pie shell.  Bake for 10 minutes then  reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Bake an extra 30 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This pie is so good. Fresh pumpkin is so much better than canned. It also got a big thumbs up from the kids. A friend was here to sample the pie as well. He wants to make it for the Thanksgiving dinner we’ll be hosting here at the house. I’m more than happy to have someone else carry that torch:) I still need to make one more. One more!!! And that one will be a simpler version of something that my friend over at Summer of Pie has done. You’ll have to guess which one.

To the finish line…

Pie #35 – Cherry Teleport Whipped Cream Pie

Last week, I was watching Through The Worm Hole with Morgan Freeman. The episode talked about long distance space travel. One of the segments discussed teleportation. It involves dematerializing something at one point, and transmitting the details of that particular object’s precise atomic configuration to another place in space. Big thinking to be sure. The scientist used a pie and blended it as a metaphor for teleporting. He blended that pie to show how information changes if it were to move from one point in space to another. It would be a scramble. I thought that was brilliant. Not using the pie as a metaphor, but baking a pie, blending it, and reconstituting it . So pie 35 is the cherry teleport whipped cream pie. The pie recipe came from Joy of Baking, but with a few mods.

The Pate Brisee (Fancy term for Short Crust Pastry, makes 2 crusts)!:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. granulated white sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until joined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup  water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube

The cherry pie before its perilous journey

until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough on your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one part of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired. Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap.

Remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch circle. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.

I also made a third crust for the end point of my teleportation:

The crust, part 2 (a basic crust)!:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1 quarter cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter (that’s one stick of butter)

1 large egg yolk

1-2 tsp. ice-cold water


Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the butter into small chucks and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-cross motion, blend the butter into the mixture until it has the consistency wet sand (sweet, delicious wet sand)with a few pea-sized pieces remaining.

Using a fork or whisk, beat the egg yolk and the water. Pour the egg mixture over the flour, stirring only until the mixture becomes moist. The dough should stick together and be able to hold the form of a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Chill in the fridge a minimum of 30 minutes.

To roll it out, I used a cloth dinner mat. Flour the surface, cover the dough with your plastic wrap and roll out into a 9 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. Trim or fold the excess under the edge of the crust and flute. Place a pie weight or beans in tin foil over the center of the crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the weight from the crust and bake an extra 7-9 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

The Filling!:

4 cups pitted, sweet or tart fresh cherries (can also use 4 cups sweet or  tart canned or bottled cherries, drained with 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved)

3/4 cup granulated white sugar, or as needed

2 1/2 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca

1/8 tsp. salt

It's still a cherry pie, its data is just altered. And delicious.

1 tbsp.  fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. cherry brandy

Pre-heat the oven to 425F and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

Place the cherries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract and gently toss to combine. (If using canned cherries also add the 1/3 cup reserved cherry juice.) Let sit for about 10-15 minutes and then pour the mixture into the prepared, unbaked pie shell and dot with the 2 tbsp. of butter. Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with the heavy whipping cream. Cover top with your second pie crust and cut slits ( or your own design) to vent. Brush the entire surface with the cream.

Place the pie on a larger baking pan, lined with parchment paper, to catch any spills. Bake the pie for about 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Continue to bake the pie for about 25 – 35 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the cherry juices are starting to bubble. If the edges of the pie start to brown too much during baking, cover with a foil ring.

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours.

Cherry Pie Pie

Once pie has cooled, cut it up and throw it into a blender. I used a Vita-Mix. Blend for 1-2 minutes. I was able to get the pie blended but the Vita Mix kicked it. My wife is gonna be maaaaad. Pour the blended pie into your baked pie crust.

In a large bowl combine the heavy cream, sugar and brandy. Whip until stiff. spoon over the filling. Be wary of adding too much booze, my whip cream fell and now looks strangely like tapioca. Fail.

It should last 3 days in fridge.

A couple of things:

In 1993, physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed.  Check. I’m ahead of the curve. I destroyed 2 things.

Since that time, experiments using photons have proven that quantum teleportation is in fact possible. I’m afraid that, in this day and age, with something as large as a pie, there will be a few manual processes to make this work. This, in project management parlance, is what is known as “semi-automation. If I were a cynic, it would also be known as “make work.”

Then there’s that whole it’s-not-the-same-pie thing. It’s like that movie with Jeff Goldblum. The one where he transports but there’s a fly in the transporter. Same thing happens with pie.

On the taste side of things, the cherry flavor doesn’t pop like I thought it would. And the texture of the whipped cream needs some improvement. It’s also really heavy. Like pudding.  It’s still good but doesn’t really excite. Oh, the things I do in the name of science.

Pie #33 – 1975 Dick Taeuber’s Brandy Alexander Pie

I’ve been staring at this recipe for a few weeks. It’s from the Essential New York Times Cookbook, which is out now. The recipe was previously covered by Amanda Hesser at, which is where I discovered this boozey delight. You can go here to read the story behind this concoction. I remember 1975 – 8-tracks, Led Zeppelin 4, and really bad color palettes. And now, one variation of many booze pies. Truly great days.

The  Crust!:

1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs

Booze Pie

1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter. Form in a 9-inch pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

The filling!:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

2/3 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3 eggs, separated

1/4 cup Cognac (I used brandy)

1/4 cup Crème de Cacao

1 cup heavy cream

Pour 1/2 cup cold water in a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Add 1/3 cup sugar, salt and egg yolks. Stir in to mix. Place over low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens slightly (it won’t be as thick as a custard). Do not boil! Remove from heat.

Stir the liqueurs into the mixture. Chill until the mixture starts to mound slightly.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add remaining sugar and beat until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the meringue into the chilled mixture.

Whip the cream, then fold into the mixture. Fill the crust. Chill for several hours.

Pie #30 – Pecan Pie with Creme de Cacao and Chocolate Chips

 It’s 104F in Austin today. Needless to say, things are moving slowly. Inside with air conditioning, baking and watching murder mysteries. Fun! I probably should have made something with ice cream. Pie number 30 is pecan pie with Creme de Cacao and chocolate chips. The original recipe called for Kahlua. Unfortunately, I don’t have any. And it’s Sunday so the liquor store is closed. You go with what you have, and perhaps serve it with ice cream.
The recipe is from epicurious.

Smiling pecan and chocolate

The crust was from the pie that I made last week.  If you want the recipe go to pie #29. Let’s just say, pre-made:)

The filling!:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup Creme de Cacao or Kahlúa or coffee liqueur

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I added a full cup; I like chocolate)

2/3 cup chilled whipping cream (or cool hwip)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat sugar and butter in medium bowl until smooth; beat in flour. Gradually beat in corn syrup, then Creme de Cacao and vanilla. Mix in eggs, then chopped pecans. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bottom of crust. Pour filling into crust.

Bake pie until filling is puffed around edges and just set in center, covering edge of crust if browning too quickly, about 45 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Beat cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Drop whipped cream in small dollops around edge of pie. Or slather with Cool Hwip.

It’s a good gooey pie with the melted chocolate and it tastes like hot brownie with nuts. I have a bigger piece later, probably with the ice cream. Hey, it is HOT!

After serving be sure to cover and refrigerate.