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.

And Pie #52…The Cherry Bomb

Before I start on my pie blog swan song, I’d like to send healing thoughts and hope for a speedy recovery to my Aunt Judy in Nashville who’s very ill. Please get well soon.

The cherry bomb cleverly disguised as a chocolate cake

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you:)

A year ago I decided to do a pie a week and blog about it. It’s been an experience part exciting, boring, humorous, fun, not-so-fun, and an all-around pleasant learning experience (I still need to work on my crust skills though…). For those of you who followed along, thank you. Thank you for asking me how things were going and staying interested. And in doing so, keeping me interested. 

I hope you’ve used this small library of classic and unique recipes and I also hope you had an even better go of it than I did:) I also hope you continue to use it. For anyone coming along after the fact, thank you for looking around. I hope you find something that you would like to try, and something that you enjoy.

This has also been a marker of time and happenings in the past year. Nothing too crazy but certainly some sadness and some excellent times, and everything in between. As it should be, it has been a mix. It also marks a transition. It’s re-kindled my desire to get out and do new things. So, I will shortly be fostering of a reasonable number of Siamese cats and volunteering with Austin Siamese Rescue and Austin Pets Alive! Joining me on this adventure is my lovely wife. Yay! Doing good deeds together:) Maybe I can blog about that too.

Pie number 52 was something I couldn’t think of a good name for. So I asked my friends on that-social-network-thing for a name and gave them the description; a cherry pie baked inside a chocolate cake and frosted with a semi-sweet chocolate and sour cream frosting. I got some good names and umm, some abstract. I decided to go with The Cherry Bomb. It has a nice ring to it. Thanks Heidi.

My final concoction is inspired by Kate Orenberg over at Summer of Pie. You can find her story of the epic Capownie here. I initially wanted to do her recipe, which is 6 pages long. It also requires baking tools I couldn’t McGyver. So I went with a toned down version of her larger concept and created a flavor concoction that my wife came up with. My recipe was 3 pages, which makes sense. Kate created a double-decker. And she did it over the course of a week. I just didn’t have that kind of time.

I started putting this together Wednesday at 8am. I finished it around 9:30pm. In between, I also made Baby-Screamin its Head Off in the Middle of the Night and Ruinin my Life Pie, helped Tammi braise a turkey, and did a couple of other things to get my Thanksgiving on.  This modipied creation was a bit of work but, after sampling the wares as it was coming together, I think this is going to rock.

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.

Kinda looks like a cherry filled brownie in this picture

Line the inside of a 9 inch pie pan with tin foil. Wrap the edges down and under the side of the tin. A smaller pie tin would probably be best as you want to make sure the pie you put in the cake is a bit smaller and more dense. Dense is key, you don’t want the pie to come apart in transfer. That would be no bueno.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 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. Don’t worry about fluting or crimping your edge. Nobody is going to see it unless they excavated their cake.  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. Once cooled, create a tin foil collar  for your crust, making sure your edges are covered. You don’t want to burn the edge.

The Filling!:

2 16 oz. cans (equal to 4 cups) cherry pie filling

1/4 cup granulated white sugar, or as needed

2 1/2 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. cherry brandy

Place the cherries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix with a large wooden or plastic spoon until joined. Pour the mixture into the baked pie shell. Spread the cherry filling to the tin foil collar.

Bake at 425F, for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake an extra 25-30 minutes.

Place on wire rack. Let cool completely. Transfer to fridge and allow at least an hour to chill. Two hours would be better. It really needs to set.

Chocolate Cake!:

3 cups cake flour

3 cups sugar

½   tsp. baking soda

1½   tsp. salt

¾ tsp. baking powder

1 cup water

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup shortening

3 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

6 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled ( use a microwave safe bowl, and nuke it for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Not a cherry filled brownie.

Spray oil and flour 10 inch springform pan, removing excess flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds on low-speed, stopping to scrape sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.

Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed.

Pour enough batter to have a ½ inch platform to allow pie to sit on. Bake 5-10 minutes or until batter is just firm enough to hold pie.

Unwrap the tin foil collar from the crust. Using the tin foil you lined your pie tin with, loosen and lift the cherry pie from your pie tin. Transfer your cooled cherry pie to the 10 inch springform pan.

Pour remaining batter into srpingform. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 4 hours. Using a butter knife, run along outer edge of cake to separate from the springform. Remove springform. Place back in fridge until you are ready to frost.

The Frosting!:

1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium sauce pan, let chips slowly melt over low heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. It’s ready to spread.

Remove your cherry occupied cake from the fridge and frost away. When done, you should have some extra frosting. Find a good cookie and dip that bad boy into the remaining frosting and enjoy.

I had a small gathering of friends eager to see the result and it turned out quite well. I actually had pie-parazzi snapping photos and videos of the cutting of the cake. Kinda felt like I was at my wedding again:) The entire thing was dense but had a good flavor and the chocolate/cherry mix really was the bomb. I have some left over if you want to stop by and try it:)

I’m so glad I did this. I have the disherprin. I may do a few more recipes periodically depending on what I find, or what I feel I can make up. But for now, I have achieved the goal I set for myself and this makes me happy. Have a great holiday season and take care.

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 #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.

Pie #4 – Grasshopper pie

Shopping for ingredients on this one was a lazy and expensive proposition. Lazy because I decided to buy ready-made crust. Expensive because of the liqueur that I only needed a couple of tablespoons of.

The pie calls for 1 1/3 cup whipping cream 4 egg yolks, 3/4 cup super-fine sugar (what is super-fine?), 1 tbsp creme de menthe, 1/3 cup creme de cacao, and 1 1/2 tbsp gelatin.

you whisk 1/3 cup whipping cream, gelatin, yolks, liqueur, and super-fine sugar over medium low heat for about 4 minutes. Pour into metal bowl and set in a larger bowl that’s filled with ice and cold water. That gets the mix to thicken. Stir periodically for about 10 minutes to set.

Pore the remaining whipping cream into a bowl and with an electric mixer, mix till cream is stiff. Fold whipping cream into the cold mixture until everything is well combined. Pour into crust and refrigerate for three hours until set. Garnish with mint chocolate flakes.

Then eat part of remaining mint chocolate bar as reward:)