Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nutella Pie


I'm becoming more and more obsessed with my newly acquired Magpie cookbook. I recently made a delectable Apple Cranberry Walnut Lattice Pie, and have some serious plans for several holiday pies coming up soon between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


This past weekend was my eldest nephew's birthday, and as much as I love birthday cake, I decided to also make some birthday pie just to keep things interesting. There are so many wonderful options to choose from, but since I had made a fruit pie last time, I decided to try one of Magpie's creamy pies. I narrowed it down to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie and the Nutella Pie. My mom and sister both voted for the Nutella Pie hands down!


If you're a confident pie-maker, this recipe will be a piece of cake. You make and blind-bake a pie crust. Mine baked longer than the recipe specified, but I've found that I always tend to pre-bake my crusts a bit longer, even when making pies from other cookbooks. It may just be my electric oven versus a gas oven. Just bake until it's golden.


The filling is a total of 4 ingredients. Unlike the recipe below, I actually whipped my cream first in my electric stand mixer, transferred it to a bowl, and then beat the Nutella, mascarpone and salt in the same bowl (a little residual whipped cream won't hurt at this point). I then folded the whipped cream into the Nutella mixture to yield a light, airy, and decadent Nutella mousse.


This pie is much easier to make than custard-based pies, and it saves you the trouble of peeling and chopping tons of fruit for a fruit pie. It's probably one of the easiest pie recipes in the entire book, and it's seriously a crowd-pleaser! My family loved this pie! It's not super sweet or rich-tasting, but just simple creamy decadence highlighting one of my favorite sweet treats, Nutella.

Nutella Pie
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
(Adapted from Magpie)

1/2 recipe Magpie Dough for Flaky Piecrust (recipe follows), chilled overnight
2 cups (270 g) Nutella
12 ounces (340 g) cold mascarpone cheese
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
Lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, for serving if desired

Lightly flour a smooth work surface and a rolling pin.

Take a chilled disk of dough out of the fridge. Give it a couple of firm squeezes just to say hello, then unwrap it and set it on the floured work surface.

Set the pin crosswise on the dough and press down firmly, making a nice deep channel across the full width of the disk. Turn the disk 180 degrees and repeat, making a second indentation, forming a plus sign.

Use your rolling pin to press down each of the wedges, turning the dough 45 degrees each time. This will give you the beginnings of a thick circle.

Now, rolling from the center outward and rotating the dough a quarter turn to maintain a circular shape, roll the dough out to a 13-inch circle with an even thickness of 1/4 inch.

Set your 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan alongside the circle of dough. Brush off any loose flour, carefully fold the dough circle in half, transfer it to the pan, and unfold.

At this point, the dough will be lying across rather than fitted into the pan. Now, without stretching the dough, set the dough down into the pan so that it is flush up against the sides and bottom. The best way to do this is to gingerly lift the dough and gently shift it around so that it settles into the pan bit by bit. Use a very light touch to help cozy it in.

To flute the edge, fold the overhang under to form a 1-inch wall that rests on the lip of the pan with the seam slightly below the pan's top edge. Flute the edge of the crust at about 1-inch intervals, pressing from the inside with the knuckle of your index finger while supporting on the outside with the thumb and index fingers of your opposite hand.

Transfer the crust to the refrigerator to chill while you make your filling or to the freezer to prepare it for prebaking. Alternatively, at this point the crust can be covered tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or double-wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months (defrost overnight in the refrigerator before filling and baking or prebaking, or at room temperature for 30 minutes).

To prebake the shell, chill the panned, fluted piecrust in the freezer until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Cut an additional 13x13-inch square of parchment.

Set the pan on the lined baking sheet. Set the square of parchment in the pie shell and gently smooth it into place, pleating as needed to fit it up against the bottom and sides of the shell. The edges of the paper will project beyond the rim of the pan; just leave them standing straight up.

Fill the shell to the top with dried beans. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the shell for 25 minutes.

Set out a wire rack and alongside it, a mixing bowl. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and set it on the rack; bring together the points of the parchment, and carefully lift out the beans and transfer them to the bowl.

Slide the baking sheet back into the oven and bake the crust another 10 minutes (until golden brown and fully baked--mine baked twice as long, an extra 20 minutes until the bottom of the crust was light golden). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine the Nutella, mascarpone, and salt in a large bowl and use an electric mixer on medium-low speed to beat together until smooth and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes.

Whip the cream to medium peaks.

Fold the whipped cream into the Nutella mixture until no white streaks remain.

Scoop the mousse into the prepared pie shell and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours or up to 3 days) before slicing and serving.

Serve cold, topped each slice with whipped cream, if desired.

Magpie Dough for Flaky Piecrust
Makes Enough Dough for any of the Following:
2 (9-inch) single-crust pies, 1 (9-inch) double-crust or lattice-top pie, 8 (4 x 2-inch) potpies, 12 (2 x 1-inch) mini pies, 1 (9 x 3-inch) quiche, or 8 (4-inch) hand pies

2 1/2 cups (312 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (6 grams) fine salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen
1/4 cup (60 grams) vegetable shortening, preferably in baking stick form, frozen, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, and put back in the freezer
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (130 grams) ice-cold water

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the machine 3 times to blend. Scatter the frozen butter cubes over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine 5 to 7 times, holding each pulse for 5 full seconds, to cut all of the butter into pea-size pieces.

Scatter the pieces of frozen shortening over the flour-and-butter mixture. Pulse the machine 4 more 1-second pulses to blend the shortening with the flour. The mixture will resemble coarse cornmeal, but will be a bit more floury and riddled with pale butter bits (no pure-white shortening should be visible).  Turn the mixture out into a large mixing bowl, and make a small well in the center.  If you find a few butter clumps that are closer to marble size than pea size (about 1/4 inch in diameter), carefully pick them out and give them a quick smoosh with your fingers. Pour the cold water into the well.

Use a curved bowl scraper to lightly scoop the flour mixture up and over the water, covering the water to help get the absorption started. Continue mixing by scraping the flour up from the sides and bottom of the bowl into the center, rotating the bowl as you mix, and occasionally pausing to clean off the scraper with your finger or the side of the bowl, until the mixture begins to gather into clumps but is still very crumbly. (If you are working in very dry conditions and the ingredients remain very floury and refuse to clump together at this stage, add another tablespoon of ice-cold water.)  Lightly gather the clumps with your fingers and use your palm to fold over and press the dough a few times (don’t knead! —just give the dough a few quick squishes), until it just begins to come together into a single large mass. It will be a raggedy wad, moist but not damp, that barely holds together; this is exactly as it should be—all it needs is a good night’s rest in the fridge.

For single- and double-crust pies, mini pies, potpies, or hand pies:  Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, gently shape each portion into a flat disk 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. For quiche, leave the dough in one piece, flatten it into a single large disk 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

No ifs, ands, or buts, the dough must have its beauty sleep.  That means 8 hours in the refrigerator at the very least. Extra rest is just fine; feel free to let the wrapped dough sit in the fridge for up to 3 days before rolling. (The dough may discolor slightly. No worries. This is merely oxidization and will not affect the flavor or appearance of your finished piecrust.)

Cooks' Note: The wrapped, chilled dough can be put in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.

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