This pie… This is hands-down the best pie I have ever eaten in my entire life and I have tasted my fair share of pie. If you like German chocolate cake you will love this pie. If you like chocolate in general you will love this pie. If you like coconut you will love this pie. Even if you don’t like coconut (like me) you will love this pie (again, like me). Basically if you are a living, breathing being, you will love this pie.
How did I decide to make German chocolate pie? Wellllllllll my dad and I go to Lake Fork every year to fish, but also (and equally) to eat at Tiffany’s, which is a great little restaurant attached to the Lake Fork Marina. It is old fashion, home cooked goodness and they have the BEST pies. I always get the peanut butter pie that stares at me through the glass fridge from the point I enter the place until the point I leave. Last year I got my usual chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans finished off with a big slice of peanut butter pie. (No they don’t have cardiologist on deck, but it couldn’t hurt. At least I got green beans, right?). Well when we were checking out and telling ourselves we are never going to eat again, I saw a German chocolate pie behind the counter that somehow escaped my sight when I was picking my pie. The next morning before heading back home my dad went into the Marina to pay our room bill and came back out to the car with a slice of that beautiful German chocolate pie. He knows the way to my heart. As soon as I had a bite (which was like 10 minutes into the car ride, even though I swore I would never eat again) I knew I had to make my own version of it. So that is exactly what I did and it turned out fantastic. Better than fantastic. It is simply perfect. And I know you will think so too!
Add COLD butter pieces to the flower, sugar, salt mixture. Room temperature butter makes chewy, not flaky pie crust. Ew.
This ^ is what your dough should look like after cutting in the butter into pea-size pieces. It should still look dry, because it is dry…
Then, when you add the Crisco it will start taking shape. At this point it will be able to hold a shape when you squeeze it, but won’t be able to spread out into a pie pan without making you insane. This is what you want.
And the magic happens when you add water! After each tablespoon it will look more doughy until it is perfect. This is when I have to start hiding the dough from my mom. She is a pie crust monster and I’m pretty sure she is proud of that title. At this point, just throw some foil or plastic wrap (that annoying stuff that sticks to everything except the bowl) and put it in the fridge until the filling is made!
When you melt the butter, sugar, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder together it will look nasty like that. Do not fear. It is supposed to look this bad.
It will get ungross (I can make up words. I have a blog. Ha…) once you add the eggs. But first you have to temper the eggs! What does it mean to temper eggs? Easy, just add some of the hot mixture you’re about to pour the eggs into to get the eggs to a warmer temperature. If you put them in the hot chocolate mixture before tempering them you will get chocolate scrambled eggs. And that is not a good combo. Trust me.
Once the eggs are tempered and added to the gross looking chocolate mixture, it will look creamy and smooth like this! ^
Now its time for my favorite part, rolling the dough! It makes me feel like such a fancy shmancy baker.
After you rolled you dough, sit your pie pan in the middle of it and lightly press down on the pan.
The result should look a lot like this. ^
Then cut a circle about 3 inches bigger than the pan indention and remove the excess dough. This is when the pie crust monster (AKA my mom) starts making her way into the kitchen to eat the scraps. Monster. Seriously.
Wrap the edges in foil before you prebake it. This step is really important. Without the foil you could end up with a burned crust.
So pretty after the prebake!
It may be scary, but you haveeeeee to let the butter and brown sugar mixture boil pretty heavily while stirring it. This creates a delicious caramel flavor that will only develop through boiling. Put your big girl panties on and let it boil!
Rather than just adding cornstarch to the bowl and having to whisk out all those pesky little clumps, make a paste! This will thicken the butter and sugar mixture.
The cornstarch will create this! ^ Then you will add powdered sugar, coconuts, and pecans for the most delicious German chocolate icing you will ever eat.
Baked chocolate perfection! If you aren’t about that coconut pecan life, the pie would be a fantastic traditional fudge pie that your grandma used to make. Add some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream you you’re set.
But for my fellow sweet-toothers, spread that glorious topping over the pie as soon as it gets out of the oven.
Sprinkle coconut and pecans over the top to make it look even prettier.
And then eat a piece. Over and over again. And then go run. Over and over again.
Recipe for the Pie Crust:
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon on salt
3/4 a cup of cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 a cup of vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons of ice cold water
Recipe for the Pie Filling:
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
3 (heaping) tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
1/2 a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of instant espresso
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
Recipe for the Pie Topping:
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
4 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1 (heaping) tablespoon of cornstarch + 2 teaspoons of water to make a paste
1 teaspoon of vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup of powdered sugar
2-3 cups of sweetened coconut shavings
1 cup of chopped pecans
For the pie crust, in a large bow combine the dry ingredients then add the cold pieces of butter. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Add the Crisco and cut that in as well until the dough is firm enough to hold its shape when you squeeze it. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, cutting it in after each addition. Roll the dough into a ball and put it in the fridge until needed. Roll the pie crust out into a circle, cut it to fit your pan, wrap the edges in foil, then set your oven to 350 degrees and put the crust in immediately (you do not want to preheat your oven for a pie crust). Bake it for 10 minutes.
For the pie filling, in a medium pan (a metal bottom is better than a telfon bottom pan here) melt the butter. Add the cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, espresso, and salt. Stir until combined. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, separate 1 saving the yolk and adding it to the bowl of the other 2. Lightly beat these and temper them with the hot chocolate mixture from the pan. Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth and combined. Add the flour and whisk until there are no clumps, but do not over beat. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The toothpick trick will not work here to see if it is cooked because you want it to still be gooey inside.
For the pie topping, melt the butter and brown sugar in a small pan with a metal bottom. Bring this to a pretty heavy boil on medium heat while stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and let it boil while constantly stirring for another 3 minutes. Create a paste with the cornstarch and water, then add to the sugar and butter mixture. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until there are no clumps. Lastly, add the shaved coconut and pecans and stir until combined. Spread this topping over the pie after it has come out of the oven. Sprinkle some more shaved coconut and pecans over the top to make it look even prettier. Let it all cook slightly, then enjoy!
This is the best pie in the entire world. And that is saying a lot from a dessert loving, horrible decision making individual.