Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sawdust Pie

I have to admit, the name of this pie is not very appealing. I guess it got its name from the graham cracker crumbs used as an ingredient. The other theory is that someone wanted to keep the pie for themselves, hoping that the name would keep people from eating it!

This pie is very simple to make and has only basic ingredients, so I am surprised that it is unfamiliar to most people. The filling is held together with a blend of graham cracker crumbs and egg whites. For flavor, the recipe includes sweetened coconut and toasted pecans. It actually belongs in its own pie category because of the unique chewy texture.

Unlike most pies, the thick filling enables the pie to be shipped without falling apart. To ship, bake the pie in a disposable aluminum pan. After it has baked and cooled, slice the pie the night before and wrap in foil. Freeze until next day and then pack in a box, making sure it is well cushioned. Then you can ship to any college student or your favorite someone with a sweet tooth.

Sawdust Pie
adapted from Pie, 300 Tried and True Recipes

1 refrigerated pie crust (your preferred single crust recipe)
1 1/2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
7 egg whites
1 1/2 cups toasted,chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

After you have made the pie dough, shape into a flat disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour and up to overnight.

Once the chilling time is complete, prepare a flat surface by dusting with flour. Remove the dough disc from the fridge and unwrap. Roll out on the prepared surface, forming a 12 inch inch circle. Then curl the flattened dough loosely around a rolling pin and unroll over a 9 inch standard pie pan. Press and shape the dough so it is even and flush with the interior of the pan. Tuck top edges under and form the edge as desired (scalloped, fork pressed..etc). Then place in freezer for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large bowl with egg whites and both sugars and stir, making sure all is evenly combined. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until batter comes together, with a good distribution of pecans and coconut.

Empty the bowl of pie filling in the chilled crust. Smooth with a spatula until even. Place pie in oven and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie, moving front to back. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden.

Let cool on a wire rack. It is good served warm or at room temperature. Now you get the real meaning of "easy as pie!"

Tips and Notes:

1. For an extra zing of flavor, there are many ways to top this pie prior to serving. Some of the suggestions are: drizzled melted dark chocolate, whipped cream and sliced bananas, ice cream and caramel...and the list goes on..

2. Take caution when blending the filling. The more you mix, the stiffer it becomes. The intention is to have a spreadable filling.

3. There is a recipe variation that uses no brown sugar and straight white sugar. I feel that the use of brown sugar creates a more golden hue to the filling when baked. Also, brown sugar is a standard flavor pairing with pecans.
                                   **LAST YEAR: Honey Bunny Crunch Frozen Custard**