Friday, November 04, 2022


Growing up, this is the type of pie that I considered a true holiday treat, as it was made only a few times per year, unlike the filo pies, which were more frequent on the family table. This treat was often made during chilly autumn days and in early winter, and that is how I still view them; as a wholesome homemade delight.
Despite the long preparation method, it is a very simple dessert. It comes together fairly quickly, and is even filled while the filling is still warm, however, it does require chilling overnight, for the layers to soften. With a dark chocolate glaze, it is truly marvellous, and best served with a hot cup of coffee or caramel brandy, and in good company.

For the pie dough
250 grams plain flour
75 grams granulated sugar
50 grams honey
30 millilitres whole milk
30 grams unsalted butter
1 medium egg (60 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon baking soda
For the filling
250 millilitres whole milk
40 grams cornflour
100 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the chocolate glaze
50 grams dark chocolate (75%)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Place the milk, honey, and butter into a medium pot, and let them melt slowly, over medium heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, remove it from the heat, and add in the baking soda. Whisk very vigorously, add in the egg, and blend it well. Add in the vanilla, flour, and the sugar, and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.
Take a large baking sheet (30x35 cm), line it with baking parchment, and place the dough in the centre. Place another sheet of baking parchment on top of it, and roll it out to about 2-3 millimetres in thickness, covering the whole baking sheet surface. Bake it immediately in a preheated oven, at 190°C, for about 6-7 minutes. As soon as it starts to get some colour on the edges, remove it from the oven, as it will be baked through. While it is still warm, cut it into four equal rectangles, and let them cool completely.
While the pie layers are cooling, make the filling. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sift in the cornflour, and add in the sugar and the vanilla. Whisk very well, place the pan over medium-high heat, and let it slowly heat up. As soon as the milk starts to steam, start whisking. Let the mixture come to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes, until it thickens.
Remove from the heat and let it cool for a minute or so. Add in the butter, one piece at a time, whisking constantly, until incorporated. Be patient with this type of filling, it does need some time to blend. Let it cool down for only a few minutes, and proceed to assemble the pie.
Place the first pie layer on the serving platter, close a rectangular cake frame around it, and add a third of the warm filling on top. Level it, and place another pie dough layer. Continue stacking in this fashion until everything is used up. Cover the top of the pie with a piece of cling film, and place it into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
Once the pie has firmed up, make the chocolate glaze. Melt the dark chocolate with the oil over very low heat, mixing constantly. Once melted, let it cool down just a few moments, take the pie out of the refrigerator, remove the plastic cover, and pour on the glaze. Spread it all over the top gently, tap the whole platter a few times on the work surface, so the glaze settles nicely, and return it to the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Once ready, cut the whole pie into very small pieces, and serve with strong coffee. Yields 21 individual pieces, or about 10 servings.

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