Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oatmeal Pie or Poor Man's Pecan Pie

Dear baking world,

I am in the throes of finals, but somehow I have found time to continue baking. I think it's a stress reliever/an excuse not to study. So far, I've done well on my exams, but my biggest one is in 13 hours and I'm shaking in my boots.

So, recently I found a recipe for Oatmeal Pie. Naturally, due to my love of anything oatmeal/oatmeal for breakfast every day, I have a ton of oats in the cupboard. Also, even though I never have corn syrup, somehow I had a bottle in the back of my cupboard. And so it goes. I had to make it because I had all of the ingredients.

But I cheated a little bit. I used store bought pie crusts. (Ducks as people start throwing fists.) However, let me explain, please. My mom loves Pappy's pie crusts, which are store bought and possibly better than my grandma's homemade pie crust. (She would argue with this, but there's a famous story about how my grandma thinks store bought pie is the devil's handiwork. Anyways, one day my mom brought a pie over to grandma's house and she said that it was one of the best pie crusts she's ever had. It was Pappy's and it was store bought.)

Alas, this is not Pappy's, but two not as deep mini pie crusts from the Madison grocery store. They aren't great, but they do the job. I always think that pie is about the filling and the crust, while a delicious added bonus, is a vessel for an excellent filling.

And this pie is truly excellent. It really is like a pecan pie, but instead of pecans, there's oatmeal. I love pecans, but I also love oatmeal, so  I'm not sure where I stand about oatmeal instead of pecans, but it sure is a sweet deal. (My roommate hates nuts in food, she likes them plain, but not in pies, so she loved this.)

Pause for science! So, what does the oatmeal, like pecans, "float" to the top of the pie even though its mixed in? It creates a lovely layer of oatmeal on the top and then a gooey, sweet, brown-sugary filling. Well, both pecans and oatmeal are less dense than the liquid filling that includes butter, corn syrup, sugar and a little bit of flour. As a result, even before baking occurs and after you pour it into the pie crust, they immediately float to the surface. So when they bake, you get these lovely layers. It's beautiful and genius and amazing.

So here is this wonderful pie. I don't think it's a poor man's pecan pie, because I think it's delicious and a little breakfasty but also seasonal and something a little extra.


Oatmeal Pie 
or The Poor Man's Pecan Pie

4 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup quick cooking or old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to the eggs. Then, add the melted butter, corn syrup and vanilla. Mix well. Finally, add the oats.

I baked my pies for about 38 minutes, but a bigger pie should require 45-50 minutes.

How do you know when it's done?
The center should be slightly wobbly and a tooth pick should come out clean.

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