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This recipe is a Momma Reiner dream come true! As you may have heard, Momma Jenna let my darkest secret slip -- I am a caramel slut. It is an addiction, more like a “problem.” Here is just one example:
I made this caramel pie as a Christmas gift to me. I intended to eat the entire pie myself. So I baked it, drooled over it, made goo-goo eyes at it, photographed it, and admired the pie’s perfection. And just as I was putting it in the fridge to chill, SPLAT! The entire pie fell on the floor.
I started laughing out loud thinking, “God sure does work swiftly.” I guess I should have shared!
Lucky for me, I am very Type-A, and I just happened to have Backup Pies A and B on the counter, in case of an emergency. They were not nearly as pristine as my foregone pie but as we often say, “Who cares if it looks pretty, it’ll still taste darn good!”
Trust me, my holiday guests never knew about the pie that went splat, and I never overheard any complaints. So enjoy MY pie and the photos, and send in your Perfect Caramel Pie Pictures so we can all drool!
Simply Scrumptious Salted Caramel Pie
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, place the graham cracker and Nilla wafer crumbs. If you need to, pulse several times to make sure they are finely ground. Add in the brown sugar.
Turn the processor on and add the melted butter just until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, just until the crust begins to turn golden. Set aside to cool while you make the caramel filling.
To make the caramel filling: Bring a large deep pot of water to a boil. Submerge the unopened cans of condensed milk completely beneath the water. Simmer over moderately low heat for 2 hours, adding water as needed to keep the cans completely submerged. The condensed milk will not turn to caramel if the water is below the can level.
CAREFULLY remove the cans and let them cool slightly. (Careful, I used tongs and the cans fell back into the pot splashing up scalding water). Carefully open the cans and pour the caramel into the cooled pie crust. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick release spray and cover the pie making sure the plastic touches the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until the pie is set.
To make the whipped topping: In the bowl of a stand alone mixer, beat the cream on high speed until soft peaks begin to form. While the mixer is on, add the sugar and continue to whip until you have firm peaks.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and slather the whipped cream on top - don’t hold back. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Relish in the glory of caramel.
Sugar Mommas Notes: You can swap 1/4 cup of ginger snaps in lieu of the Nilla wafers (you may also use any vanilla wafers, they don’t have to be “Nilla”).
Sass it Up: If you want to be “over-the-top” add 2 tablespoons of Frangelico or Kahlua liquor to the caramel once it is cooked. Place the cooked caramel into a glass bowl, add the liquor, stir, scrape filling into the pie shell and proceed. Also, sprinkle a little sea salt on top of your caramel filling before topping with whipped cream. That “salted caramel” flavor will peek through and have your guests asking for second helpings.
Sugar Mommas Tip: Use Maldon sea salt flakes.
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"Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story" now on Amazon.com (Andrews McMeel Publishing, October 26, 2011). Amazon.com: Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story (9781449403584): Kimberly "Momma" Reiner, Jenna Sanz-Agero: Books