Rarely am I enticed to see the recipes in a book by the cover image alone. However, for the first time in years, the cover of the cookbook, The New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert, by pie-baking champions Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin, stopped me in my tracks. THAT is the next slice of apple pie I want to eat. In fact, each pie in the book is equally enticing and it took me days to settle on just one recipe to share. Their recipe for Hot Fudge à l’Orange Brownie Sundae Pie prevailed because, c’mon, hot fudge brownie sundae in a chocolate crust. —Kristina
Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin are doctors by day and competitive bakers by weekend. The two have won more than 500 ribbons for their pies and other baked goods, including Best of Show in the 2017 National Pie Championship. They live in Atlanta, Georgia. Find them on Instagram at @floursugarbutter.
For a chance to win a copy of The New Pie, respond in the comments section below by March 28, 5PM EST to the following question: What’s your favorite cookbook cover? We will announce the winner in the comments section, so be sure to check back!
Image above: The New Pie; Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee
Image above: Paul and Chris
Image above: Graham Cracker Crust
Image above: Hot Fudge à l’Orange Brownie Sundae
- Orange Brownies (bake up to 2 days before serving)
- Bittersweet chocolate, melted 1 ounce / 28 grams
- Unsalted butter, melted 4 tablespoons / 2 ounces / 57 grams
- Dutch-process cocoa powder 4 teaspoons / 0.25 ounce / 7 grams
- Finely grated orange zest 1 teaspoon
- Egg, at room temperature 1 large
- Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
- Cointreau orange liqueur 1 teaspoon
- Light brown sugar, lightly packed 2⁄3 cup / 4.65 ounces / 133 grams
- Water, boiling ¼ cup / 2.1 ounces 59 grams
- All-purpose flour ½ cup / 2.5 ounces / 71 grams
- Salt ¹⁄8 teaspoon
- Vanilla Orange Cream
- Granulated sugar ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon / 4.05 ounces / 115 grams
- Finely grated orange zest 1 teaspoon
- Whole milk 1 cup / 8.5 ounces / 242 grams
- Heavy cream, cold 1 1⁄3 cups / 10.9 ounces / 309 grams
- Cornstarch ¼ cup / 1.05 ounces / 30 grams
- Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Eggs 2 large
- Unsalted butter 4 tablespoons / 2 ounces / 57 grams
- Vanilla bean paste 2 teaspoons
- Cointreau orange liqueur (optional) 1 teaspoon
- Cocoa Graham Cracker Crust
- Graham crackers, broken into several pieces 13 graham cracker sheets / 7.4 ounces / 209 grams
- Unsalted butter, melted 6 tablespoons / 3 ounces / 85 grams
- Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted ¼ cup / 0.75 ounce / 21 grams
- Instant espresso powder ½ teaspoon
- Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
- Light brown sugar, lightly packed ¼ cup / 1.75 ounces / 50 grams
- Salt pinch
1. Make the orange brownies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil or parchment. Grease the foil with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted bittersweet chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder. Whisk in the orange zest, egg, vanilla, and Cointreau. Whisk in the brown sugar until the mixture is uniform, then whisk in the boiling water. Fold in the flour and salt until no white streaks of flour are visible.
3. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 15 minutes. Cool the brownies completely in the pan, about 2 hours.
4. Once cooled, lift the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut the brownie block into roughly ½-inch cubes. Place one half in an airtight container and then in the refrigerator. Place the second half of the cubes into a second container and freeze for 1 hour. When the brownie cubes are frozen, use a food processor to grind the brownie cubes into a coarse brownie crumble, 10 to 20 pulses. Transfer the processed brownie to an airtight container in the refrigerator.
5. Make the vanilla-orange cream: In a medium saucepan, rub the granulated sugar and orange zest between your thumbs and fingertips until the sugar is fragrant and uniformly orange. Whisk the milk, 1 cup/ 8.2 ounces/232 grams of the cream, the cornstarch, and salt together until the cornstarch has dissolved. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
6. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer (a few large bubbles should break the surface), whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, for 1 minute to ensure that the mixture is fully thickened.
7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla bean paste, and Cointreau, if using, until the butter is melted and incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until it’s firm and cold throughout, at least 3 hours (or up to 1 day), before assembling the pie.
8. In a medium bowl, whip the remaining ⅓ cup/2.7 ounces/77 grams cream until it holds stiff peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the vanilla-orange cream from the refrigerator, discard the plastic, and use an electric mixer to briefly beat the cold cream to break it up, about 10 seconds. Fold the whipped cream into the vanilla-orange cream. Spread about 1 cup of the cream into the cooled piecrust. Sprinkle the brownie cubes evenly over the top of the cream. Spread the remaining cream over the brownie cubes.
9. Smooth the top of the vanilla-orange cream with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the brownie crumbs evenly over the entire top, all the way to the crust edge. Refrigerate the pie for at least 4 hours. Serve with Hot Fudge Sauce and a dollop of Vanilla Whipped Cream, if using. (Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.)
Graham Cracker Crust
This is the classic graham cracker crust. You can substitute an equal weight of graham cracker crumbs for the whole crackers. If you’re in the habit of using the store-bought premade graham cracker crusts, please stop. This crust is so much better and very easy to make.
Makes one 9½ BY 2-inch deep-dish pie crust
1. In the bowl of a food processor, process the graham crackers until finely ground. If you do not have a food processor or just prefer to do it by hand, place the graham crackers in a plastic bag and crush them with your rolling pin until they have been reduced to fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and proceed with the recipe, stirring in the other ingredients by hand using a rubber spatula.
2. Add the cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract to the melted butter, then add the sugar, and salt and pulse together with the crumbs until the crumbs are moistened throughout, resembling wet sand. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9½-inch deep-dish pie crust. We prefer the glass Pyrex pans with no lip.
3. Using your fingers, spread the moistened crumbs evenly around the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Press the crumbs firmly so that they start to adhere all along the inner surface of the pie plate.
4. Find a sturdy cup or small bowl with smooth sides and bottom—a ⅓ cup dry measuring cup works well. Use the bottom and side of the cup to compact the crumbs into a smooth even layer. Pay special attention to the area where the sides and bottom of the pie plate meet.
5. When you think you have finished, carefully hold the pie plate up to the light and visually inspect it from several angles. Do this carefully (like, don’t turn it upside down or anything!). If you’re using a glass pie plate, lift up the pan and look through the bottom toward a light source. If you find thick or thin areas or even actual holes, this is your opportunity to correct your mistakes. Scrape off some crumbs from the thick area and move them to the thin. Compact and smooth crumbs with the cup.
6. When you are satisfied, start preheating the oven to 350°F, and place the crust in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes.
7. Bake the crust for 10 minutes on the middle rack. Depending on the pie recipe, the crust may need to be filled warm or cold.