Most people reading this right now already know my next guest, Shirley. She has been running her blog, gfe – gluten-free easily, for years. She has been gluten-free since 2003 and runs the King George Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Group in Virginia. Her blog is about being as naturally gluten-free as possible, meaning eating foods that just naturally don’t have wheat, rye or barley in them, instead of just subbing a bunch of non-gluten flours. She has tons of recipes on her site and she is considered by many to be our gluten-free “mom”. She is so sweet, nurturing, and inclusive to all of us fellow gluten-free bloggers. And, anyone out there who is just going gluten-free or has been gluten-free for years. She is just one of “those” people. You know the kind. You just would hug her through the computer, if you could.
Well, Shirley’s post brings up many fond memories of my childhood and my first little-girl, movie-star crush. Christopher Reeve. I was eight, and he was dreamy. And, personally, I thought he was even cuter as Clark Kent. Maybe it was the glasses.
So, this fudge pie sounds perfect to me. But, you’ll have to read on to know what I’m talking about.
Crustless Fudge Pie—The Clark Kent of Pies
This Crustless Fudge Pie is the Clark Kent of chocolate desserts. A quick look reveals a perfectly respectable chocolate dessert, but after a glance you might move on. Yes, it’s chocolate (and many of us consider chocolate to be its own food group, and rightly so in my humble opinion), but like Clark, this pie looks “average” in its appearance, understated, if you will. It’s the thick gooey chocolate desserts that often grace the holiday table that inspire visions of Superman flying in to whisk us away from all our woes … as he so often did with Lois Lane. Complete with the cape and tights, of course. (Love those tights!) But we often ignore the plainer chocolate desserts just as we bypass Clark or take him for granted. You take a look at this pie and think, hmmm, I may come back for that later. You tell yourself it will still be there if you are interested. But, if you dig a little deeper—and in this case you want to be digging with a fork in hand—you’ll find that, like Clark, this Crustless Fudge Pie has hidden super powers. So much so, that a small sliver is enough. Anything more and you might be propelled to the planet Krypton. That might not necessarily be a bad thing if you don’t like the folks with whom you are eating your holiday dinner, but superpowers are to be optimized for the greater good, not abused.
Crustless Fudge Pie
- 8 tbsp (1/2 cup) butter (dairy or non-dairy)
- ¼ cup cocoa
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup gluten-free flour mix (see notes)
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional, see notes)
- Grease pie plate well and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan. Remove from heat and slowly add in the following ingredients in order, stirring after each addition: cocoa, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, gluten-free flour mix, and nuts (if used).
- Pour filling into prepared pie plate.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. Test with a toothpick. When the pie is done, the toothpick should have just a smidge of chocolate on its tip. You don’t want to overcook this pie.
Serve with whipped cream, if desired. It’s not needed, but just a drizzle does make for a prettier dessert (one more worthy of Superman) and the whipped cream can complement the rich chocolate favor. I drizzled mine with a small amount of Honey Cinnamon Whipped Cream as shown.
Adapted from an old recipe in the gfe recipe box; author unknown
Extra virgin olive oil can most likely be substituted for the butter. Filippo Berio recommends a substitution of ¾ cup olive oil for 1 cup of butter. (See Filippo Berio’s substitution chart here.) I love baking with olive oil when I can; it adds richness and moisture to gluten-free baked goods. (Along those lines, you may also be interested in my Perfect Pound Cake recipe, which uses olive oil.) I’m almost certain that 1 cup of coconut/palm sugar (total amount) could be used in place of both the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Because this pie will come out very thin if you use a standard (not deep dish) 9-inch pie plate, making this recipe may present an opportunity to use a smaller pie plate that you don’t often get to use. Baking in a smaller pie plate will produce thicker slices; baking time may have to be adjusted slightly. However, using a standard 9-inch pie plate is perfectly acceptable. With any size pie plate, this pie will yield more servings than most pies due to its rich flavor.
If you’d like to make this pie with a crust, reduce the gluten-free flour mix to ¼ cup and pour all into an unbaked pie crust. My No Roll, Never Fail, Press-In Pie Crust is a good, easy option for a pie crust for this fudge pie. Adding nuts can be a great (and more nutritious) option for those who can indulge in them, but I find that I prefer this pie without nuts most often. I don’t like nuts in my fudge and adding nuts to this pie makes it more of a brownie pie than a fudge pie in my opinion. When I do add nuts (usually walnuts) per request, I tend to prefer the crusted version to balance the slightly more substantial filling. All in all, I prefer the crustless version without nuts for chocolate superpower optimization. A crust just seems to take away from that … sort of like an energy shield deflects all energy, good and bad. Can you tell that I grew up with two males in the house and watched a lot of sci-fi and super hero movies? It wasn’t all bad though. After all, Superman was in those tights …