“This super easy caramel lovers’ dream pie …” These words were very encouraging while reading the recipe from foodandwine.com and looking at the photo of a caramel slice, I was sure it will be really easy and good.This actually brings back really good childhood memories. Sweetened condensed milk boiled for several hours to produce that dulce de leche texture, it was a treat having spoonfuls straight from the tin. I remember getting all warm and sentimental while baking this myself, thinking about the fiestas and birthdays when my great-aunts would make these tins of caramel goodness. I had the day off a couple of days ago, had my activities planned, which included baking this caramel pie early morning. Easy as the recipe sounded, it required a couple of hours baking the condensed milk then cooling and chilling the pie for at least four hours. So, I placed the milk in a glass pie tray, set the oven temperature and timer then started playing Scrabble online. Now here’s the thing, sometimes I can get competitive in Scrabble especially when I’m winning, having the right tiles of letters and scoring huge points when I make my move for seven-letter-words. I was on fire playing Scrabble and the next thing I heard was the kitchen smoke alarm. I burnt the caramel! I did not hear the timer went off, for some reason and I forgot to stir the caramel and add water to the baking tray where you place your caramel pie dish. What to do? Well, I did not have a choice but chuck the burnt caramel in the bin and start again.
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (or digestive biscuits if graham crackers are not available)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 x 390g cans sweetened condensed milk
- Fleur de sel
- 2 x 300ml thickened cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C . In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and light brown sugar until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9-inch glass or metal pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes, just until lightly browned. Let cool. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C.
2. Scrape the condensed milk into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and sprinkle with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of fleur de sel. Cover the dish with foil and place it in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the pan to reach one-third of the way up the side of the baking dish. Bake, lifting the foil to stir 2 or 3 times, until the condensed milk is golden and thickened, about 2 hours; add more water to the roasting pan as necessary. The consistency of the caramel should be like dulce de leche. Don’t worry if it is lumpy; it will smooth out as it chills.3. Scrape the caramel filling into the pie crust, smoothing the top. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with vegetable oil spray and cover the pie. Refrigerate until the filling is chilled and set, at least 4 hours.4. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until firm. Remove the plastic. Mound the whipped cream on top of the pie and sprinkle with fleur de sel. I went easy with the whipped cream and did not use all of it.5. Cut into wedges and serve.My unico hijo loved this he probably ate half the pie. My husband had a couple of slices maybe and the rest … guilty!By the way, I won that Scrabble game and my winning word was QUIVERS.
Recipe from foodandwine.com