Florida berries are a winter and spring treat, but for those of us with a sweet tooth chocolate is always in season. Winter Springs resident John Sunvold won Best in Show in the amateur division of the 2014 American Pie Council’s National Pie Championship, but you can reap the sweet rewards when you recreate his recipe below. Grab a fork and a friend and have fun!
Ruthie’s Park Avenue Chocolatier
Serves 8, Deep Dish 9-10” Pie Pan Recommended
1 ½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
6 T melted butter
3 T sugar
Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix in melted butter. Press evenly into a pie plate and bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Allow to cool.
Caramel and Pecans
Unwrap 30 wrapped caramels and slowly melt in a small pot with ¼ cup milk. Stir until smooth. Add ¾ cup pecan pieces to the caramel mixture and pour onto the bottom of the crust. Allow to cool, and then chill.
Cream Cheese Layer
Mix 4 oz softened cream cheese with ¼ c. powdered sugar. Fold in 4 oz. of whipped topping and spread on top of caramel/pecan layer. If you have a larger pan, you may use 6 oz of cream cheese, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and 6 oz. whipped topping.
Spread on top of the caramel pecan layer and chill.
French Silk Chocolate Layer
3 oz melted and cooled bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate
1 t. vanilla
¾ c butter
1 1/8C fine sugars
3 cold pasteurized eggs
Place sugar in food processor and pulse ten times or until the sugar begins to look like powdered sugar. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla, and beat with a mixer for two minutes. Scrape bowl well. Add an egg and beat for five minutes. Scrape the bowl. Add another egg and beat for five minutes. Scrape the bowl. If chocolate mixture is not fluffy at this point, you may need to chill the mixture. It whips up better if it is cold. If needed, place bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Add the last egg and beat for five minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Spread on the pie, cover, and place in the refrigerator for two hours. Top with favorite whipped topping (use real whipping cream). Garnish with caramel topping, chocolate, or nuts, as desired. Chill for at least four hours.
Allow slices to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the French Silk layer to soften to the desired consistency.