I was out most of the day, but returned home this evening to find a few emails reminding me that it was National Pie Day — a holiday that could not go unobserved, hence this pie.
The recipe, which is said to be that of a popular restaurant called “Z-Tejas”, is called Ancho Chile Fudge Pie. It’s a simple pie, so long as you have access to anchos and keep your food processor at hand. If you can’t find anchos, you might try using McCormick’s ground ancho powder. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work, since all the ancho really does is add a mild, mild, mild burn and a tiny hint of smoke flavor. In fact, if you don’t tell people there are ancho chiles in the pie, they might wonder what your secret ingredients is.
The recipe can be easily found using Google. You can use that version or follow my instructions below.
For the crust, I used a standard recipe from Crisco but substituted some trans-fat free shortening. If I’d had more time, I would have used a butter crust recipe, but it’s been an extremely busy day.
Z Tejas’ Chile Fudge Pie
2 teaspoons pureed ancho pepper (see directions below)
2 sticks butter, salted (if using unsalted, add 1/4 tsp. salt)
1 cup mixed nuts, (walnuts and pecans) toasted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 9 inch unbaked pie shell
First, make your ancho puree. Remove seeds and stem from one ancho chile. Put it in a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ancho is tender. Place in a food processor to puree.
Melt butter and let cool to warm – do not let it cool completely. It needs to be warm enough to melt the chips when you add them.
In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Beat in both sugars, then add flour and stir until smooth. Add warm butter, chocolate chips, chile puree and nuts. The warmth of the butter should melt the chips (in my case, it melted most of them).
Pour filling into unbaked crust and bake at 325 degrees F. for 45 to 60 minutes (mine took 45) or until done. Let cool completely.
If you don’t know what an ancho looks like, here’s a picture. An ancho is a dried poblano pepper.
Like with all peppers, you need to remove the stem and the seeds. Anchos are easy to deal with and so mild that you don’t even need gloves while you cut them.