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Monday, October 21, 2013

Honey Oatmeal Pie

Warning: big fat brag to come.
The honey pie is the one dead center on the table

I won a blue ribbon at the State Fair for this pie this year ::pop my collar:: I'm quite pleased with that fact alone, but even better is that the honey pie category was the one of the few in which this year's Grand Champion pie maker (and one of the top ribbon winners for DECADES at the State Fair) entered and did not take 1st place.  So good on me :-D.

Bragging done now.

I think the "secret" to this pie is three-fold...

1) Use very flavorful honey.  The best is going to be a locally harvested honey rather than a commercially-available national brand.  I use a wildflower honey from a producer two counties south of where I live. You can use this locator to find local producers in your area.

2) Use quick-cooking steel oats instead of conventional rolled oats.  Rolled oats will come out, well, mushy-feeling.  You know, like oatmeal.  The steel-cut oats will be chewy and a bit like finely chopped nuts.

3) Use bourbon in your pie crust.  Oh yeah.  Trust me.

I totally understand using a prepared crust (in fact, I have posted several times about using those guys without *any* shame *at all*), but I have sworn off store-bought crusts personally.

Not because I am a crust snob though.  I am a homemade crust convert because a) as a competitive baker, it seemed appropriate to learn how to make them and because b) I found a recipe I cannot screw up and because c) all brands of store-bought crusts I have found have artificial dyes in them which we have cut out of my son's/our diet.

So use whatever you like, but really, the homemade crust will make a difference...not so much because of the homemade-ness of it, but because you can put bourbon in it.

And really, the pie itself is so freaking easy to make that you have plenty of energy for making homemade crust.

Finally, you may not, absolutely not, make this pie on the bottom shelf with something else baking away above it.  I didn't have a fancy scientific convection-current-tracking setup in my oven, but I'm *pretty* sure that having something on the top shelf forces heat back down into the pie that would otherwise move and circulate more freely.  I am *completely* sure that if you try this, you will wind up with a pie volcano.  I screw up so you don't have to.

Honey Oatmeal Pie
Makes 8 servings

12 tbsp quick cooking steel cut oats
12 tbsp wildflower honey
½ cup egg beaters (or 2 eggs, lightly beaten)
10 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
10 tbsp melted butter

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  Bake 1 hour at 350F. Do not overbake. The pie should be a little jiggly in the center when you pull it. The pie will be odd-looking, do not worry. When it cools, it will look fine and be scrumptious.
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