Club Baked: Sawdust Pie & Homemade White Chocolate

This week's recipe is hosted by Tessa of The Cookin' Chemist and she selected Sawdust Pie. I'll be honest, I was a bit hesitant to try this one. The name was not the most appetizing and there wasn't a photo in the book indicating what to expect. But since I was busy studying for my licensing exam and missed the last two Club Baked picks, I thought I should give this a try. And I'm so glad I did!


The pie itself was easy to assemble with some prep - making the pie crust and white chocolate. (Sidenote: these two steps took longer to make than the actual pie, which shows you just how easy and quick this pie goes together) Due to that pesky cow's milk allergy, I can't have regular white chocolate since it contains milk powder. I thought about omitting the white chocolate all together and just using dark, but I also really wanted to try to make the white chocolate as I noticed a few other Baked recipes used them as well. The homemade white chocolate was the only substitution that I had to make in the entire recipe and I think it helped make the pie less sweet overall.  

Recipe for white chocolate at end of post.


For the pie crust, I stuck with the basic recipe found in Baked: Explorations with one minor change. I substituted vanilla sugar for plain granulated. I keep vanilla sugar in my pantry and sneak it in to all kinds of baked goods and the pie crust seemed like the perfect place.






Once I had the pie crust assembled, the rest was easy peasy. A few pulses of the food processor on some graham crackers and pecans, a little shaving of white chocolate, a handful of dried, unsweetened coconut and some scoops of sugar and I was almost done! I'll admit I was concerned about the coconut flavor in this pie. I like fresh coconut, but the dried stuff I normally have a texture aversion to, but in this pie, it is barely noticeable with all the other strong flavors and doesn't stand out texturally with everything else.



I couldn't help sneaking in 2 ounces of  semi-sweet chocolate, though. I was so happy I added this when I tasted the pie. The bite of the semi-sweet chocolate really complimented the nutty sweetness of the pie. After adding the (6!) egg whites and filling the pie crust, it was time for the oven. (Don't worry about those 6 egg yolks, I feel some ice cream making in my near future...Come to think of it, a scoop of cold ice cream would go fabulously with a warm slice of this pie...)




This pie was easy to make and tasty to eat. Sort of a less sweet, less syrupy version of traditional pecan pie. I served this pie warm, with a big, fat dollop of homemade whipped cream to some of the hub's friends. After looking skeptically at something called "Sawdust Pie" and quizzing me on ingredients a few times, each took a slice and cleaned their plates. Success!

Thanks to Tessa for choosing this recipe that I never would have given a second thought without her prompting. It's a great fall pie and would be a great dessert offering for Thanksgiving. Check out her blog for the recipe. Also, check out other baker's links here.


White Chocolate 
adapted from this recipe

2 oz. food grade cocoa butter - They carried this at my Whole Foods, but you can purchase online as well)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp goat's milk powder
itty bitty pinch of salt


Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave in a microwave safe dish. I used a Pyrex container with a lip to pour so it is easier to fill the molds later. Start with 2 minutes and add 1 minute at a time until all the cocoa butter solids are liquefied.

Using a pot holder, remove the cocoa butter from the microwave and stir in the extract, sugar, milk powder and pinch of salt. Continue to stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated and melted into the cocoa butter.

Pour the mixture into mold. I used silicone cupcake molds that I had on hand. An ice cube tray would work, too if you don't have candy molds. You could buy a fancy candy mold if you want, but it's not necessary. Then simply place the molds into the fridge to harden and a few hours later, you have great tasting, smooth, homemade white chocolate. :)

last weekend










Last weekend Nick and I headed out into the (finally) fabulous fall desert weather. It was perfect for hiking - not to cool and not too hot. I packed up some apples and pumpkin gobs (gosh I need to share that recipe with you guys) along with some water and spent the day relaxing, enjoying the scenery, and of course, climbing on rocks. Nick and I were both avid climbers as children, much to the dismay of our parents, and climbed anything and everything. According to my mom, I was in a walker for all of 30 seconds before I climbed out onto a chair and then onto a table. Nick would climb his mother's kitchen cabinets just to steal chocolate. Almost all of the childhood pictures I've seen have him standing on the top of something he climbed (the large whale statue at Sea World for instance) with his brothers posing firmly on the ground. (Based on this, I am already fearful of what our children will end up like...)

But, now that we are in the desert, with rocks 'a plenty, we both have an outlet for all our climbing around. It was a great time, heading off the beaten path at times to check things out, or just to see if we could get there. And with plenty of trails and routes around these parts, and each one changing so much with the seasons, we are sure to have plenty to keep us entertained.