(Listening: David Murray Octet : Octet Plays Coltrane *
We missed the farmers market. We were away, taking our youngest daughter back to college for her senior year. As the season winds down, our favorite fruits will soon disappear so the questions about future pies arise. Granted, we can keep enjoying the same pie but that makes for dull reading.
“Something with nuts?”
It was my wife, my red haired food co-pilot who suggested a walnut pie, a chocolate walnut pie.
This will also work as a 9” tart. It has a little too much filling for a 9” tart, so if you want to use up the filling you could make a 10” tart. You will need additional walnuts, too. Instead of regular sablee, try it with chocolate sablee (recipe follows). For a tart, you will want to blind bake the shell first.
This is based on the traditional pecan pie filling, except it has melted chocolate and a touch of cornstarch added. It could be made with pecans or even macadamia nuts.
The recipe calls for chopped walnuts. You can use whole walnuts but it is easier to cut the pie if the walnuts are chopped. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your style for convenience.
Chocolate Walnut Pie
For one 9” pie
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/8th teaspoon salt
2 ounces (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
6 ounces walnuts, chopped
1. Roll out the pie dough and fit it into the pie pan. Trim the excess and crimp the dough around the edge. Refrigerate or freeze while you prepare the filling. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Whisk to combine. Whisk in the melted butter and set aside.
3. Place a second bowl over gently simmering water. Add the chocolate to the bowl. When ½ of the chocolate has melted, stir the chocolate until the chocolate is smooth. With the chocolate still over the warm water, whisk the filling into the chocolate and blend until smooth. Whisk in the cornstarch and set aside.
4. Remove the prepared pie pan from the refrigerator or freezer and place it on a baking pan. Place the walnuts into the pie shell. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie shell; the walnuts will float to the top of the filling. Place the baking pan with the pie into the oven. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove pie from the oven and let cool before serving.
Chocolate Pate Sablee
Since this dough is basically a cookie dough, it can be mixed by hand with a wooden spoon
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1. Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until incorporated: scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time. Add the egg yolk, salt, and baking powder and mix together. Add the cake flour and mix until combined. Remove the dough from the bowl; knead into a ball if necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least four hours before using.
*This album was released back in 2000. Murray, whose work leans to the left of the jazz mainstream, visited a number of Coltrane classics and arranged them for octet. There is great, joyous playing throughout this recording. Coltrane’s ground breaking solo from his 1960 recording of “Giant Steps” is orchestrated for the ensemble. The CD is still available from Justin Time Records.
Also released about the same time was Joe Lovano’s 52nd Street Themes, a recording of arrangements of tunes associated with 52nd Street in NYC (Tadd Dameron, Monk, Billy Strayhorn, along with some originals). This was the music that would eventually lead to Miles, Sonny Rollins, Coltrane and others. This video features the nonet with the late, great Dennis Irwin on bass, who played on over 500 recordings.
Editorial oops! There is a slight mistake in the cornmeal crisp topping recipe for the peach and blueberry pie. While it works perfectly as is, you can double the butter (use an entire stick/ or 1/4
pound unsalted butter) for larger crumbs.
pound unsalted butter) for larger crumbs.