STICKY TOFFEE

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Have you noticed how many pies in this book advise you to wait until the pie has at least cooled to room temperature before eating it? It’s as if we think you are all masters of self-control who are not desperately in need of pie right now. Fear not! This is a pie designed to eat when it is still warm from the oven. Made with dates, butter, and brown sugar, the pie has an almost cakelike consistency. Right after baking, the hot pie is slathered with a warm toffee sauce that soaks right into the filling and makes it irresistible.

MAKES ONE 9½-INCH DEEP-DISH PIE

WHAT YOU NEED

Pie dough for a Deep-Dish Single Crust (this page) 

9½-inch deep-dish pie plate 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 

Instant-read thermometer 

INGREDIENTVOLUMEWEIGHT (STAN


DARD)WEIGHT (METRIC)


FILLING

Dried dates, pitted and chopped1⅓ cups8 ounces227 grams


Baking soda1 teaspoon


Unsalted butter, melted4 tablespoons2 ounces57 grams


Dark brown sugar, lightly packed¾ cup5.25 ounces150 grams


Cane syrup, such as Steen’s (see Sources, this page)2 tablespoons1.5 ounces43 grams


Eggs2 large

Vanilla extract1 teaspoon

All-purpose flour1 cup5 ounces142 grams


Baking powder¾ teaspoon


Salt½ teaspoon

TOFFEE SAUCE

Heavy cream½ cup4.1 ounces116 grams


Unsalted butter4 tablespoons2 ounces57 grams


Dark brown sugar, lightly packed¼ cup1.75 ounces50 grams


Cane syrup, such as Steen’s (see Sources, this page)1 tablespoon0.75 ounce21 grams


Salt⅛ teaspoon

Vanilla extract1 teaspoon


PARTIALLY BLIND-BAKE THE CRUST: Follow the instructions on this page. The pie will bake longer after the filling is added, so it should not be completely browned at this point. Remove the pie dish from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack, and remove the foil or parchment and pie weights. Decrease the oven temperature to 275°F. 

MAKE THE FILLING: When the crust is almost finished baking, start the filling. Put the chopped dates in a medium saucepan with 1 cup/8.35 ounces/236 grams water. Bring the dates to a boil and turn off the heat. Stir in the baking soda with a rubber spatula. The dates will start to foam and then mostly fall apart. 

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and cane syrup, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt until well mixed. Stir in the date mixture. When fully incorporated, check the temperature of the batter. If it is less than 125°F, microwave the mixture, checking the temperature and stirring every 30 seconds, until it reaches 125°F. 

FILL THE CRUST AND BAKE: Place a pie crust shield on the pie and pour the filling into the warm crust. Bake until the filling has puffed considerably and is set, about 1 hour. If still jiggly in the middle, keep baking, checking every 5 minutes until it has set. When you remove the pie from the oven, immediately poke the surface all over with a toothpick or small skewer (about 30 pokes). Poke deep into the filling but do not poke through the crust on the bottom. 

MAKE THE TOFFEE SAUCE: Pour the cream into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil, stirring with a rubber spatula until it has thickened and reduced in volume by about one-third, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the butter, brown sugar, cane syrup, and salt and bring it back to a boil, stirring until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is uniform. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Pour about one-third of the warm toffee sauce onto the still-warm pie. Using a small offset spatula, keep spreading the sauce over the surface of the hot pie. As you spread, it will soak into the filling. Repeat this process with the remainder of the sauce. This pie is best when served still warm from the oven, so don’t wait too long before going for it. The warm pie pairs well with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it pairs even better with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days; we like to warm slices in the microwave before serving.)

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