Servings: 8 Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 min Total: 6 hrs 35 mins
Gelatin might be some of the weirdest stuff on earth, right up there with Aerogel and non-newtonian fluids (ie. cornstarch slurry). In simple terms, it’s what gives Jell-O its shape and jiggle. It’s usually bought in powdered form, but can also be bought in little sheets that feel like plastic. Dissolve these powders or sheets into a warm liquid and then let it chill. It will firm up the entirety of the liquid and become a jiggling gelatinous mass of bouncy wonkiness.
I first learned about using powdered gelatin back in culinary school, somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. I learned how to apply it to meats and fishes; an interesting branch of cookery known as “charcuterie“. Gelatin was used to firm things up, give shapes to meats and sauces that have no shape, suspending ingredients in “space”, etc.
Gelatin was fun, but … old school and I never really used it in modern kitchens (of the early 90’s), but I think it’s seeing a bit of a revival.
A little while back, I was trying to think of induction friendly dessert recipes and thought Panna Cotta would do the trick. Panna Cotta is little more than sweetened cream, held into a molded shape with gelatin. That day I made all sort of other desserts, but the Panna Cotta was the clear winner. This got me to thinking about gelatin and all its applications. It can really be applied to anything with water in it: sweet OR savory! A little gives you a little structure and jiggle and a lot will give you something firm and solid! It is odorless and tasteless. So, it’s little more than a gel, which would work in a glass of water, a bowl of ginger infused chicken broth and freshly suspended cilantro leaves, as well as strawberry juice and cocoa powder mixed with cream and almond milk.
So, what is it? Where does it come from? You really probably don’t want to know … (short answer: animal skins, bones and connective tissues).
Since the panna cotta, I’ve been playing a lot with gelatin, making loads of different jiggly things in my spare time. Here is one of the first to hit the website. I jumped it up ahead of some of the others because of a photo on Facebook, where I was caught dropping the pie. Seemed only fitting to share the recipe quickly!
This recipe is VERY simple to make and really doesn’t use that many ingredients. The end result is deep and luxurious, without really breaking the carb bank.
Oh … it’s TASTY, TOO!
Nut ‘n Honey Note: I use a little bit of honey in the crust. It’s a tiny amount and really only serves to help the crust stay together. You could completely omit it and the recipe will still work, while also dropping each slice by about 2 net carbs. However, the crust will not stay as “together and united”. It will still work and be absolutely tasty, but it will be more crumbly. It’s totally up to you!
Chocolate Pudding Pie with Macadamia CrustPrint Rate
- 1 1/2 cups crushed salted macadamia nuts
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup fresh whole butter melted
- Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
- If your macadamia nuts are not crushed, place them in a large plastic (ZipLoc style) bag. With a mallet or the edge of a pot or pan, whack at them until you have a squooshed bag of macadamia explosion. (I've tried this in a food processor and for whatever reasons the imperfect smashing method gives a better crust than macadamias pulverized in a food processor)
- Pour your crushed macadamias into a mixing bowl and add your honey (you can skip the honey, but it does help to hold the crust together), and melted butter. Mix the ingredients until the macadamias are well coated with the honey and butter.
- Grease a 9-inch pie pan.
- Press the nut mixture into the pie pan. Use the back of a spoon (or a tamper, if you have one) to press the crusts firmly into the base and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake the crusts for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to begin cooling.
- Combine cream and 2 cups of the almond milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.
- At the same time as you add your milk to the stove, in a medium sized mixing bowl, add your 1/2 cup remaining almond milk.
- Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.
- Into your hot milk mixture, whisk in your sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, vanilla and a dash of salt. Whisk until the cocoa is fully absorbed, lumps are gone, and the sugar equivalent has fully dissolved.
- Once the mixture begins to simmer (but not boil), whisk the hot mixture into the blooming gelatin bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour your warm mixture into the pie pan and place in the refrigerator to chill. Chilling takes between 4 to 6 hours.
- Slice and serve with whipped cream!
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …