I’m not gonna lie, I had my doubts when making this pie. Garam masala? Like that stuff you smother over vegetables for dinner? With chocolate?
Yes, garam masala. With chocolate. For dessert. Listen.
During this time of year, pumpkin, pear, and apple desserts are a-pie-ling up (hah!). The age-old question becomes, how to recreate the pie? It’s harder than it appears because (a) There are limited varieties of fresh fruit available in winter and (2) pumpkin, pear and apple pies are already amazingly delicious to begin with.
My solution, as it has always been in times in need, is to go back to my desi roots. Garam masala is an extremely flavorful blend of 5-7 spices that lends itself to all sorts of dishes. The best ones are the ones made at home, aka by my mother because my pantry isn’t stocked well enough.
If you don’t have homemade garam masala (a real tragedy, honestly), you can find it at any Indian store. The spice provides a nice warming element to the fruits – in this case, apples and persimmons. Combined with the smooth chocolate flavor from the crust and a little brown sugar topping, it’s safe to say that the pie has been successfully re-imagined for any holiday table.
A new dessert pro-pie-tor.
Chocolate Garam Masala Pie
(adapted from Food52)
- For the chocolate pie crust, use your favorite crust recipe and substitute 1/2 cup cocoa powder for 1/2 cup of the flour. I personally love this recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
- Take the pie dough out of the fridge and divide it in half. Take one half and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper. The dough should be about 1/4” thick. Carefully drape it over the prepared pie pan – there should be about 1 inch of excess hanging over.
- Roll out the remaining half dough to the same thickness between two sheets of parchment paper. Set it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cup brown sugar, flour, vanilla, and garam masala.
- Measure out 6 cups of the sliced fruit and place in a large bowl. Add the spice mixture to the apples and persimmons and toss together until everything is evenly coated. Pour into the pie shell and flatten everything down with a wooden spoon.
- Take out the rolled crust from the fridge and drape over the fruit. Pinch the ends of the top crust with the ends of the bottom crust and form a fluted ridge with your fingertips.
- Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the top of the pie. Using a small knife, make 4 slits in the pie to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
- Bake until the juices are boiling gently and the pie crust is cooked through, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before cutting.