Friday, November 25, 2011

Walnut Turtle Pie, from Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

Back in early October, we spent An Afternoon at Fleming's with EC Gallery and Painter of Chefs artist, Christopher M.  The luncheon prepared by Chef Christopher Gardner was incredible, and Fleming's signature Walnut Turtle Pie, part of the dessert trio that day, had John drooling all the way home.

It was hard to pass up Bobby Flay's Throwdown Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, but I decided to give this Turtle Pie a try.  It's more of a cake than a pie, or like a rich, chocolate brownie.  The chocolate crust becomes one with the filling as it bakes.  The center  is chocolaty and gooey, almost like a lava cake.  The rich chocolate filling coats the walnuts as they rise to the top, creating a crunchy, caramelized-walnut layer that caves back into the soft center as it cools.

Walnut Turtle Pie
Adapted from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
Makes two 6-inch pies

Ingredients for the Crust:

8 ounces all purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ lb. unsalted butter (cold, ½-inch dice)
2-3 tablespoons ice water
Pan coating

Ingredients for the Filling:

1 ¼ cup light corn syrup
½ lb. unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 large eggs
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark Crème de Cocoa (a chocolate flavored liqueur with hints of vanilla)
12 ounces walnuts, roughly chopped


Make the crust by combining the 8 ounces flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, cocoa powder and ½ pound diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-low speed until cornmeal consistency. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and mix just to form into a smooth ball (use extra tablespoon if dough doesn't come together). Divide the dough in half.

Lightly flour a cutting board and roll out the first piece of dough to a 10” circle, about ¼ inch thick. Spray the inside of the pan lightly with pan coating, such as Pam, and then gently lay one crust inside, and press down on the bottom and up the sides. The crust should come up the inside side of the pan about 2 inches. Repeat with the other piece of dough and pan. Place pans in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

For the filling, combine corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 ¾ cup sugar, vanilla and dark Crème de Cocoa; add the reserved corn syrup and chocolate mixture, and blend well (I also used the electric mixer for this step).

Sprinkle the walnuts evenly over the bottom of the crusts, and then pour in the batter. Place the pans on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F (300 degrees F for a convection oven) for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the center of the pies puff up and appear set.

Remove pies from the oven, and allow to cool for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Serve with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

A slice of chocolate heaven

Preparation Photos and Newfie Notes:

Fleming's recipe provides quantities for 2 cakes and 4 cakes, but doesn't specify what size cakes.  I'm assuming, by the instructions to roll the dough to 12 inch circles, that they are using 8 or 9 inch pans (the recipe says to use cheesecake pans).  However, I recently bought two, 6-inch cake pans with removable bottoms, which is why I adapted the recipe for these pans. I had a little left over dough and filling, so I experimented with a third pie in a 3 1/2 inch ramekin.  I like smaller cakes and really love the size of these pans, but you could use these same quantities to make one large turtle pie using a 9-inch cheesecake pan.

Before baking

I took the small ramekin out of the oven after 50 minutes.  The 6-inch pies were still a little jiggly in the center at 1 hour and 30 minutes, so I baked them about 10 minutes more.  They puffed up and cracked slightly, and the centers then sunk back down as they cooled.

After baking

I served the first pie that evening, after about 3-4 hours of refrigeration.  It was gooey in the center, which is actually how it was served at Fleming's.  The second cake firmed up slightly, after refrigeration overnight.

Petite Turtle Pie


Ela said...

This pie looks like a combination of pie and cheesecake! Awesome! May I know where I can buy Creme de Cocoa or is there any substitute? Thanks.

bunkycooks said...

We need to share desserts! Yours looks amazing and we had a pretty awesome cake, too. I think you all are right...we need to be neighbors!So, who is moving?! ;-)

Denise said...

Ela - You should be able to find it at most liquor and grocery stores, and it's not expensive. When I did a search online for substitutes, some said you can substitute Kahlua. For a non-alcoholic substitute, maybe chocolate syrup for the chocolate flavor, but I wouldn't use a full 1/2 cup or it will be too sweet.

Kai said...

This was better than any pumpkin pie could ever be. Thanks for sharing!

juliana alonso dorola said...

amazing pie! im saving the recipe!

Noni said...

I made this for Thanksgiving 2013 and it was a success. I supplimented some bourbon in the creme de cacao, just about a tablespoon. This wasn't too different from the Flemings, very good recipe, Thank you for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

I made this but altered in the following way. I made ONE 6" springform pan. Halved everything exactly, with the following exceptions. I used 4 tablespoons of butter in the crust (you will need another tablespoon of iced water) and only four tablespoons of butter in the filling. I love dessert, but don't want anymore than one stick of butter in any recipe. I also reduced the sugar in the filling by two tablespoons. Happy to report the recipe came out perfect. It is great cold or slightly warmed and topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. My husband pronounced it a winner.