CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !!

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mayor al
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2009/10/03 19:16:22 (permalink)

CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !!

 
If you followed our recent trip report for the Shiloh Battlefield and Western Tennessee visit, you've read of the wonderful Catfish Dinner we enjoyed at the Catfish Hotel near the Shiloh Battlefield. The final dish with that dinner was a piece (shared) of Carmel Pie, made from scratch in their kitchen.
 
Here is that tasty dessert--

 
When we described this experience on the trip report our fellow Roadfooder Jenn in Paducah posted her Grandmother's recipe for her Carmel Pie, Today we actually made this pie, modifing the recipe only in the amount we made.
 
The recipe calls for 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk. A couple of tablespoons of Butter, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of Vanilla extract.
 
Without opening the cans (regular cans, not the easy-open pull-tab style) boil them (gently) for 4 (four) hours, making sure you keep enough water to completely cover the cans, and turning the cans once an hour. The cans can explode if they are allowed to emerge from the water during the boiling time. We had no difficulty 'cooking' three cans in a pot of water...adding hot water now and then to insure adequate coverage..
 
At the end of the four hour boiling time, we opened the three cans and emptied the 'carmel' into a bowl..adding the Butter, Salt, and Vanilla and stirring a lot to smooth out the mixture.
 
Then we poured the Carmel into a prepared Graham-Cracker Crist Pie Shell. We wanted a 'deeper' pie than the one we enjoyed in Tennessee, so we used most of the three cans to fill ONE Pie Shell. We did have a little left to make a few little Carmel candies. When we do this again (and we will) we will use four (4) cans to make two pies. That will be a bit thinner than what we have here, but still more in a pie than the TN version.
 
Here is  the demo-
 
First, Boiling the cans of sweetened condensed milk (Carefully) They did swell up a bit.
 

 
 
 
Opening the hot cans was an exercise in "care". All went well though.
 

 
 
Having never done this sort of thing before, we were amazed at the Carmel-transformation that took place while we heated the cans.
 

 
 
We then emptied the cans into a bowl and added the rest of the recipe items. Then stirred until smooth and all the stuff mixed in well.
 

 
 
Then it was time to fill the Graham-Cracker Crust Pie Shell. We could have let the Carmel cool a bit more to make  it easier to handle...but we didn't!!
 

 
 
We had a little left over to save as carmel candies-
 

 
Lifting the first sample cut (after a cooling period), you can see that this is a 'deeper' filling than the Tennessee Pie.
 

 
Then it was time to top it with some whipped topping and off it went to the Bride, who samples all my kitchen efforts.
 

 
 
As we said we would make two pies using 4 cans of the milk and adjusting the other ingredients to match. This compromise will be a pretty good dessert for coming company and holiday dinners !!
 
In case you missed Jenn's recipe from the Trip Report Thread here it is-
 
 
 
 
Ok Mayor Al, I called Memi and asked her about the pie. This recipe makes two pies.
 
CARAMEL PIE
 
2 regular size graham cracker pie crusts
2 cans sweetened condensed milk, remove labels
2 TBSP butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tub whipped topping
Enough chopped pecans to sprinkle over pies
 
Place the cans of milk in a large pot, add enough water to completely cover the cans. Boil for 4 hours, turning the cans upside down once every hour. It is very important to keep water over the cans at all times, you don't want them to explode.
 
When milk is done, let the cans cool down just a bit before opening, you do want it warm enough to melt the butter however.
 
Empty cans of milk into a bowl and add your butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until well blended.
 
Place the mixture into the graham cracker crusts.
 
After the filling has cooled, top pies with whipped topping and sprinkle with pecans. 
  
  
  
  
  
   
    
 
post edited by mayor al - 2009/10/03 21:41:57
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    Greymo
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/03 20:56:02 (permalink)
    Wow!  I am convinced   This is dessert for tomorrow night's  dinner.  Hope mine turns out as well.
    post edited by Greymo - 2009/10/03 20:58:05
    #2
    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/03 21:48:41 (permalink)
    Greymo
    Please report back with the results of your efforts. Other than a longtime watching the boiling water...more from nerves than real need to watch it, this is an amazingly simple exercise. We hustled thru the assembly at the end of the cooking time, but actually the timing was very 'loose'. No need to rush anything. It is indeed a real "Mayor-Pleaser"!
    #3
    MikeS.
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/03 23:20:50 (permalink)
    There was a thread here a few months ago about making caramel this way. I tried it with 1 can Borden's Eagle brand sweetended condensed milk and 1 can of WM brand. The Borden's was better, not a lot but you could tell.

    Al, the pie looks great but I found that caramel is too sweet for me.
    #4
    kirstine
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 00:17:11 (permalink)
    That sure does look good. 

    I always hate boiling those condensed milk cans, always worry I'll forget about them.  I know I've seen canned pre-made caramel from the people who make the condensed milk before (Carnation?), it's probably not as good though.
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    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 10:20:31 (permalink)
    Mike-
      The Eagle brand, which used to be 'named' in many recipes may have a slight taste edge, but it is pretty pricey compared to the Walmart label. Eagle was close to $3 a can ($2.80 something) vs Less than $1.50 for the Wally-World stuff.
     
    I would recommend cutting the pie in thin slices the way many Cheesecakes are served, as it is VERY rich ! Only BB would consume a large piece with Whipped Cream or Ice Cream on it.

    Kirstine,
      That was my fear as well. I had visions of a can exploding and plastering the kitchen with boiling carmel-milk.  We now know that a very low fire..just simmering the cans works well. That keeps water-loss to a minimum. I added a couple of coffee-pots of hot water during the process...but not near as much as I thought it would need.

    We will await Greymo's report !
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    JensShelbyGT
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 11:27:39 (permalink)
    The pie looks mighty good Mayor Al. I'm making two of them today, one for us and one for my sisiter. I just put the milk on to boil. I also bought the Wal-Mart brand, I like most of their Great Value products.

    I'm like you, I cut the slices a little smaller than normal, this is one rich pie. I'm glad to hear your attempt was successful and glad you two enjoyed the pie. I can't wait to eat a piece today, its been a long time since I've had caramel pie.
    #7
    chewingthefat
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 12:04:51 (permalink)
    I'm going to have my lead cook do this as I'm a chicken about getting scalded by boiling exploding carmel, but it looks like it could become a permanent menu item...how does it go with Vanilla Ice Cream?
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    JensShelbyGT
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 13:03:39 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    I'm going to have my lead cook do this as I'm a chicken about getting scalded by boiling exploding carmel, but it looks like it could become a permanent menu item...how does it go with Vanilla Ice Cream?


    I think this  would do well on your menu, it's not a pie you see offered very often. I believe O'Charley's has a version of it. As for the ice cream, I've never tried it with it, but I don't see why not. Vanilla ice cream and caramel go pretty good together. As Mayor Al stated though, it is very rich. If I served vanilla ice cream with it, I would cut the pieces rather on the slim side.
    #9
    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 13:12:38 (permalink)
    We used some 'Cool-Whip' style fake whipped cream...It was very good and lightened up the rich thick carmel (a little!).  The piece from the Catfish Hotel in Tennessee (First photo on this thread) was just right for the two of us to share after that great fish dinner. BTW it went for $5.00..That could be a high-profit item on your menu Tom!
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    kirstine
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 14:00:15 (permalink)
    If you like bananas you could easily tweak this recipe to make a banoffe pie, just put some sliced bananas on top of the caramel and sprinkle the cream with some chocolate.  It's really good.

    http://www.nestle.co.uk/OurBrands/Recipes/BanoffeePie.htm
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 17:10:59 (permalink)
    kirstine

    If you like bananas you could easily tweak this recipe to make a banoffe pie, just put some sliced bananas on top of the caramel and sprinkle the cream with some chocolate.  It's really good.

    http://www.nestle.co.uk/OurBrands/Recipes/BanoffeePie.htm

    Now I have 2 new Desserts...Thank you all!

    #12
    Greymo
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 20:32:02 (permalink)
    OK   I made the pie.  I thought it was  too sweet  but the rest of the family loved it.

    However, I used a different method.  When I read the warning about not heating the can, I decided to obey orders.  I did a little research and this is the way that I made mine.

    I poured the cans of condensed milk into a  heat proof glass bowl and set it over a pan of boiling water, which Immediately turned down to simmer.  I kept track of time, and it took  3 hours to reach the right consistency.  During the  3 hour  period I added one cup of water to pan (just to be sure) and stirred about once every 20 minutes.  It worked fine and I felt safe!
    #13
    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/04 20:52:00 (permalink)
    I thought about the 'double-boiler' technique, but decided to risk the original despite the printed warning! However, we may do that with the contents of the three 'easy-open' cans we still have.

    We used the last piece of our pie as 'dip' for some tart apple slices this evening. Really good stuff !
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    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/05 20:51:22 (permalink)
    When my neighbor asked for the recipe (after sharing a piece of the finished 'demo' pie), she asked if it was expensive to make. I had to tally the costs briefly, but this one is not an expensive project !! Two cans of milk at $1.30 each. A couple of Tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of Vanilla for a few cents each...and the pie crust , since we didn't make it from scratch, about $1.50. A little cheap Cool-Whip...??  So all the ingredients totaled about $5.00.  Not bad for what we got !
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    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/06 18:12:26 (permalink)
    Ah.........perfect!  The boiled milk is also a great "Dulce de Leche"

    Another easy to do but wowie to serve!:

    1.5 cups Heavy cream
    18 oz. nestles morsels

    heat the cream to boiling and remove from heat.  Stir in the chocolate.  Stir Well  Pour into the graham cracker crust and chill for 2+ hours.  Serve with some whipped cream and a few raspberries.  Stand back and listen to the compliments!
    #16
    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/14 18:13:07 (permalink)
    Another attempt with the Carmel-

    Today was a cold and rainy day (lo 40's) so we used the crockpot for some Hawaiian Pork (and rice) for dinner and I decided to try the Carmel again.  This time I did 4 cans and one pre-made Graham Cracker Pie Crust.  I dumped the cans of carmel (after the long simmering session) into the bowl, added the Butter and Vanila and stirred the hell out of it. Then I filled the Pie Shell with what looked to me like the right amount of carmel filling and filled two cereal bowls of Carmel from the remainder. The two bowls each equal (roughly) one of those cups of Carmel Apple Dip selling for $3.50 at the Market.

    We have tasted the 'Dip' and on some Granny Smith Apple Slices (read TART!) it is outstanding !!
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    EatingTheRoad
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/14 18:27:33 (permalink)
    Mayor Al, that looks incredible, wanna send me a slice? I've never had caramel pie. Haven't seen it on any menus. Anyone know of a place with good caramel pie?
    #18
    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/14 19:38:24 (permalink)
    Eating the Road-
      As you see at the top of this page, we happened onto Carmel Pie at the Catfish Hotel near the Shiloh Battlefield Military Park in Tennessee. When I brought up this thread, it was as a result of the young lady in Paducah, KY who had the recipe and shared it with us. I made the first batch and as you see it turned out well. Several folks have commented to me since then that Carmel Pie is a well-known Southern dessert. I must say that our experience with it was limited to the one on the menu in Shiloh, and now two successful attempts at home !

    The home-made version was every bit as good as the one the folks in Tennessee made and charged $5.25 for a slice. It just takes a lot of time for the long simmering process to metamorphize the Condensed Milk into the Carmel. No labor involved...just a long slow simmering time.   Try it at home. I think you'll like the results...Especially if you like sweet Carmel !
    #19
    hatteras04
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/15 09:55:24 (permalink)
    I saw an epsiode of Paula Deen once where she did something similar but she poured the condensed milk into a glass baking pan and put it in a water bath, covered it and baked it for a couple of hours or so.  That might be the easiest method of all.
    post edited by hatteras04 - 2009/10/15 09:56:55
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    i95
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/15 10:53:55 (permalink)
    kirstine

    If you like bananas you could easily tweak this recipe to make a banoffe pie...
     

     
    Exactly as such perfectly marries the tastes of both
    English toffee and bananas to produce, voila:
     
     
    BANOFFEE PIE.
     
    I've made this before and while the recipe I used (and where you can get the same) was from the January 2005 issue of Gourmet magazine, as many of you know, this particular dessert (which features a cooked pie crust layered with chilled, soft toffee then topped with fresh, cut banana slices then last topped with whipped cream with a hint of brown sugar) has its roots in England and is popularly attributed to the Hungry Monk Restaurant & Pub in East Sussex.

    There's also a "Banoffee Pie Page" found
    here. But I liked the above linked Gourmet magazine recipe as it provides an alternative to the traditional boiling of unopened cans of condensed milk (thereby saving your kitchen from exploding cans of milk).
     
    FYI.
    post edited by i95 - 2009/10/15 10:58:44
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    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/15 13:34:50 (permalink)
    Kurt,
      You are correct in your concern about 'popping' the cans of milk. While we have been very lucky and have not had a can burst (or even leak), we do note that on ALL the cans paper label is a warning about "Never Heat Unopened Cans".  We do not boil them, but rather simmer on very low heat, generating just enough action to rattle the cans now and then. So far no damage and a lot of good carmel.
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    JensShelbyGT
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/16 16:58:21 (permalink)
    Mayor Al,
      I'm sitting here giggling. You'll never guess what I've got cooking on the stove.....why yes, good ol' condensed milk. I think I've got everyone in this house hooked on caramel pie. My hubby came home from the store today and surprised me by announcing we were having caramel pie for dessert tonight. He picked up the milk, crust, and whipped topping.   I really had planned on crockpot apple dumplings ( a new recipe I tried and utterly delicious by the way ) but it looks like we're having the pie.
     
    I just had a thought of some of that caramel served along with the apple dumplings the next time I make them.....hmmm.
     
    I asked Memi the other day if she had ever had a can of the milk to explode and she said she hadn't. She said you just have to keep an eye on them and make sure they stay covered with water. I cook mine like you do, low enough to where they barely boil. I feel pretty safe after her telling me she never had an explosion, she's made a many of those pies in her 84 years. Of course, there is always that chance I guess, but I'm gonna risk it.  
     
     
     
     
     
    #23
    mayor al
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/16 18:49:15 (permalink)
     We had two cereal bowls of Carmel left after I filled the pie shell in this last Batch. Most of one disappeared when several very tart Granny Smith suddenly got sliced up and served as 'dipping sticks' into the warmed carmel.

    Most of the second bowl found itself being heated and thinned a bit then "drizzled" ( A LOT) over a Dutch Apple Crumb Pie Janet baked. The carmel added a rich aftertaste to the crispy topping on the tart apples.

    Hopefully this will fill our desire for the carmel for awhile  !  If not I'll be tending the boiling pot again !
    #24
    Foodosaurus
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/26 11:26:03 (permalink)

    I am planning on making this recipe this weekend for a Halloween party.  Here's the thing though; I'm a chocoholic. 

    Does anyone have any ideas how I can add chocolate to this recipe without entirely changing it.  I don't care how its done, I'll take any advice you can share.
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    EatingTheRoad
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/26 11:42:40 (permalink)
    Maybe lessen the amount of "caramel" filling by 1/3 and add either a chocolate pudding pie filling on top:
    Pudding filling:
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 cups whole milk
    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup chilled heavy cream

    Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.
    Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.

    ...or add a chocolate ganache on top

    Ingredients:
    9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

    Directions:
    1.) Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.

    2.) Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over pie. Start at the center of the pie and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.
    #26
    6star
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/26 12:18:00 (permalink)
    Foodosaurus

    I am planning on making this recipe this weekend for a Halloween party.  Here's the thing though; I'm a chocoholic. 

    Does anyone have any ideas how I can add chocolate to this recipe without entirely changing it.  I don't care how its done, I'll take any advice you can share.


    I would think you might try adding 2 or 3 packets (or the equivalent amount) of hot cocoa mix at the point you are blending in the butter, vanilla and salt, though you might have to be sure the caramelized milk was still very warm at this point in order to have it blend properly.  Another possibility could be blending in a melted Hershey bar or two or three or chocolate chips (melted in a double boiler).
    #27
    Russ Jackson
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/26 12:25:25 (permalink)
    If I were to add Chocolate to the Pie it would be the center layer. Carmel on the bottom then a dark chocolate mousse in the middle and carmel on the top layer. Thin half sliced bannanas with a burnt hard carmel topping (torched brown sugar) on the bannana slice would be nice.

    Mixing fresh whipped cream folded into the carmel pie mixture would make it less dense...Russ
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    EatingTheRoad
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/26 13:07:16 (permalink)
    Russ Jackson

    If I were to add Chocolate to the Pie it would be the center layer. Carmel on the bottom then a dark chocolate mousse in the middle and carmel on the top layer. Thin half sliced bannanas with a burnt hard carmel topping (torched brown sugar) on the bannana slice would be nice.


    That sounds superb! Someone please make this and post photos.

    #29
    mar52
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    Re:CARMEL PIE, So Easy a MAYOR Can Do It !! 2009/10/26 14:12:40 (permalink)
    Nestles makes (or made???) a chocolate condensed milk.

    Wonder how that would work or if it would.
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