An Oreo cookie crust filled with a layer of dark chocolate ganache, a no-bake cheesecake filling INJECTED with pockets of caramel, and topped with caramel, ganache, and chopped pecans!
Merry ChristmaSolstiFestiKwanzUkah, everyone!
(Hopefully you celebrate at least one of those holidays.)
Anywho, I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday, and I hope you all got exactly what you wanted! And if you didn’t get what you wanted, well…then you must have been naughty, naughty, naughty! Don’t worry, I wasn’t exactly a saint this year either 😉
While present-opening seems to be the main event of Christmas morning, I’ve always enjoyed opening the stockings. Sure, the gifts aren’t as grand as the ones under the tree, but to me, it’s like the dessert after the main course. Whether it’s those fun little knick knacks you got as a child, or mountains of candy, there’s nothing like pulling sweets out of a large festive sock.
Speaking of sweets, one of my all-time favorite holiday candies would have to be the turtle. And I’m not talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja kind…
There really is no candy more perfect than the turtle. It’s a texture-lover’s dream–chewy, buttery caramel, crunchy pecans, and rich, luxuriously smooth chocolate. And just like the candy, this pie is pure perfection.
Inspiration for this pie came from two of my favorite desserts. The first, a Turtle Cheesecake from KraftFoods magazine that I used to make years ago for holidays. It had an Oreo cookie crust, a layer of caramel, a baked cheesecake filling, chopped pecans, and a drizzle of both melted chocolate and caramel. Definitely rich beyond words!
The second is one that I’m sure a lot of you have seen in the frozen desserts aisle in the grocery store. Edwards is a brand that makes frozen cream pies, and they sell a Turtle Pie. It’s made with a chocolate cookie crust, filled with a caramel creme filling, injected with pockets of caramel, then topped with chopped pecans and melted chocolate. For a frozen pie, it ain’t half bad!
HOWEVER, that pie doesn’t even compare to this version.
My Turtle Pie starts off with an easy peasy Oreo cookie crust–chocolatey, crunchy, and absolutely superb with the filling. Once the crust was made, I added a rich and luxurious layer of dark chocolate ganache. Not only is it an extra layer of chocolatey yumminess, but it prevents the crust from getting soggy. Win-win!
As for the dreamy, creamy filling, it’s pretty much your standard no-bake cheesecake. Combine a little cream cheese with some sugar, vanilla, and whipped cream, then pour it into the crust. What makes this filling extra special, however, are the golden pockets of caramel that I “injected” into the filling. All I did was melt some caramels (I used Kraft) with a little milk, transfer it to a pastry bag, and “inject” teaspoon-sized bits of caramel throughout the pie. It’s easy, fun, and as you can tell from the photos, it looks a lot like Edwards’ version.
But much, much, MUCH ooey gooier!
After the caramel “injections”, I chilled the pie in the freezer overnight to allow it to set up. As long as it’s chilled for at least 3 hours, it should be fine.
Since we all know that a pie isn’t complete without a little whipped cream, I whipped some up and piped a pretty border around the edge. Then I added the last piece of the turtle puzzle, by covering pretty much the entire surface of the pie with a generous dose of toasted pecans.
Just before serving, I smothered the pie in some leftover caramel and chocolate ganache.
Now THIS is how you make a pie!
The pie could actually be eaten frozen or just refrigerated. I took this pie out of the freezer, piped on the whipped cream, and drizzled on the caramel and ganache. It had been sitting out for about 30 minutes before I cut into it. And boy did I luck out with this slice of pie or what?! Just look at that mesmerizing row of luxurious caramel just oozing out of the filling.
This, my dear friends, is the epitome of food porn.
Merry Christmas, Jillian.
Happy Hanukkah, Marv! 😉
Yields: One 9-inch pie
10 ounces of caramels, unwrapped*
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
Whipped cream, for garnish
Make the Caramel Sauce: In a microwave-safe bowl, add the caramels and milk. Microwave for 60 seconds, remove, and stir with a fork. Return to the microwave for 15-30 more seconds, remove, and stir until smooth. Place caramel in the refrigerator to allow it to thicken up.
Make the Crust: Place the Oreos in a large ziploc bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin. Alternatively, cookies can be crushed in a food processor. Pour crushed cookies into a bowl, add the melted butter, and mix with a fork. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while you make the ganache.
Make the Ganache: In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Heat in the microwave for 60 seconds, remove, and whisk until smooth. If still lumpy, return to microwave at ten second intervals.
Pour half of the ganache into the cookie crust. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before filling.
Make the Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a separate bowl, and return bowl to mixer. Switch out whisk attachment with paddle attachment.
Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt into the stand mixer bowl. Beat on high until smooth and combined. Add 1/4 of the whipped cream and continue beating. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the remaining whipped cream with a spatula. Pour filling on top of ganache layer and use a spatula to smooth out evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To Assemble: Place half of the caramel sauce into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Inject the filling with the caramel evenly throughout the pie. Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Before serving, garnish pie with chopped pecans, leftover ganache, and caramel. Pipe extra whipped cream around the edge, if desired.
*I used almost a whole bag of Kraft caramels.
**Pie can also be chilled in the freezer overnight. If frozen, allow pie to thaw for at least 30 minutes before slicing into and serving.