Friday, April 19, 2013

Coffee Buttercrunch Pie

Coffee Buttercrunch Pie
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1999 ed.), pg. 355.

This is a recipe that is long overdue on my blog. It is one of Maida's most famous recipes and one of the most requested. It originated from Blum's in San Francisco where it was called "Coffee-Toffee Pie". Maida says in her introduction that she doesn't quite know how to respond to people who tell her that it is better than sex. 

About the crust - I didn't make it correctly but it was delicious. The recipe calls for 1/2 package pie crust mix. I had it in my head that I was supposed to get a frozen pie crust and I bought the kind that you unroll. I realized when I started making the pie that it was incorrect. So, the pie crust directions are not quite correct but it was good anyway!


(This may be doubled. The extra crust may be frozen.)

1/2 package pie crust mix 
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 TBS. water

Place the pie crust mix in a mixing bowl.

Process the chocolate until it is very fine. Add the sugar and nuts. Pulse briefly and transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix the vanilla and water and drizzle it over the mixture. Use a fork to stir and toss. The mixture will be lumpy and crumbly but it will hold together when pressed into the pan.

Use a 9 inch pie pan. You can follow the instructions for a crumb crust if you like but bake this crust for 15 minutes.


1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp. instant coffee
2 eggs

Melt the chocolate over hot water and set aside to cool.

Beat the butter to soften it.
Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Beat in the cooled melted chocolate and the instant coffee.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 5 minutes after each, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Pour the filling into the crust.
Smooth out the filling and refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight. You can also freeze it (freeze until the filling is firm, then wrap it airtight.) Frozen pies should be uncovered and thawed in the refrigerator overnight.


Prepare the topping a few hours before serving.

2 cups heavy cream
2 TBS. instant coffee
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Optional: Coarsely grated semisweet chocolate

Whip the cream with the coffee and sugar in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until firm. Do not overbeat (just until it holds its shape). Smooth over the filling (you can use a pastry bag if you want it be fancy). Sprinkle with grated chocolate (optional).



Jen said...

oh man. That looks amaaazing. And pretty easy? Definitely adding this one to my list to do!

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen said...

I´ve had this one bookmarked for years too! Now I can finally see what it´s supposed to be like. I always thought about the uncooked eggs, but never realized it´s a mousse!

Unknown said...

Very easy and good method for preparing such a delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing this nice recipe.

Glan Deas

Kopi Luwak

Hayley said...

I made this pie for Father's Day and it was a hit! But I used WAY less than 2 TBS of coffee for the topping--maybe half of a TBS instead. It just seemed like way too much. Making it again this week for my Dad's birthday, though!

Phillip Oliver said...

I'm happy to hear it turned out good Hayley!

Buttercrunch Nj said...

There's nothing like the rich luxury of hand-dipped chocolate and finely crafted fudge to provide a tiny escape from the monotony of the day. And there's really nothing like a delicious chocolate creation from Suzi's!

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starbitrary said...

What's the shelflife for one of these?

Melany said...

there is no vanilla listed in the filling but you clearly added it... is there supposed to be vanilla?

Phillip Oliver said...

Melany, there is no vanilla in the filling, only in the crust. Apparently I made a mistake when writing that. I have corrected it. So sorry for the confusion!

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this! My mom made this recipe back in the 70's...and it instantly become our family favorite. We've won 2 first place prizes with it at school, one at work. I'll be making it for my sister's 50th wedding anniversary this weekend as a surprise. I think it'll be a hit! 😁

Melany said...

Wow! I have been researching to find this recipe!!! It is amazing! Seriously, I’ve spent at least 3 hours this month trying to find it again.....By the power of the cosmos someone posted a comment and I got an email linking me back to it!!!!!!!!

Nanci said...

I do hope you get this question. I have long given away my MH Dessert book but am wondering about this crust. Can it be done with graham cracker crust and then add the other ingredients? I thought that is what I remember doing when I made this pie many many years ago. What do you think? And does the chocolate have to be unsweetened or can you use semisweet? Thanks so much. I may try it anyway and then let you know.

Phillip Oliver said...

Nanci, I am probably too late (sorry, I was out of town) but to answer your question, a graham cracker crust should not make a difference. In fact, any type would be okay as the crust and the filling are separate. I hope this helps and hope that it turned out well for you!

Melany said...

Nanci, I’ve made it city ways. I prefer the crumb crust which was linked. A gram cracker crust holds up much better than the traditional pie crust style- and it really compliments the flavor great!