Caramel Cream Pie

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Ingredients

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Crush enough graham crackers to obtain 1 1/4 cup. Melt butter and add to crackers along with sugar. Press evenly over entire surface of a 9-inch pie tin.
    3. Place in oven for about 15 minutes, halfway during baking press crust evenly flat as it will rise. Bake until crisp and set aside.
    4. Prepare filling: In a pan bring milk and cream to a full boil and set aside.
    5. Place sugar and water in a 3 quart saucepan. Stir gently to a boil without splashing sugar crystals on sides. Without further stirring cook sugar mixture to a golden honey colored caramel.
    6. Pour a third of hot milk onto caramel (be careful as mixture will rise rapidly and create lots of steam). When steam subsides gently add remaining hot milk and vanilla. Remove from heat for a few minutes and set aside.
    7. In separate bowl whisk egg yolks and cornstarch until well blended. Add 8 tablespoons of boiled milk mixture and whisk smooth. Add salt.
    8. Return milk mixture to heat and whisk until any remaining caramel pieces have been dissolved. Pour in cornstarch – egg mixture and whisk rapidly to a full boil. Whisk until cream makes thick bubbles and has thickened.
    9. Remove from heat and pour into baked pie crust. Place uncovered in refrigerator until completely cold, about 1 1/2 hours.
    10. Meanwhile prepare crispy rice topping. Set aside a non stick silicone baking mat or use a cookie sheet covered lightly with oil.
    11. In a saucepan large enough to hold all ingredients stir sugar and water to a full boil without splashing sugar crystals on side of pan. Once boiling do not stir mixture any longer. Cook to a honey colored caramel and remove from heat.
    12. Immediately add salt and crispy rice and stir until combined. Drop mixture onto prepared surface into small mounds. Let cool. Once cold place in airtight bag and set aside.
    13. When pie is properly cold prepare Crème Chantilly. Spread over surface of pie.
    14. Cut pie in wedges and place on plates. Decorate with crispy caramel topping and serve.
    Dixie Crystals Insight

    Preparing caramel can be intimidating at first. The recipe procedures indicate not to stir the caramel mixture once it comes to boil, stirring will create crystals in the caramel. Make sure that your sugar does not contain traces of flour transferred from measuring cups. Flour or other foreign matter will crystallize caramel. Caramel needs to have a honey colored appearance for it to taste like caramel. However if cooked too dark the caramel will taste bitter. Cleaning a pan with caramel traces is easily done by placing the pan in a sink filled with water for a few hours.

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