If you love the classic molasses flavor, you’re going to love this Chocolate Molasses Oatmeal Pie! Spicy bittersweet molasses with a chewy oatmeal cookie texture, all on top of a chocolate ganache-lined pie crust. It’s the perfect spicy and warming winter pie (and gluten free, too!).
My yearlong series of “delicious baked things” has become one of my favorite traditions here on Bunsen Burner Bakery. In 2016, we did Quick Bread of the Month. In 2017, it was Bundt Cake of the Month. And as I hinted at in my last bundt cake post, 2018 is… drumroll please… Pie of the Month!
Why pie? Because I’m ready for a challenge.
Here’s the truth. I love to eat pie. I do not love to make pie.
Cutting a slice of pie gives me more stress and anxiety than anything else I make.
Faced with a beautiful, perfect pie, I feel nothing short of paralyzing fear at the thought of cutting into a slice, lest the crust crumble and fall apart, or the slice stick to the bottom, or it comes out in a messy blob.
Meaning that… I have to make the pie again.
Guys, these are not normal fears and phobias. Most people put the crumbled piece of pie on a plate and enjoy it, because it still tastes damn good.
Most people are also not food bloggers, however, in need of a picture-perfect slice of pie.
And so this year, I am conquering my fear of cutting pie head on, by baking
12 24 32 pies. (If the trend continues, because it took 3 different pies to get to this recipe which I liked enough to (a) share and (b) came out of the pie plate well enough to post. Maybe more. Hopefully fewer. Please, hopefully fewer.)
Three pies a month to get one worthy of sharing on the food blog? I like a good challenge.
And hopefully, by the time 2019 rolls around, I will no longer hold a knife and pie server in my hand, paralyzed with fear. I’ll be ready to dig on in and cut like a pro.
And so, this brings us to January’s Pie of the Month: Chocolate Molasses Oatmeal Pie.
I think pies are seasonal more than most other desserts — cherrie pies in the summer, pumpkin pies in the fall, pecan pies for Thanksgiving.
January is a tough month: a dearth of fresh produce, no major food holidays.
But there’s something so warm and cozy about spicy molasses, which pairs perfectly with slightly chewy oatmeal. And a little chocolate because really, who doesn’t like a little touch of chocolate?
Chocolate oatmeal molasses pie has that classic bittersweet molasses flavor, the chewiness of a perfectly cooked oatmeal cookie, and an ooey-gooey chocolate ganache bottom. Yes, please!
I’ve heard that oatmeal pies started in the south as a “poor man’s alternative” to pecan pies, when pecans were too expensive during the Civil War.
A classic oatmeal pie is generally very similar to a pecan pie, except substituting in oatmeal for the pecans. Think lots of brown sugar and corn syrup.
We’re going to switch things up a little though, and use molasses in lieu of brown sugar and corn syrup!
Adding molasses to pies, including oatmeal pies, is a Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish tradition. This makes sense given that they are not too dissimilar from shoofly pie (one of my all-time favorites!).
The end result is a pie with a sweet and spicy molasses flavor combined with the the slightly chewy texture of an oatmeal cookie. Absolutely delicious, and perfect for these long winter months!
The star of the show in this molasses oatmeal pie is the molasses, but what is it, anyway?! Molasses is a viscous substance resulting from the sugar refining process.
There are three forms of molasses typically available: light molasses, dark molasses, and blackstrap molasses. Since they can’t all be used interchangeably, let’s discuss each briefly.
For this recipe, either light or dark molasses can be used. Light molasses will yield a sweeter, lighter flavor, while dark molasses will have more a gingerbread flavor. Either way, just be sure to use unsulphered molasses. Why does this matter? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
Traditionally, molasses was treated with sulphur dioxide as a preservative to kill mold or bacteria. However, the sulfur dioxide can leave behind a strong chemical flavor and the molasses is less sweet and should not be used for baking.
Most molasses sold in grocery stores these days is unsulfphured, but always double check to make sure!
To make this pie gluten free, certify all ingredients (molasses, oats, etc) are gluten free and use this gluten free pie crust recipe or purchase a pre-made gluten free pie crust.
Pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.