black bottom oatmeal pie Recipes

black bottom oatmeal pie

Does anyone ever need an excuse to eat pie? Nobody we should be friends with, is my mantra. But, in an effort at inclusivity, here is a handy dandy excuse-finder, should you need a little convincing:

  • Because it is not Friday yet.
  • Because you probably woke up before you wanted to, and went to a job that even if you love, is still by definition something you wouldn’t do for free. Pie is an excellent consolation prize.
  • Because yesterday felt like spring and everyone’s 3-month bad mood instantly evaporated. Today you needed a hat and gloves again. And a slice of pie, warmed just enough that a scoop of vanilla ice cream trickles over it.
  • Because you’re probably never going to win that Maine Inn in time for lobster and blueberries season with an essay. (Although we are all rooting for you. And blueberry pie.)
  • Because if you’re in the Northeast, fresh fruit pies are still months off, which means you get to make pies with chocolate and gooey caramel instead.

butter into flour, sugar, salt ready to chillready to roll ready to trimcrimped weighted and parbaked

Notably absent: because it’s almost Pi Day. Seriously, guys, among all of the very compelling reasons to eat pie, the fact that the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet sounds like the word “pie” and has a numerical value that resembles the way a single country in the world writes its dates, and that date — 3/14/15 — will fall on Saturday is a bit of a stretch to use an excuse, even for someone who just argued you can and should eat pie just because the temperature dropped 12 degrees. Even the fact that this will be the nerdiest of Pi Days, because the year itself aligns with the fourth and fifth digits in the trillions-long patternless irrational number that represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — you know, I can hear you snoring right now — is awfully convoluted of a rationale, especially when you could just make pie because this one is completely amazing.

toasted oats

bittersweet chocolate
a chocolate puddle to swan dive into

It’s a staff favorite at Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a pie shop with a seasonal focus in Gowanus Brooklyn started by two sisters that are third generation pie bakers from South Dakota. This says a lot among a menu that includes salted caramel apple, black currant lemon chiffon, grapefruit saltine and salty honey pies, many of which have already achieved cult status. Maybe you even bought their book (you should, you should) that came out in 2013. But if you haven’t made this oatmeal chocolate cookie meets pecan pie, no need to wait for a holiday invented by food media for an excuse.

golden syrup ftw
whisk whisk whisk

Dubbed the “poor man’s pecan pie,” the oats play the part that pecans usually do (which is also awesome if a nut allergy has been cruelly keeping you from it). But this doesn’t mean that you’re about to inhale a bottle of corn syrup in the name of a pie so sweet, you just bought your dentist another summer home. I mean, of course it’s sweet, but there’s so much else going on here — golden syrup or honey and molasses instead of corn syrup; apple cider vinegar, salt and a pinch of ginger to cut through the goo, and the pièce de résistance, a puddle of bittersweet chocolate at the base that nothing will ever be right without again. Eaten in the tiniest slivers — trust me, there’s no other way — or baked into bars (what I’m totally doing next time), if you’re going to bake a pie this weekend, let this be the one.

black bottom oatmeal pie
black bottom oatmeal pie

One year ago: Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Two years ago: Coconut Bread
Three years ago: Potato Knish, Two Ways
Four years ago: Sally Lunn Bread
Five years ago: Breakfast Pizza
Six years ago: Layer Cake Tips and The Biggest Birthday Cake, Yet
Seven years ago: Almond Biscotti and Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
Eight years ago: Italian Bread

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Herbed Tomato and Roasted Garlic Tart
1.5 Years Ago: Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
2.5 Years Ago: Roasted Apple Spice Sheet Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie
Adapted, just a tiny bit, from Four and Twenty Blackbirds

1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water, plus an additional tablespoon if needed

1 1/2 cups (120 grams) rolled oats
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
4 ounces (115 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup (see Note below for replacements)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
4 large eggs

Make the pie dough:

  • By hand, with my one-bowl method: In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
  • With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
  • Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.

Form the crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. If not parbaking, place in fridge until ready to fill. If parbaking, place in freezer for 20 minutes, until solid.

Par-bake the crust: [Optional, but will lead to a crispier base.] Heat oven 400°F (205°C). Line frozen crust with lightly buttered or oiled foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or pennies. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and let cool completely before filling.

Heat oven: (Or reduce oven heat, if you just par-baked your crust) to 350°F (175°C).

Prepare filling: Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).

To make the black bottom, bring the cream just to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Pour in chocolate pieces and whisk until melted and smooth. Scrape the chocolate into the bottom of the cooled pie shell and spread evenly. Place in freezer while making the filling.

To make the oatmeal layer, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ginger, salt, and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and cider vinegar and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the cooled oats. Place chocolate-coated pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and pour filling over.

Bake: For 55 to 70 minutes [updated: it sounds from the comments that more time than the original 55 minutes has been needed for several people], rotating 180 degrees for even color if needed halfway through. The pie is done with the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is slightly firm to the touch but still has a little give — like gelatin. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Sever slightly warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

A few notes:

  • Corn syrup is a popular, core ingredient in pecan pie, but it’s gone out of favor in the last several years. The original recipe here calls for dark corn syrup. Should you wish to use something else, I highly recommend tracking down a bottle of golden syrup (a cane sugar syrup that tastes faintly like caramel, and is amazing on pancakes as well) as a go-to replacement. I haven’t tested this with honey, but feel confident it will work well here too, although it will of course alter the flavor [updated to note feedback from those who have tried this with honey: it sounds like it makes it very sweet; you might compensate by reducing the brown sugar by 1/4 to 1/3 cup]. To emulate the “dark” part of dark corn syrup, I replaced 1 tablespoon of the syrup with molasses.
  • The Elsen sisters use a trick to keep the bottom crusts of their pies from getting soft when covered with heavy wet fillings — they parbake the crust, then brush it with an egg white wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon water) and bake it on for a few minutes and letting it cool before filling the pie. I suspect that this is a great trick to keep in mind when you’re making those slumpy berry and stone fruit pies to this summer, but I didn’t care for it here; it made the bottom too papery/firm, and very hard to cut through, so I’ve skipped this step.
  • With a good gluten-free pie crust, this pie could easily be made fully gluten-free. And it’s already nut-free, if you love pecan pie but were being kept from it due to an allergy.
  • Finally, as mentioned, I think these would make an awesome bake sale- and life-winning cookie bar. I’d use the base here for an 8×8 pan of thick bar cookies. I’d also be curious to see if this could be stretched into very thin bars (my preference; I might be no fun at all) in a 9×13-inch pan. For that, I’d double the crust first, because you’re still going to want a good “handle.” Let them chill in the fridge completely before cutting for the cleanest lines.

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209 comments on black bottom oatmeal pie

  1. This looks so amazing! If I weren’t expecting my second child any day now (and need to bake cookies for the nurses ASAP) I would definitely be making this. As it is, it may need to wait (unless I can convince a friend to make it for me…)

  2. kari

    Excited to make this — easy to convert to gluten free (Celiacs of the world– UNITE!) by just trading crust with a GF crust and using GF certified oats. OMG. Thank you!

  3. AKC

    One of my favorite pies of all time! I posted this recipe to my blog ( months ago when I first started blogging, along with some other Four and Twenty Blackbirds recipes. I love the idea of making cookie bars out of this! Will definitely try soon :)

  4. Thefoxwithnosocks

    Oh Deb! I knew you wouldn’t fail the math geeks turned home bakers! What an awesome pi er pie for me to try for the epic pi-day celebrations!

    1. deb

      Kate — I think it would work. They don’t mention the need for old-fashioned oats, but their photos looked like they used them. Regardless, I think it will work with either, but you’ll get a better texture from unbroken rolled oats.

  5. Emma’s Mom

    How excited am I to make this pie??? My daughter is allergic to tree nuts so pecan pie is banned from our house. But THIS one sounds perfect!! And oatmeal makes it healthy, right? Can’t waitt o try it. :-)

  6. Carrie

    Can you add the temp to this sentence in the par bake paragraph? “Bake at on a rimmed baking sheet for 20 minutes.”

    This doesn’t look like the same type of Oatmeal Pie that I had in Iowa City, but it was a wonderful reminder of that pie!!

    Happy Pi Day early ;)

  7. Katharine

    Oh how it makes my day when a new post is up! A typo in your first note: “gone out of favorite.”

    I want to make this in 9×13 bars this weekend (using honey and the base layer you recommend), will report back with the results!

  8. al

    I have a few bars of some nice 85% dark chocolate at home. Do you think this would be okay replacement for the bittersweet? Also, I’ll most likely have to use raw honey instead of corn syrup since I’m out at home!

  9. Heidi C

    I work with a bunch of other engineers, we love celebrating Pi Day. Since your cookbook came out, my de facto pie is your Chocolate French Silk. Rave reviews! This pie looks like a winner; my husband loathes pecans (I know, I am sad about it, too) and this might be just the thing we need to get my pecan pie fix.

  10. Deb, what brand(s) bar/baking chocolate do you typically use? I want to invest in good stuff. Thanks! This pie looks incredible. As a southerner who never liked pecans but can get srsly down with corn syrup, I have always wanted a pecan pie without the pecans!

  11. Maura

    Hi!!! I know this is absolute craziness but my husband hates chocolate. However, he loves pie. Can you suggest a way to make this with something other than chocolate? Do you think white chocolate would be gross?? Thanks!

  12. deb

    al — You could always add a spoonful of brown or white sugar if the ganache tastes too bitter.

    Katharine — Thanks, now fixed.

    Carrie — The temperature is the sentence right before, or should be. Is it not showing?

    Kim — No, I don’t see steel cut oats working here. They really need to be cooked for a long time, I’d think longer than the hour here, and I don’t think the “goo” would soften them enough.

    Heidi — I miss that pie so much! I’m going to eat ALL the raw eggs after July. :)

    Molly — If you can find Guittard wafers/discs, I think they’re a great quality at a fair price. I used to keep a box around in 70%, 60%, milk and white, when my grocery store carried them. Now I need to find a good source online. Currently, I use whatever I’ve got around. Oh, Trader Joe’s pound-plus bar is a great value for bittersweet, as well, great for baking. Here, Guittard “baking bars,” but they were quite marked up where I bought them.

    Maura — You could skip it, too. The pie would be a little thinner. Or, I suppose you could increase all of the ingredients by 25% (i.e. a whole extra egg) to compensate for volume.

  13. marni

    pi day is my birthday, AND i have a nut allergy! this truly is going to be the ultimate pi day (you can extend it to 3.14.15 9:26:53 if you wish to be truly super nerdy about it. i’ve got the t-shirt, so you know where i stand here). thank you so much for this!

  14. “I’ll have what she’s having” was totally my first reaction to this pie! And since the hubs’s tree nut allergy sadly prevents pecan pie from happening, this looks like a STELLAR alternative. Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Susan

    Crisp bottom crusts are where those ceramic pie plates come in handy. Ever since I bought mine (an Emile Henry for $3.99 less my senior discount, at a thrift store. Gads there has to be some benefits to aging, am I right?) I have had no problems with soggy bottom crust. Ceramic plates hold the heat so well that I have reasoned that the crust continues to cook for a while after the pie is removed from the oven. Whatever the reason, it has worked perfectly for me since I’ve started using them. Now I just need to find a standard size pie plate, mine are both deep dish and that is a problem for my custard pies as it makes them look too skimpy! Cant wait to try this pie; pecan is a favorite of mine.

  16. Four and Twenty Blackbirds might just be the best name for a pie shop ever – that’s a totally cool name, and makes me want to go there just cause of that! Of course, it’s a little far away for me. So I suppose I’ll just have to make this pie instead. It looks incredible!

  17. Leah

    Re: French silk pie and food safety — FWIW, my local Shop Rite (NY) carries Davidson’s Safest Choice pasteurized eggs, which I also use for my Swiss buttercreams (I’ve never been convinced that the low double-boiler temperature required to dissolve the sugar is sufficient to kill any bacteria…and I’m kind of a food safety nut). Just putting it out there :)

  18. Jay

    Regular corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup are two different products chemically. While concerns have been raised about the latter and how it became so prolific in commercial, factory convenience foods, it is the high-fructose part of the product that is a key part of the concern.

    Eating the occasional slice of pie made with regular corn syrup isn’t going to hurt you any more than the occasional cookie, brownie, or slice of cake made with brown or table sugar; but constantly consuming large amounts of any sugar be it organic raw cane sugar, regular corn syrup, or HFCS is going to cause weight gain and health problems.

  19. Laura

    Pi day is one of the best reasons to eat pie — and to use pie to introduce pi to people who don’t understand the joy of math. (Incidentally, pi is incredibly important to baking if you want to scale your round cakes and pies up or down.)

  20. Deanna

    I’ve had my eye on this recipe for awhile! What better time than an American only holiday? (Also, to up the nerd factor, we’re the only country that gets to have Star Wars Day. “May the 4th be with you”.) So there’s something to be said for our unique date writing.

  21. This pie looks amazing! I love making new kinds of pie…especially ones that include chocolate! Thanks so much for sharing, will be making soon!

  22. Jules

    Looks unbelievable! I know a sweet-toothed husband of mine who will devour this. One request though – pretty please can we have the filling ingredients converted into metric for us poor UK-dwellers? Thanks! ps – very many congratulations on your exciting news!

  23. Christina

    Can any coins be used for par-baking, or does it have to be pennies? (I feel so silly asking this.)

    We just so happen to have a pie auction fund-raiser on pi day. I am so making this pie!

  24. Shelbea

    I’m t’inkin’ this is on the St. Paddy’s day dessert menu. After all, what’s more Irish than oats, and I can only imagine what a lovely go-long it will be with an Irish coffee :D

  25. Lisa

    This is fantastic, but in truth I am still thinking about that banana pudding picture you hinted at weeks ago… I am cheering for your new computer and hoping soon we’ll get to learn the custard secrets you’ve got in store! :)

  26. Cassie B

    Living in Boston, I love all of the Northeast-based reasons for pie (side note: did you see that MIT is posting their Class of 2019 acceptances at 9:26 on March 14, 2015…?).

    While it may be less-than-traditional, I grew up eating black-bottom pie in a graham cracker crust. Would that work in this case if I cut some of the sugar from the filling, or do you think that it would be best to stick with the traditional crust?

  27. Pi day!! I almost forgot. I have two days to prepare :)

    I’ve never had a black bottom pie, but I’m dying to try. Seems pretty magical if you ask me. Thanks as usual!

  28. Ellen

    I made this recipe a while back, and had the issue of the bottom crust being hard to cut through. Was wondering why that was. I’m pretty sure I followed the step of the egg white wash, so I’m making a mental note to cut out that step if I try again.

  29. Cindy

    I love the bar idea–what do you think about skipping the crust and flipping it around so that the oats are on the bottom and the chocolate is on the top?

  30. Jess.

    Deb, I knew you wouldn’t let me down! My nerdy engineer brother is going to be in town this weekend, and our pie-loving/supreme pie-making mother passed away recently, so we are totally going to celebrate Pi Day in a big way on Saturday, having pizza pie AND regular pie, though probably not for the same meal. This recipe looks insane. Thanks for being spectacular. xox

  31. Kate

    I’m gonna piggy back on #54 Sara here and ask: is there any reason beyond decadence to use heavy cream instead of milk/milk substitute? I would imagine milk would work just as well, but what do you think?

  32. deb

    Sara — I’m not sure about replacements per se but you might be able to skip it. It would make the base harder, but I’m not sure if it will really stay hard under a warm, gooey oatmeal topping so you might be fine.

    Kate — Cream is always used to make ganache. Milk doesn’t blend as smoothly/creamily. That said, if you don’t have cream around (you all can probably guess that I always do, right?), you might be fine with just milk for this purpose. I wouldn’t skimp on a dessert sauce where the final texture is more evident, but it’s buried here at the bottom and may not be an issue.

    Cindy — I think it would work better if the oatmeal part was firm — it’s firmish on top but really otherwise gooey, like a pecan pie. And oat crust would be wonderful, though.

    Ellen — Ah, so glad it wasn’t just me. I do find that when pies are par-baked, the bottom becomes harder to cut through, but this was the first time I simply couldn’t do it without almost gauging my pie tin (which, fortunately, was about $7 and thus not something I feel bad about) — I blamed the egg white.

    Cassie — I did not know that about MIT, but that’s awesome. We are pro-geek at the SK. Re, cutting the sugar back, if your’e going to, I’d vote for taking it from the brown sugar, maybe 1/4 cup down to start.

    Lisa — I don’t know if it was lingering morning sickness, but for whatever reason, even though it was definitely pretty and tasted the way I had wanted it to, nobody ate it, not even me. It just sat in the fridge! (Maybe I live with ingrates, too, of course.) I took that as a sign the recipe probably needed more work. I’ll get back to it, I promise.

    Christina — Any coins can be used. I remember Melissa Clark once saying she likes to keep a jar of older (pre-1982) pennies for this purpose, from when they were made from copper, which is a great conductor, in case you’re looking for a rummaging project. :)

    Angela — See my suggestion to Maura in #28.

    Jules — Yes, check back in 15 minutes and it will be done. I obviously got distracted midway through!

    Jay — I agree 1000x over. I’ve said as much before, but people seem to get really stuck on the corn part… regardless, I actually think that cane syrup/golden syrup tastes a million times better than corn syrup, which is why I switched anyway. But that for me is more of a cooking principle; I’d rather use the ingredient with more flavor than one with very little. And it’s about providing alternatives for people whether or not I share the concern.

  33. Rachel

    I have this cookbook! and I love it. I also really enjoy the notes you added here. I used dark maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and it was AMAZING.

  34. This one has been on my to-cook list but your description of this black bottom oatmeal pie as a cross between pecan pie and an oatmeal chocolate cookie may push me to finally get in the kitchen and bake it! Happy Pi Day. :)

  35. Kate

    hmm I know that’s true of ganache, but I’m thinking of a fudge recipe I make that uses regular (nondairy) milk. I think it’s definitely worth a shot! thanks

  36. JP

    My favorite part of this recipe is the typo: “Sever slightly warm or at room temperature.” So evocative somehow! The pie, itself, sounds delicious! Thanks, Deb!

  37. Alice

    RE everyone about cream subs–I used 3 tbsp milk with 1 tbsp butter instead and it ganached up just fine for me.

    Also used a combination of light corn syrup and dark brown sugar instead, since that’s what was taking up real estate in my pantry.

    Just pulled this out of the oven for the Pi Day pie contest in my office tomorrow. I have the Four and Twenty Blackbirds book but probably wouldn’t have picked this recipe were it not for your recommendation, Deb. Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. KimEllen

    A local restaurant is famous for their oatmeal pie (which I adore) but they include coconut in their recipe. Last weekend, a friend related a disappointing birthday when her mom bought her this famous pie – because my friend loves oatmeal – forgetting that she also loathes coconut. I happily sent her the timely link to this deliciousness and hope she can replace her bad birthday mojo. Thank you!

  39. Rosie

    Looks delicious, but why the pi day hate? This holiday was not cooked up by food media – I learned about it from my tenth-grade chemistry teacher in 1995 who most definitely knew nothing about food media. I don’t think it’s an excuse to eat pie; it’s a celebration of pie!

  40. deb

    JP — I’m leaving it in. :)

    Rosie — Wasn’t supposed to be hate, more like self-mockery. I was trying to figure how I’d explain Pi Day to someone who either didn’t write their dates the way we did or spoke another language where Pi doesn’t sound like pie and once my explanation hit 100+ words, I decided it was too complicated of a reason to eat pie. I had only heard about it on food media before. Regardless, we are pro-geeky holidays, especially if that means more pie for everyone.

    Alice — Thanks, sounds like a good plan for cream-free.

  41. This pie looks amazing, but my main motive for commenting is that this line cracked me up (and I had to tell you so):

    “But this doesn’t mean that you’re about to inhale a bottle of corn syrup in the name of a pie so sweet, your just bought your dentist another summer home.”


  42. Karen

    I agree with Jay about corn syrup vs HFCS, and with your take on it in this recipe too. And although I agree that light corn syrup has little flavor I disagree about dark corn syrup! My aunt always served Karo on pancakes during weekend sleepovers. I loved it. But it seems no one else ever uses it! That being said, I will have to seek out this golden syrup you speak of…

    For the bar option, you’d still par-bake the crust, yes?

  43. Sara

    Just pulled this out of the oven and it looks great! (Waiting to try it tomorrow, after it cools down overnight.) A few changes I did: I made a gluten-free version using TJ’s GF flour and instead of a pie crust made a short-bread style crust (just easier for my inexperienced pie-making self). Also used a combo of brown sugar, molasses, and honey instead of sugar + corn syrup. Lastly, I used 3 extra large eggs instead of 4 large. My pie was done at closer to 45-50 min. Looking forward to tasting it tomorrow and I’ll report back if it is anything short of delicious (as I expect it to be). Thanks Deb, for providing such flexible, easy to adapt recipes!

  44. Ronda

    I have never heard of oatmeal pie before. Fascinating! I already do my pecan pie with a bottom chocolate layer. I’ll have to try this! Of course, I’ll never lose weight reading this blog. ((Sigh)). But joy is better than a size 10… or 12… or 14…

  45. Jessica @ From Jessica’s Kitchen

    No need for reasons to eat pie around here. More like justifying the calories. This looks delicious and I think adaptable into a gluten free, dairy free version. I knew there would be good reason to buy more-than-should-have gf/df chocolate chips and oats on sale today! Looking forward to some Pi day baking :)
    Vicki (78) Enjoy Life chocolate chips are also Non-GMO and top 8 allergen free :)

  46. Deborah

    I made this last week as it’s Mother’s Day here in the UK on Sunday, and I wanted to test the recipe from their wonderful book… It was amazing! I didn’t have cream either and try to sub dairy when I can, so I used 60mls/1/4 cup of coconut milk instead of the cream and nobody could tell the difference, as such a small amount of the cream that the coconut was undetectable :). I will always make it in this manner now. My crust was hard to so I will try it with Ottolenghi’s sweet short crust this weekend instead as that has always been amazing!

  47. Deborah

    I also made it with milk choc and coconut milk as the ganache as my son is not at the age where he wants to appreciate dark chocolate yet… I’m still working on that part with the brownie argument! Anyway it was still awesome :)

  48. Instead of molasses or treacle in my pecan pie I use Basra date syrup. I can buy this easily in Middle Eastern shops in London, don’t know how readily available it would be elsewhere. I find the dark lovely date syrup has an affinity with pecans. I think I’ll try it with this pie too. Thank you very much for the recipe. Will certainly do a gluten free version with an oat/rice flour crust adapted from Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours – no starches, no gums!

  49. I LOVE the idea of adding chocolate on the bottom of a pie – I’ve never thought of it, and, you know, you could almost kid yourself that it’s healthy with all the oats and oatmeal!

  50. Deborah

    @ Laura, oh that sounds great! I often sub for date syrup too and I will try it in this. I’ve used the Basra date syrup before but find the organic Meridian date syrup better if you can find it. I get mine from my local health food store.

  51. Hey, even if you don’t understand it, please avoid full-on insulting minor holidays/traditions that bring other people joy. Some people like to eat gefilte fish and bitter herbs, others like to eat apple pie and celebrate circles and numbers, and some people like both. That’s cool. If we were all the same, the world would be boring.

  52. Tiny Twinkletoes

    Man, I was so sure that the Maine Inn link was going to lead to the movie “Spitfire Grill,” which just happens to be required viewing while eating pie. But have a box of tissues handy.

  53. Chad McKenna

    I have thousands of recipes and too many cookbooks. Amazon save me but I’m giving you shelf space now! My PDF files will continue to live. But It’s time to cook!

  54. deb

    Anna — This was intended as tongue-in-cheek. Although it’s possible my sense of humor is rusty as you’re not the first person in the comments to conclude that I must hate math holidays/wasn’t just trying to celebrate the idea of eating pie just because it’s delicious.

    Rose — I had no idea!

    Karen — I would, because with a bar it’s all about it being sturdy enough to pick it up. But I’d use more of the shortbread-style cookie crust I mention above.

    Eliza — I’m not sure I totally followed… [Update! Sorry, someone helpfully clarified on email. ‘Partake’ = ‘Parbake’ + autocorrect.] So, if you’re not going to parbake, I’d get the unbaked crust very cold (maybe 5 to 10 minutes in the freezer) and add the melted chocolate, this way it won’t melt the crust at all. Return it to the freezer to solidify and continue with the recipe.

  55. Lisa

    I’m going to attempt this with maple syrup. Part of this week will be spent making syrup, so that’s a good excuse. Plans with friends to try and eat pie at every meal tomorrow: brunch quiche, shepherd’s or meat or pizza pie and dessert!

  56. deb

    Re, substituting maple syrup — I’ve read since yesterday that both maple syrup and honey are sweeter than corn syrup; I’m not sure how much until I do more research but I think it’s worth considering dropping the light brown sugar by 1/4 cup. I mean, this will still be a sweet, gooey pie; it’s supposed to be. But it might keep it from feeling excessive.

  57. Cheryl McMahon

    Not sure how you do it, but these lush pictures have made a pie whose main ingredient is oatmeal look very sexy! Your photography is so beautiful. I have used brown rice syrup in making pecan pies with really nice results, in fact, I prefer it to corn syrup now and most likely will not go back…mixed at about 3/4 cup brown rice syrup to 1/4 cup maple syrup per cup, it makes a very tasty pie. I also mix some walnuts in with the pecans, but that is because I am from northern Vermont and, at this stage of winter’s game, we are all a tad squirrelly!

  58. Stephani

    Dangit, now I want pie! Chocolatey, gooey, sweet-as-sin pie. Adding ingredients to tonight’s grocery shopping list now.

  59. J

    Is it pregnancy that has you cooking such amazing things? I tried your slow cooked beef with tomatoes (yum!!!), have the ingredients for the pork cutlets, and now I must make this pie.
    You’re inspiring me lately!

  60. I love this! I make a version that is oatmeal raisin – like a cookie in a pie. Kind of amazing…but this with chocolate base – oh heavens!! And happy Pi day – did you know pi day is also Einstein’s Birthday – friday fun fact!

  61. Alice

    I’d like to report back that this recipe is officially a Pi Day Contest winner.
    Thank you, thank you, this is all so unexpected. ;)

  62. Joe

    Would you know why the corn syrup is needed in the filling? There’s already enough sugar. And the filling is unlikely to be hard without the syrup to soften it, since it will be lifted by the eggs.

  63. Catherine

    “Severing” the pie oddly still works in this context, very literal and descriptive. :) this pie sounds delicious!

  64. Maro

    you can also make a great ganache with coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk. it doesn’t cut down the fat, but it does side-step dairy issues. it will taste faintly of coconut if you don’t otherwise flavor/infuse it.

    when i make ganache for truffles, i do a ratio of one full-size (14ish oz?) can of coconut cream to one bag of dark chocolate chips (i use guittard bittersweet — they are super cheap at WinCo!). it’s a forgiving recipe, so you don’t have to worry about a slightly differing weight on cans or chips.

  65. It’s so funny that you posted this recipe from Four and Twenty Blackbirds because I was just looking through that cookbook today! My hunky husband–the world’s biggest pie fanatic–brought it home for me from the public library…just a few days before his birthday. (Subtle, right?) He’s definitely a fruit pie man, and I’ve got my eye on the sour cherry pie (a version with 38 candles on top) for him, but this oatmeal pie made my knees go all wobbly. Incidentally, his efforts in the cookbook section of our public library is also how I found YOU!

  66. madelief

    100% drool. Have been looking for pecan pie recipes on the internet and nothing tickles my fancy. THIS DOES! My problem is: I want to make it with both oats AND pecan nuts… Should I go 50/50? 60nuts/40oats? Thanks so much…

  67. caroline

    I made this last night with amber agave and some molasses, and it’s not quite as set as yours seems to be, but it’s still pretty right.

    Thanks, as ever, Deb!

  68. Kim

    Been out of the cooking loop fora while now. Clicked through from FB, hopped around a little, and oh, Deb, so thrilled for you and yours! Congratulations! (The pie looks amaze balls too – I love me some oatmeal.)

  69. Ewa

    Thank you for posting the temperature also in Celsius now! Makes life so much easier. BTW, I’m making this pie today (in a springform tin – I do not own a pie one). Greetings from Poland!

  70. Emily

    Bravo Deb for a delicious and timely recipe! Not just timely for Pi-Day, although I too am a fan of all holidays, math or otherwise, but for an empty day perfect for trying new recipes. The boyfriend is at work, the kitchen is (mostly) clean, the fridge is full – it’s a rare convergence of the necessary parts. Thanks for the recipe and happy Saturday!

  71. Lisa

    Soooo I made this last night with honey – honey we harvested last year from our bee hive – and I can report it is absolutely delicious. I also made it with the base Deb recommended for her apricot pistachio squares, but put it in a pie plate, so I am still calling it pie. I don’t love pie crust – well, unless it is with a fruit pie, than gimme – so I didn’t think it would add anything here. It is definitely rich and sweet, but it isn’t tooth achingly sweet, at least for me. The chocolate makes it extra special. There is an oatmeal pie at a local restaurant which is delicious and I am so excited I made something EVEN BETTER in my own kitchen. Happy Pi day!

  72. Made this yesterday and we weren’t going to dig in until today but well… pecan pie is DH’s favorite and this is pretty close. I only partially blind baked (15 minutes) and still felt the crust was too tough on the edges. I made a dairy free chocolate layers using almond milk, a tsp of refined coconut oil to make up for the lower fat content and to keep it more liquid and a smidge of honey (plus the chocolate), I think it worked out pretty well. We also ended up with 4 layers – A delicious crunchy oat layer, a custard layer (fine but I try and avoid it with my pecan-like pies), chocolate, and crust.

    I’m not sure why the custard separated out? It felt, volume wise, that it had a lot of egg to oat ratio. Oh, and it’s just fine right out of the fridge.

  73. Gail

    Love the look of this! Thank you!

    Typo in the post: “your just bought your dentist…” instead of “you just bought…”

  74. Liz

    I just made the 9×13 version of the bars; I wish I’d doubled the chocolate. This amount doesn’t quite cover the the surface area of 9×13. I also think I maybe let my cream get too hot- there was an oily liquid that separated from the mixture when I whisked in the chocolate. Does anyone know if this is something that can happen if you over-boil the cream or did something else go wrong?

  75. MaryM

    This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it out on my bridge bunch! However, the term “black-bottom-pie” brings to mind a completely different kind of pie I remember from childhood. It had the chocolate bottom but a custard-type filling. No clue what it tasted like; they wouldn’t serve any to the kids because it had some kind of alcohol in it. Sounds wonderful to me. Any thoughts?

  76. Andrea

    Just put two of these in the oven, with slight variations, and will report back:
    Pie #1: mix of honey and molasses (didn’t read the comments, so didn’t see the suggestion to drop the sugar…maybe edit recipe?), fair amount of brandy glugged into the top layer
    Pie #2: honey/molasses again, no brandy, half the butter subbed out for peanut butter. Mini chocolate chips added to top layer. Needless to say this one is going with my middle-schooler to his math class’s Pi Day celebration…

  77. Amy

    My “Black Bottom Oatmeal” Pie Bars are in the oven! I like a thick and gooey bar so I didn’t want the 9×13. I went with a 5×12 pan. I have never commented on here but wanted to say that Deb… you are my GURU! I come here first for inspiration. I’ll let you know how these come out!

  78. Megan

    I made the cookie bar version in an 8 x 8 with the shortbread base recipe that you linked to. I was a little worried because when I poured the oat mixture in it went over the top of the shortbread base, but they baked and sliced up just fine! I ended up sprinkling a little bit of Maldon sea salt on top of a slice (full disclosure — I got very distracted while making these and couldn’t remember if I added the salt I was supposed to add or not). Very tasty and very easy!

  79. Lindsay

    Made it tonight – yummy! Substituted heavy cream with greek yogurt slightly diluted with water. Tasted like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

  80. Becca

    I made this tonight and it’s delicious. It took about 1:10-1:15 to bake in my oven, at the correct temp. I used the golden syrup, which I cut back by 2 tablespoons. I parbaked the crust (without egg white) and it was very hard to cut through- we ended up just picking up to bite through it. Do you think a shorter bake, maybe 15 minutes, would help that? Anyway, thanks as always for a great recipe.

  81. Melanie

    Long time follower, first time commenter. I made this today and it is good – two things I found interesting were the ginger and the chewiness of the oats. I say interesting because in one bite I did not like it and in the next I thought it worked. Any thoughts from anyone else about the ginger or the oats? I used old fashioned rolled oats and toasted as directed. I also used King Golden Syrup. I think it did the trick. Deb, thank you for keeping us inspired!

  82. Barbara McIver

    Happy Pi Day, all! Deb, my pie is in the oven at this very moment. My content would have filled a deep dish pan much better than the standard 9″ recommended. It’s going to kill me to dispose of this caramel-y oatmeal filling. Oh well, I know the pie will revive me this evening. Thank you!

  83. Sarah

    I was so excited to make this pie, and my family kept walking by it all afternoon asking if it was time to dig in. Unfortunately for us the center was completely liquid when we cut into it, even though I added an extra 15 minutes to the cooking time. I wish I had come back while it was cooking to see that the cooking time was longer for others, too. Maybe I would have kept it in longer rather than worrying about burning. Oh well! I don’t think I missed any other steps. :-/

  84. Catherine

    Definitely going to make this pie asap, even though (sadly) Pi Day is almost to a close. With that said, I understood your humor, so there’s that…

  85. Sarah FL

    I made the bar version of these today with both a) the suggested cookie bottom and b) the honey + molasses substitution. Delicious – if obviously more honey-flavored – outcome! I would, however, strongly recommend doubling the cookie part of the recipe even for an 8 x 8 pan (Deb, I couldn’t tell if you were only suggesting that for a 9 x 13 or not) – it will help keep the bar together! In the future, I’ll seek out either the golden syrup or corn syrup as I found the honey flavor a little more overwhelming and also too sweet – I added another 1/2 tsp of salt to help balance it.

  86. Being gluten and dairy free did not stop me from trying this today to celebrate pi day! In addition to the gf/df subs I also used blonde coconut nectar and an extra egg. It came out delicious and tasted kind of like a naughty nut-free pecan pie with that decadent chocolate layered crust. I shared it on my blog and my readers agree – great pie recipe! Thanks for sharing this recipe Deb!

  87. Mary

    My daughter posted last week on FB so made for 3.14.15 Pi day yesterday and we loved it! Flavor was amazing–sprung for a Ghiradelli bittersweet 4 oz bar and that worked very well + flavor great. Next time, will try Quick Oats instead of Rolled for texture. Thanks to those who tried as bars–plan to try that too.

  88. Hi Deb! I am in 6th grade and I love your blog…and your cookbook! I am cooking all of the recipes in the cookbook–“Julie and Julia” Style. Four and Twenty Blackbirds is right near my house and it is so crazy how crowded it gets. We have to order Thanksgiving pies a month in advance. Could you still use pecan pie filling with the chocolate for this recipe?

  89. Allie

    Made this last night just in time for Pi Day — it was delicious straight out of the oven but actually even better this morning for breakfast. Used the dark corn syrup because why not, and the cooking time was perfect. SO GOOD! Might make another one today.

  90. Juliann

    Oatmeal pie is our family’s madelaine. My mother made it for Thanksgiving, and it is my youngest brother’s favorite pie. He was thrilled that I made one for his birthday. Chocolate oatmeal pie might be gilding the lily, but I think I need to try. I have quick oats, not rolled oats in the pantry. What do you think about using the quick oats?

  91. Really love this recipe! Inspired me to make something simular.
    In my country you never hear of oatmeal pie, just made a recipe with oats for bread!
    Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  92. Ami

    I think I’m going to have a go at this next week. I like it when you don’t have to venture out to get a million different ingredients. I think I’ve got all of these in the cupboard! Thanks for this!

  93. Clare

    Made this today (after making your Sour Cherry pie for Pi Day). I am a big oatmeal fan and really liked it a lot (so did the whole family). I subbed regular corn syrup (2/3 cup), maple syrup (about 1/4 cup), plus molasses to get up to a cup. Cooked in 50 minutes. Did not parbake crust (your butter crust recipe). Baked in a glass pie pan. I agree w/you and others that this would make a great bar cookie.

    The sour cherry pie was good. The almond–finely ground oatmeal top was amazing, but the interior seemed a bit ordinary. I use Oregon brand canned sour cherries (they’re the only sour cherries I can find in CA) and normally I doctor them up w/a bit of almond extract and some cinnamon as well as tapioca because they’re watery. Probably ought to have done that this time. The topping was excellent, though–thank you.

  94. Ken

    This is by far the holy grail of oatmeal inventions! And we can map out the mathematical reason behind eating Pie as well. But who cares about that. Pie is pie and I’m in, no reason needed beautiful!

  95. Bess

    I 100% replaced the corn syrup with honey, and I found the honey flavor to be a bit overwhelming. I’m a beekeeper, so I’m really into honey! I should have done some research like some of the above commenters and made some sort of honey/molasses combination, or maybe just reduced the amount of honey I used. It was super sweet (and I normally don’t find things too sweet).

  96. Re good chocolate to use: Agreed on Trader Joe’s “pound plus” bittersweet bars (I get the 72% dark chocolate). Ghirardelli also makes a nice 4 oz. bittersweet bar, great for baking or just snacking. At least in CA, Target sells these in their baking aisle.

  97. Melissa

    I brought this in to work on Friday and everyone *lost their minds*, they loved it so much. Thank you! (I was declared Winner of Pi Day, woot!)

  98. Katharine

    Following up, I made these as 9×13 bars, good! I pre-baked the crust/shortbread layer for 20 min at 350 and then baked the filled bars for an additional 40 mins. The crust was about half the thickness of the total bar, so next time I think I’ll just 1.5 the crust amount instead of doubling. Chocolate and oatmeal layers tasted good in the pie proportions, much more would have been too sweet.
    I also subbed the honey+molasses for corn syrup, and I didn’t love it… next time will try dark corn syrup as written.

  99. Kelsey

    Made this over the weekend for a bunch of friends and it was a success! I par-baked the crust but I followed your suggestion and didn’t use the egg wash and it still turned out great.

  100. Gail

    Just made this using the golden syrup that has been sitting neglected in my pantry ever since I bought it for a Donna Hay recipe years ago. Cooking time was just right, filling wasn’t too sweet…

    The crust alone is worth commenting on – it’s so easy to work with, and came out perfectly (I didn’t parbake – too lazy). I’m keeping those crust proportions on my fridge as my go-to. I loved it!

    Anyway, I called it a “chocolate granola bar” pie lest anyone balk at the idea that I was getting one over on them by serving something too … healthy, but it was a big hit with all the people other than me, big and little, in my house. I’m not a huge oatmeal fan, however, so while it came out perfectly, it kind of just made me think about pecan pie with chocolate – I missed the nuts..

  101. I made this over the weekend and it was delicious. I went with my favorite lard/butter pie crust recipe instead of the one you suggested, but parbaking was essential. Thank you!

  102. Sunshine

    I made the bar version of these and it’s delicious! But something very strange happened: the gooey caramel “layer” migrated to underneath the crust, leaving the oats behind at the top. It’s still amazing, but now very messy to eat! I figure I’ll try again (maybe with higher sides on the base?) but has anyone else had this happen? Any suggestions? And thanks for the awesome site, Deb!

  103. deb

    If you made these as cookie bars — It’s sounding to me like a few of you felt the short crust as suggested for an 8×8 was too thick, and others too thin. I’d love more feedback, if you tried it. I know I’ll be making these for the next bake sale I’m talked into, but not sure when that will be. (I’ll definitely add more solid notes when I do.)

    Baking time — It sounds like it took longer for a few of you and maybe less time for one person? (I actually thought I needed 10 extra minutes but we felt it was a hair overbaked, and so I figured it was safer to stick with the recommended time.)

    Gail — Thank you, now fixed.

    Katie, re separated goo layer — I had that too, but so has every pecan pie I’ve ever had, so I figured it was correct or at least what they intended. (My husband is pro-goo in pecan pies as well.) However, I might be like you in that I prefer it a little less gooey. I think you could bump the oats to 2 cups to get closer to avoiding this next time.

    Sonia — Wow, thank you! I think you could use pecans, but I haven’t tested it that way. I have a hunch, though… I’d probably start with 2 cups toasted, chopped pecans; it’s possible you’d want up to 2 1/3 or 2 1/2 cups, but I think there are worse things than a too-gooey pie. :)

    madeleif — I might (re, my comment to Sonia above) go above the 1.5 cup mark entirely. Maybe a full cup of pecans and a full cup of oats, or even 1 1/2 cups pecans to 1 cup oats. I pulled the pecan estimate from pecan pie recipes on the web, which seem to align towards 2 cups pecans for a 3-egg level filling. This is a 4 egg filling, hence I was suggesting a little more…

    Courtney — Your husband sounds awesome! (I’m totally not biased here.)

    Melanie — Very interesting. So, I didn’t get chewiness with the oats but the ginger, I had the same experience as you. One bite, I’d love it. The next, it would be too noticeable. I’d just opened a brand new jar and figured it was extra-potent. I’m also not a huuuuuge fan of ginger (unless with a swirl of other fall/winter spices, or under an assault of flavors in Indian or Thai food) so I blamed my own weirdness. But now it sounds like it wasn’t just me.

    Becca — A shorter parbake might help. I need to experiment more because I often find the same — it’s just so hard, it’s distracting.

  104. Holly

    I substituted honey for the corn syrup and the “batter” was quite delicious, it’s just taking an awful long time to bake. I have an oven that is true to temp, but I’m at 70 minutes and counting, and the middle is still sloshing around when I nudge the pie. The smell coming from the oven is divine, though! I guess this will be breakfast!

  105. Liz

    I made this on Sat (for Pi Day), and like others, needed to bake it for an extra 15 minutes, and even then the center was a bit gooey (while the edges were getting toward too crisp). I used your crust recipe, par-baked it w/o egg wash, and used dark corn syrup (couldn’t find golden syrup). It was devoured by my friends, one of whom even commented that she thought it was the best pie she’s ever had. High praise!

  106. deb

    Baking time: Now updated to reflect what several of you have commented, that up to 15 minutes extra might needed. Hope that helps in the future.

  107. Beth Clark

    Made it on Pi Day too. Recipe worked very well. Dough was easy to handle and perfectly buttery and flaky. I used light corn syrup, replacing one tablespoon with molasses, rolled oats, 70% Chocolove, and baked less that expected time in my convection oven. People loved it, nice texture and not too sweet. I will make again. Especially the crust.

  108. Joanna

    Yep, I needed extra oven time too – 20 minutes more than the recipe stated (though 15 might have been ok, I didn’t check at that point).

  109. Agreed with the other commenters who think reducing the amount of sugar if using honey are right. It was way too sweet for me (I’m not a huge sweets person, but this was for a group), and even my friend with a super sweet-tooth thought it was definitely on the sweet side. Good with a cup of strong coffee though!

    That said, I love the concept of this. I also added about a cup of toasted pecans to mine, which were a great addition (and, honestly, I also replaced the chocolate with butterscotch chips to replicate my favorite cookie. That definitely contributed to the sweetness, but that was 100% my fault)

  110. Amanda

    Deb- I don’t think I’ve ever commented despite lurking here for years! I love your site and recipes never disappoint. I also thought these would be great as bars but sadly my attempt failed. I used the crust recipe you recommended and baked it a little extra. The flavor of the bars as a whole was good, so I can only imagine as pie it would be as delicious as I imagined. But the texture of the bars was all wrong- the lovely caramel-y filling seeped into the crust, making it especially mushy despite the extra baking, and the top ended up dry and flavorless as a result. I will definitely try this again as a pie, but the bar idea may need more tweaking! I’d love to hear if you have more success when you try it.

  111. dancnbns

    My son’s GF is a former roommate of the Blackbird sisters. She gave me a copy of their book when it came out in 2013. Every recipe I’ve made from this book is amazing – the salted honey pie is our all time favorite (we have bee hives). Kind of an exotic version of chess pie. I understand they have a line around the block and their pies sell out FAST every day.

    For what it’s worth, we have found that if you use a really good quality bittersweet chocolate the pie is not too sweet.

  112. myopia

    Hi! Could a corn syrup substitute be sesame oil and maybe a little honey for extra viscosity? Love your recipes, love your writing. Thanks.

    1. deb

      myopia — I’m not sure what sesame oil would be in there for? Honey should work fine, but it does sound like those that made it with honey wished they’d dropped the sugar a little (this is mentioned in the notes) as it turned out more sweet.

  113. Deb

    I am anxious to make this as bar cookies. I would love a link to the shortbread-type cookie pastry for the crust part, and the re-worked ingredients’ list for a 13 X 9″ pan. The recipe has engendered such a flurry of great comments, it seems only natural that a secondary result might be the bar cookie recipe that could be enjoyed as well! Loving all your recipes, Deb. Thank you.

  114. priscilla

    I made this as cookie bars in a 13×9 pan, using your suggested cookie base.
    -I made 1.5x the amount of the base layer, not double. While patting it out, I had a bit of a hard time getting it to cover the entire pan, but in the finished product I think that amount was perfect. I doubled the ingredients for the chocolate layer but kept the oatmeal goo filling amount the same. My freezer is completely full (no room for an extra pan), so I put some water and ice cubes in a sheet pan, and cooled the base and chocolate in that. I ended up baking it for 63 min. Next time I might prebake the base layer 1-2 min less (I did 15 min this time).
    For comment #138- I also experienced the ginger variation (I didn’t think it was too strong, but it was more noticeable in some bites than in others) but I didn’t think the oats were particularly chewy.
    I think this is a great recipe- thanks Deb!

  115. Erin

    I just made this (haven’t made pie in years), and it was phenomenal! We didn’t have corn syrup, but used about 3/4 cup agave nectar and 1/4 cup molasses–seemed to do the trick. Not too sweet, and set up just fine (perhaps a little crumblier than intended, but we liked it that way).

  116. Lauren

    I made this on the weekend and it was amazing! I didn’t have corn syrup and after the feedback about honey I decided to try coconut nectar (available at Whole Foods) and it was perfect!! Sweet but not too sweet. This is a good option for people looking for a substitute.

  117. Maro

    so, i attempted bars this weekend with mixed results, really my own silly fault. i didn’t spend enough time paying attention to bars notes and made it with the 8×8 amount of crust — NOT ENOUGH. i should have doubled the crust and made it in maybe a 9×9.

    second, i would not recommend trying to push the crust up the sides, but rather to double (or 1.5x) the amount of ganache and get a really solid layer on the crust, all the way edge to edge. the freezing step was spot-on for getting the ganache to harden into a barrier.

    due to my oversights/lack of planning, my bars are very very sticky, with the (entirely too much) oatmeal topping having seeped down to the bottom, sogging the crust and making for a less layered and more unified sticky bar. i actually had to hold back some of the oatmeal topping b/c i had way too much for an 8×8 pan (how did i not anticipate that?!)

    however, still very delicious — the ganache really pulls it together and brings a lot to the table. definitely on my “try again” list!

  118. Erika

    For years, I have drooled over Pecan Pie but as I’m allergic to nuts, I’ve never been able to partake. But this! This looks like a dream to me — and a dream that I can actually eat! Thank you…

  119. Sid

    Hi! This was one of the strangest pie ideas I had ever seen, so, of course I had to make it right away! So delicious, with the creamy ganache and the crispy caramelized oat topping was such a great surprise, and so good. What a wonderful texture and flavor combination.

    The one change I made was to use rice syrup in place of the corn syrup. I love the depth of flavor of it, and I always use just a little bit less, when ever I do substitute it any recipe, even though it doesn’t seem any sweeter, but it does have a slight caramel flavor.

    So thank you for opening up a whole new delicious taste sensation. You always do!

  120. Sara R.

    Whoa. Made this for Pi Day and loved it! I did make a number of subs, mostly because I was home with 2 kids and couldn’t go to the store. I used shredded coconut instead of oats and coconut cream instead of heavy cream. It was heavenly!

  121. I need to make me a pie! Being English, I associate pie with being more savoury but this looks absolutely fabulous and I must give it a crack. I just love the texture combination, I’m such a sucker for crunch and creamy together. YUMMMEEEE.

  122. Victoria

    I can report that the bar version of this went over big with the Anglicans on Rose Sunday (way better than the traditional Simnel Cake usually eaten on this day – really, another holiday requiring awful fruitcake?). I brought it to my church gig, and it did not reappear the following week as a thawed version (ew) as most of the baked goods offered at Fellowship Hour usually do – they were all gone within 15 minutes. Also my husband might have attempted to hide the pan under his pillow before I got them out the door. He is not even sorry.

    I used a double recipe of the shortbread base as recommended by Deb, a 1 1/2 recipe of the chocolate layer, and the given recipe of the oatmeal layer. Pronounced by all as “even more delicious than those potato chip cookies last week!” Nut allergies were thrilled as well. Thanks, Deb!

  123. amy

    I just wanted to chime in with my experience making the bars. I made the 8×8 version using the dough from the other recipe and followed those instructions for parbaking. I had no complaints with the crust, it held up great and didn’t absorb any of the liquid. My issue was more with the filling, it was a lot for an 8×8 pan and it didn’t set quite right. Also the oats didn’t really rise to the top, they stayed mixed with the filling. Neither one of those things was a dealbreaker for me, the bars were delicious and they held up really well to freezing and thawing.
    I’m going to make it again in a 13×9 pan and double the crust and chocolate but keep the filling amount the same.

  124. Grace

    Yum, I came wait to make this! What does the vinegar do to the filling? Could I leave it out or would that alter the texture/flavor of the pie?

  125. deb

    Brittany — I’m not sure because I haven’t cooked with it a lot. What I know about it is that it’s sweeter than sugar, so you’d probably want to use less, but of course, too much less and it might throw off volumes. That said, Commenters #115 and #183 mention using agave, so it might help to start there.

    Grace — It adds complexity, helps balance the sweetness, and we really liked it here. I am sure the pie will still work without it.

  126. Marianne

    Hi Deb, there is a teeny typo at the end of the ‘Bake’ paragraph. I think you mean to ‘serve’ rather than ‘sever’ your pie :)

    I’m def going to make this for my next family dinner – which just happens to be this coming Sunday. Yay.

  127. Jen

    I’m making 12 pies for a friend’s wedding and am looking for something I can make a week or two ahead of time and then pass off day of or night before to the caterer for baking. Do you think this pie would be a good candidate? It looks amazing! And a bonus that it is nut-free for so many guests.
    Thank you, Deb!

  128. Katie

    I just made this pie and let me say, it is absolutely amazing. Crazy amazing. Oh my god amazing. I used homestyle oats and dark corn syrup. I pretty much made the recipe exactly as stated and it baked for about an hour. I didn’t want to wait for it to cool, though, so popped it into the freezer for about a half hour, which is all we could wait before digging in. And, let me say, while I’m sure it’s equally awesome when cooled, it was so good still warm and gooey. Amazing, amazing pie. Honestly, I think it may be one of my favorites ever.

  129. Laurel W

    Made this as written yesterday (with Golden Syrup). One of my best pies ever. Had another piece for breakfast this morning (using the presence of oatmeal as a convenient excuse) and it’s EVEN better the second day. So a great make ahead for company. Like a really heavenly bar cookie in pie form.

  130. Em


    Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie slices on Instagram (dying to try one of the custard ones – have you tried the Matcha one?) and even though I’m not much of a pie fan myself, just from the photos it makes me want to make pie! I don’t think it will be a regular occurrence though, so do you 1) like the pie pan that you are using, 2) think that I should hold off on purchasing one myself if it’s not going to be in regular rotation, 3) think I could use a loaf pan or the square pans that I DO have (adjusting the amount like you’ve suggested here with the oatmeal pie/crust ratio) and forget the pretty circle pie shape?

    Thanks and hope you and your new baby and family are doing well!


  131. Em

    omg I apologize, one last comment about pie, I swear…you mentioned that if we use honey instead in this recipe, since honey is sweeter than corn syrup, you could adjust/reduce the amount of sugar, but do you think that omitting the sugar completely will affect the outcome of the dish (crackly-ness of the filling, etc)? And is there something else that I could replace it with? I was also eyeing the salty honey pie recipe seen elsewhere, and it just seems like it would cause too much of a sugar coma…

  132. deb

    Em — I don’t remember which brand it is but it’s similar, just a generic standard-sized pie tin. The Fat Daddio should work fine (but don’t put it in the dishwasher; most dishwasher detergents destroy aluminum). I think it’s worth it to buy a cheap pie pan if you like to make pie but you’ll be okay if you don’t. You can use a springform (and then open the sides for easy unmolding) or a standard cake pan (but it won’t be as easy to remove slices from, not that this is the hugest deal). If you have an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan, I often turn pies into cookie bars. Here’s an example that would be somewhat close to this; you can use that easy crust and process instead here. I wouldn’t remove the sugar completely without expecting a change in texture. I might reduce it by 20-25% if using honey.

  133. Kiera

    So I have these in the oven right now subbing coconut milk for the heavy cream, earth balance for the butter, and your peanut butter cookie dough for the curst as a bar. Eager to see how they turn out.

  134. Andrew

    3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light brown sugar + 1 cup dark corn syrup
    That’s one huge amount of sweetness.

    Golden Syrup is way better than Corn Syrup
    I used Treacle to replace both your ingredients.
    Also reduced the amount which worked fine.
    Treacle made it a lot darker but who cares.
    Love your work

  135. Patty


    Thank you, thank you for all your wonderful recipes. Your website is my go-to place when I am cooking. I can’t wait for my pie to come out of the oven. I just have one small quibble. Pi Day was not invented by the food media. As a mathematics lover, married to a physicist and mom to a middle school math teacher, we take Pi Dy seriously in our home. I recommend this website: to you. Anything that gets people interested in math is terrific in my book.

  136. Sahil

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it was DELICIOUS. We didn’t want to use corn syrup, so we dissolved 1.25 cups of brown sugar into 1/4 cup hot bourbon. It was probably the best decision I have made in a while. Not overly sweet, despite the already generous amount of sugar. Indulgent, yes, but it was Thanksgiving, so we embraced it.

  137. tlg

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it really was a hit though very, very sweet. Flavor was fantastic, I used golden syrup and extra dark chocolate. I think it might be too rich/sweet to have as a regular rotation but perfect for the holidays. Thanks!

  138. Brooke

    Hello!! As a very very first time pie maker (or any baked good maker, for that matter), I bought a pre-made frozen pie crust (sacrilege, I know, but I wasn’t ready to attempt homemade crust just yet). I bought a “normal” (not deep dish) 9-inch crust, but when I put the filling in, it overflowed onto the counter before I got more than half of it in. Thankfully, the crust came in 2-packs, so I filled the other with just the goopy filling and popped them both in the oven. They are still cooking and I hope they turn out, but just FYI for those who may also be as timid about crust as I am. Had I realized it, I would’ve halved the recipe or divided both the chocolate and filling between both crusts. Oh well! We’ll see how it turns out! :)