Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

November  8, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by Genti & Hyers
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

This pie has slowly but surely become a sort of cult favorite in the pie shop. We loved it from the start for its oatmeal–chocolate chip cookie quality; it’s like a pie version of that classic recipe. In olden days, this pie (minus the chocolate) was dubbed “poor man’s pecan pie” because oats are far less expensive than pecans. We up the ante by adding a decadent layer of dark chocolate ganache on the bottom. —ElsenEM

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (we use 70%), chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  1. This recipe uses our All Butter Crust for a 9-inch single-crust pie, partially pre-baked and cooled.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175 °C). Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once oats are toasted, remove baking sheet from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (160°C).
  4. To make the ganache layer, bring the heavy cream just to a boil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces. Swirl the cream around to distribute and cover the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk gently until smooth. Scrape the ganache into the cooled pie shell and spread evenly over the bottom. Transfer the shell to the freezer to set the ganache while making the filling.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, ginger, salt, and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the cooled oats.
  6. Place the ganache-coated pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and pour in the filling.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 55 minutes, rotating 180° when the edges start to set, 30 to 35 minutes through baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is slightly firm to the touch but still has some give (like gelatin).
  8. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours.
  9. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathryn McMorrow
    Kathryn McMorrow
  • Elizabeth France
    Elizabeth France
  • Tracie
  • missfats
  • amysarah
Sisters Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen were born and raised in the rural farm town of Hecla, South Dakota. Their mother and her sisters owned and operated the popular local restaurant, the Calico Kitchen, for which their grandmother Liz made all the pies. After pursuing different careers—Melissa in finance and Emily in sculpture and photography—they established their business in Brooklyn. They originally custom-baked pies in their apartment before opening Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie and coffee shop in 2010. Named “Artisan of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011, they have received critical praise for their pies and have been featured in a variety of food media including the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and New York magazine.

16 Reviews

scariana November 1, 2020
i followed this recipe exactly the first time i made it and it tasted so good — like a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie in pie form, but gooier (so therefore better). the second time, i used a pre-made gluten-free crust that i parbaked and substituted pancake syrup (the kind with corn syrup, not actual maple syrup!) for the dark corn syrup and it was just as good, especially with some homemade whipped cream! highly highly recommend
Kathryn M. July 27, 2017
Read all the comments. It sounded good but smells heavenly while baking. I inceased the recipe by 1/2 and baked it in two 8-inch pans. I had to use @ 1/3 light corn syrup (7/8 cup dark corn syrup, @ 1/8 cup molasses, & 1/2 cup light cirn syrup) because I didn't have enough of dark. Also used Bob's RedMill "quick-cooking" Scottish oatmeal, which should give a nice chew to the texture. It smells so good. Can't wait to share!
Elizabeth F. November 28, 2014
This pie was a hit at Thanksgiving! One of my favorite pies is chocolate bourbon pecan pie. It's always made me sad that I couldn't share it with my pecan-allergic husband, so this was a great alternative. Next time I'm going to add bourbon. :)
Jennifer November 19, 2014
Can I make this in a tart dish?
Tracie November 19, 2014
Could I make this pie the weekend before Thanksgiving? Should I freeze it in between?
missfats March 12, 2014
Incredibly simple: the ideal pie for everyday eating. The recipe was awesome. Followed the directions to the line and it came out perfectly. The pie reminded me of breakfast so I adapted it to include banana. Welcome to breakfast pie:
Claireified March 11, 2014
How much should I pre-bake the crust? What time and temperature?
amysarah December 1, 2013
I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was fantastic - very sweet, almost more of a confection than a pie, a bit like Momofuku's famous Crack Pie (but even better, I think.) I added about 3/4 - 1 cup toasted coconut along with the oats - inspired by one of my favorite cookies (oatmeal/coconut/chocolate chip.) Made it extra delicious.
Miss F. November 28, 2013
This pie did not work out for me at all. I cooked it at 325 as suggested for about 70 minutes and it never cooked all the way through or solidified much at all, not sure what happened. But the gooey mess afterwards tasted like it would have been delicious had it cooked properly.
Michelle November 27, 2013
WOW! Just dug in to ours. Cheated by using a WF Spelt crust - actually am really glad as it created a lovely texture for the pie. I subbed Lyles Golden for the dark corn syrup but otherwise pretty much made as written. I HUGELY recommend.
Bex A. November 25, 2013
THIS IS MY FAVORITE PIE OF YOURS. I am so excited because you did not offer it for holiday preorder and I was sad.
Hiromi M. November 24, 2013
It sounds like it is too sweet as is. I wonder I can use 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 syrup. I will have to try...
Chrisi November 19, 2013
I just made this tonight and am very pleased with the results! I'm telling myself I did it to test for a bake sale donation next week, but, let's face it, I'm a sucker for trying new and unusual dessert recipes!
I try not to use corn syrup, so as a subsitute I used dark brown sugar instead of light and instead of corn syrup I used honey. Taking in SideworkEnds suggestions, I also added a pinch extra of ginger and Mexican vanilla extract instead of standard (it adds a hint of cinnamon - or you could use standard vanilla and cinnamon). I usually make pie crust from scratch, but, because this technically was a test, I used a deep dish 9 inch frozen crust I had on hand, and it worked out just fine.
This is definitely a sweet pie - it's like a deconstructed oatmeal chocolate chip cookie met a pecan pie (minus the pecans). Overall, simple to put together, and great end result!
SideworkEnds November 18, 2013
I was intrigued by this recipe and made the pie over the weekend as an audition for a Thanksgiving dessert.
I like it a lot, but am not in love with it. I find it just a bit too sweet. I think next time I make this, I will ratchet up the ginger a notch and add a bit of cinnamon as well.
On the positive side, the all butter pie crust recipe is flawless, and given the sweetness factor, this pie is a perfect companion to a strong cup coffee or tea. Also, it doesn't say in the recipe, but in the book the chefs advise lightly buttering the pie plate before laying in the crust. Which is a revelation. I can't believe I never did that before.
Velauria November 13, 2013
Very unique! I'd try that for sure.
Joey M. November 12, 2013