The ultimate pie in a pinch interpretation.
Admittedly, there may be those high couture ranch chefs who will turn their noses at the thought of crushing up a package of granola bars, tossing the contents in with a fine selection of other pantry and fridge staples, scraping it all into a store-bought frozen pie crust and turning it out as if it were the latest Julia Child creation. Then again, those women aren’t likely driven to ride one, or any number of horses in a day, muck stalls, have little ones tripping around their legs, hold down a full time job, manage the place, or even – all of the above. Not to mention, live 40 minutes from the nearest grocery store. Or, have spouses who think nothing of inviting the half dozen arena hangers-on in for an impromptu dinner. For those of us who find ourselves in these scenarios on a regular basis, last minute inceptions we can whip up from a half-laden pantry are life-savers. This simple pie handily accomplishes just that, while giving a grand nod to the resourcefulness of our great-grandmothers who produced similar delicious creations with nothing more than a bit of flour, lard and molasses (think the ubiquitous prairie staple- shoofly pie).
Please, do us a favor, and don’t set this on the table with a demure whiff of “didn’t have enough time” and “this will have to do” murmuring, but rather, present it in your fanciest pie plate with a flourish of unapologetic pioneer pride, and know that, despite its non-descriptive ingredients, this is one of the tastiest pies your family and guests will ever have the luxury of biting into.
Granola Bar Pie
Tenderflake deep dish or other similar frozen pie crust
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches, about 3/4 cup), crushed*
1/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup milk chocolate baking chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F
– Place pie crust in nine-inch pie plate, and follow the box directions for prepping the pie.
– In large bowl, microwave butter until melted.
– Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended.
– Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs.
– Stir crushed granola bars, oats, baking chips and walnuts (if using) into mixture.
– Pour into crust-lined pie plate and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown.
– Cool for a bit, and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream.
* To easily crush granola bars, use a rolling pin to crush bars prior to unwrapping.