It’s when we are pushed to the limit, that we are the epitome of what distinguishes us as human. Whether it’s a mother lifting a car off of her trapped baby, a runner who falls during a race from a torn hamstring and finishes with the help of his father, a dog that pulls his fallen comrade to safety, a 7-year old boy who saves his sisters and mother, or baking a pie using only bread crumbs and precious little else. Resourcefulness born of necessity. That’s what that is.
In a world where convenience is like that Staples button that we can push and have any ingredient we fancy at our fingertips, the art of winging it is a fast-dying one. When I was confronted with half a loaf of bread in imminent danger of mold monsters, I had two choices: throw it out, or *gulp* eat it. So, I ate it.
Well. Not all of it at once. Rather, I did what peasants of old would when faced with similar circumstances: baked it in a pie. And, Oh. My God. Sweet, caramely, chocolately, ooey-gooey, bread-crumby spectacular why-aren’t-there-cooler-adjectives-to-describe-this-pie-ness!! The only drawback is that it’s a pie born of leftovers…so, ideally, you’d wait until you have half a loaf of dying bread to make it, because it seems not-so practical to buy a loaf just to make this pie. Oh, convenience button…I’m such a hypocrite, and I blame you. Because I totally would go out and buy a loaf of bread to make this pie. Or just a box of panko. But panko can’t make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So, bread it is.
Makes 1 pie. I didn’t measure the pie pan, b’cause I’m lazy.
2 cups Bread crumbs, divided
3/4 cups Sugar
1 stick Butter, melted, divided and conquered.
1/2 cup Chocolate chips, optional
3/4 teaspoon Salt, divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1. Combine 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.
2. Press this mixture into the bottom of the pie pan. It won’t come all the way up the sides, so don’t try to make it. Shoot for a consistent 1/4″ thickness around the area you do get it.
3. Combine the sugar, eggs, remaining butter and vanilla in a pourable vessel. Or don’t. You can make it harder on yourself if you want. Masochist.
4. Add the breadcrumbs and chocolate chips* and fold into the egg mixture. 5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until only slightly jiggly in the center.
6. This pie is EPIC when warm. So you are not condemned to wait until it cools entirely. I know. You may wash my feet and kiss my hand now.
*I originally meant to melt the chocolate with the butter, but I was SO excited about the prospect of bread pie, that I completely forgot. I LOVE the texture of the pie without the chocolate melted, and haven’t yet tested it with the chocolate melted. However, I feel that the addition of 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and another tablespoon of sugar will give you chocolately wonderful without compromising the texture.