Fudgy Tar Heel Pie
This brownie pie should be sweet, not saccharine, and deeply fudgy. But whenever we got the texture right, the flavor went south—and vice versa.
Why This Recipe Works
To correct the cloying sweetness of this brownie pie without sacrificing fudgy texture, we replaced the white sugar with dark brown sugar, which introduces depth and molasses undertones. Upping the vanilla and salt and adding cocoa powder finishes the job. To make the pie gooey and fudgy but not runny, we backed the flour down to just ¼ cup (half of what most recipes call for), and we use half butter and half oil for the fat (oil makes for a softer, chewier crumb). Finally, prebaking the pie crust and toasting the nuts before adding them to the batter ensures that both stay crispy.