I’ve been a fan of Sips ever since that fateful day when his internet friend broke his trust and sexually harassed him via telephone. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched every video he’s made, and I’m pretty sure I’ve enjoyed every one.
Obviously, one of the first things you think of when you think of Sips is dirt, and a chocolate crumble sounds like a fantastic homage to that. I’m pretty lucky that one of the questions on Simple Simon is always “what’s your favorite pie,” because I know that Sips is a fan of blueberry pie. I also know that he likes to put some of his personal essence into it, and since I live relatively close to Canada, I managed to get my hands on a bottle of that sweet, sticky nectar.
What? I meant Canadian maple syrup. What were you thinking of?
I found out that the ratio of sugar to water in maple syrup isn’t that far off from the syrup I use as a base for fruit pie fillings, so I put 10 ounces maple syrup in a saucepan, sifted four tablespoons cornstarch and one teaspoon cinnamon over it, and whisked them together over medium heat until it came to a boil and thickened. Then I stirred in 3 cups of frozen blueberries, and kept the mixture over the heat until it came back to a boil and thickened about to the point that it started looking gelatinous, but was still liquid. Then I set that aside to cool.
A crumble is normally made with cookie crumbs, but since Sips is an old man I figured he could use some fiber in his diet. Also it’s surprisingly hard to find plain chocolate cookies and I didn’t feel like making them. So I pulverized 10 ounces of Cocoa Puffs (with stars!) to use for a crumb crust and a crumble top.
For the crust, I combined 6 ounces of crumbs, 4 ounces butter, one large egg, and a teaspoon of cinnamon. For the top, I combined the remaining 4 ounces of crumbs with one ounce butter and one ounce maple syrup.
I pressed the crust mixture into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. This turned out to be a bad idea, because some of the butter leaked through the pan, pooled on the bottom of my oven, and caught on fire. It didn’t hurt anything, but if you make this at home, make it in a pie tin.
Anyway, I baked/smoked the crust at 350°F for about ten minutes to par-bake it, then cooled it to a little below room temperature before putting the pie filling into it and putting it back in the oven, again at 350°F. I let that bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling started to firm up, at which point I sprinkled the crumble top mixture over it, let it bake for about 5 more minutes, and then turned on my broiler for a few minutes to toast the top just a little.
I think Sips said once that he doesn’t like poutine (I’m not sure - unlike a Lannister, I do sometimes forget), but he grew up very close to Quebec and soft white cheeses go very well with fruit. In Wisconsin, it’s actually illegal for a restaurant to serve apple pie without cheese on top. So to go with our crumble I made some cheese curds by heating a quart of whole milk to just below boiling point, then adding in 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and stirring.The milk separates into curds and whey, so you can just pour it through cloth or a fine strainer and you have a big ball of curds. Mix in a pinch of salt for taste, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
The lemon juice makes it taste a bit too tart on its own, but citrus pairs well with both blueberries and chocolate so on top of the crumble it works great.
Of course, we all know what SipsCo is really all about, so I finished it with a liberal sprinkling of cocaine.
(It’s white chocolate shaved with a microplane)
Finally, Sips is a big fan of chocolate milk, so I threw together a simple chocolate milk sauce with about half of a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder, a splash of vanilla extract, and enough maple syrup to thin it to a drizzly consistency.
For added authenticity, do the first two steps over and over for days until most of the people you know have starved to death. Then when you do finally finish it, leave it on the ground outside.