This Irresistible Pie Will Boost Your Milk Supply & Totally Win Thanksgiving

The best thing about Thanksgiving is gathering around a holiday table with your family to express a little gratitude, but the second best thing is clearly pie. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, or lemon meringue if you're feeling fancy — they're the true stars of the feast. Even better, if you happen to be lactating and your supply is lacking (thanks to the holiday stress, perhaps), there's even a magical pie recipe to boost your milk supply. Is there anything pie can't do?

The main ingredient that makes this Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie so magical is right there in the name: oatmeal. Like many foods that purport to increase breast milk production, which are known as galactagogues, oatmeal has a few very important elements that help nursing moms keep the pipes running. Kelly Mom suggests a few reasons why oatmeal is a useful addition to your diet if your boobs are struggling to keep up: It has a high supply of iron, which wards off anemia, and its cholesterol-lowering abilities have been shown to increase milk supply. And oatmeal is so much more appealing than other supposed lactation boosters, like fenugreek or brewer's yeast. From the fabulous The Four And Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes From The Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop, this pie is guaranteed to put a smile on your face — unlike a festive tipple of fenugreek tea (blech!). Once again, you just can't go wrong with pie.

The cookbook, written by sisters and pie shop owners Melissa and Emily Elson, features over 60 very unique pie recipes, and this gooey beauty is one of them. With an all-butter crust and a decadent layer of chocolate ganache at the bottom, no one will complain that they're suffering the through the early days of motherhood with this pie on their plate. The sisters write in their description that "we loved it from the start for its oatmeal–chocolate chip cookie quality; it’s like a pie version of that classic recipe." If you live with one of those fascists who doesn't like chocolate, the ganache can be omitted for an equally tasty version that delivers all the milk supporting properties breastfeeding mothers are looking for.

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

Excerpted from the book "The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes From the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop." Copyright © 2013 by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

All-Butter Crust – pre-baked and cooled

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ teaspoons granulated sugar

¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup cold water

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

½ cup ice

Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to over blend).

Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow. If making the double-crust version, divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs.

Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.


1½ cups rolled oats

¼ cup heavy cream

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (we use 70%), chopped into ¼-inch pieces

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon kosher salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

4 large eggs

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

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 pour in the chocolate pieces. Swirl the cream around to distribute and cover the chocolate; let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth. Scrape the ganache into the cooled pie shell and spread evenly over the bottom. Place the shell in the freezer to set the ganache while making the filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ginger, salt, and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and cider vinegar and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the cooled oats.

Place the ganache-coated pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 55 minutes, rotating 180 degrees 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). Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

Season 2 of Doula Diaries shares the stories of fearless doulas helping their clients take control of their births and make tough choices that feel right to them.Watch the first episode of the new season Monday, November 26th.