Turtle pie is a chilled dessert that features the ingredients of chocolate, caramel and pecans found in original TURTLES brand candy, the signature confection created by DeMet's Candy Company in Chicago. The TURTLES brand candy earned its name in 1918 after a salesman, visiting the candy-making room, commented on the uncanny turtle shape. The turtle pie earned its name many years later by mimicking the taste of these sweet treats.
While the recipe for turtle pie can vary from cook to cook, the common preparation of this rich and indulgent dessert features a crust of finely ground cookies and a sweet, creamy filling made with cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. The top layer of the turtle pie is drenched in gooey, buttery caramel and drizzled with melted chocolate. Sprinkled chopped pecans, or other nut of choice, add the finishing crunchy touch on this popular dessert. Other nuts that can be substituted include peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews. Nuts may be omitted from turtle pie if food allergies are a concern. While the most common version of turtle pie has a dense, cheesecake consistency, other variations of the dessert include ice cream pies, brownies, bar cookies, cakes and donuts. Some recipes for turtle pie actually use chopped up TURTLE brand candy.