Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mississippi Mud Pie

I actually spelled out M-I-SS-I-SS-I-PP-I in my head as I typed the title of this post. I love how some mnemonics stick with you for life - it gives me hope that I'll at least remember one word per language I study over the course of my life!

Unlike the language details that gradually slip away out of disuse, I know that I will remember this pie. It participated in a dear yearly ritual: ringing in the New Year with my own set of Woo Girls. As I've said to many of my friends, I have always found New Year's a disappointing holiday - until I started spending it with my Woo Girls. This was our third celebration together, and it just gets better every year. And this pie was...the icing on the cake? Or something like that. In any case, it was rich, good, and easy - just allow time for each layer to set, and you'll be enjoying the yumminess before you know it.

This recipe is from my Christmas gift to myself, Baked Explorations. Coming out of the NYC bakery Baked, it is full of rave-reviewed recipes that are new takes on classic American baked goods. The photos are gorgeous, the reinventions creative, and for once I want to make the entire pie/tart section of a cookbook - and I'm a cake girl!

A few notes:
  • Be aware that American desserts mean butter, cream, corn syrup, and even shortening sometimes.
  • I would use the unsalted butter as indicated; I did not, due to butter availability in the kitchen, and the dessert tasted salty to me. There is plenty of salt in the cookies to complement the sweetness of the filling.
  • Each layer of the pie needs time to set in the refrigerator or freezer, so make sure to build that waiting time into your plans. I've bolded the waiting time in the recipe below.
  • Let the finished pie sit in the freezer long enough for each layer to come to a consistent hardness; we were in a rush to eat the pie, so the ice cream was not as solid as the fudge layers, which I found harder to eat since it squashed out of the middle.

That being said, here's the first pie I tried from Baked Explorations (to be shortly followed by the first cake):

Mississippi Mud Pie (there I go again spelling it!)
from Baked Explorations

Chocolate Cookie Crust Ingredients:
30 chocolate wafer cookies, about 6 oz.
1 T granulated sugar
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:
4 oz. dark chocolate (60-72%)
1/4 C plus 1 T heavy cream
3 T unsalted butter
2 T light corn syrup
1 C confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 T Kentucky bourbon
1 pint good-quality coffee ice cream
1/2 C toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Bourbon Fudge Topping Ingredients:
2 T heavy cream
2 T unsalted butter
1 T light corn syrup
3 oz. good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%)
1 tsp Kentucky bourbon

1. Chocolate Cookie Crust
Pulse the wafer cookies into fine crumbs with a food processor (if you don't have a food processor, place the cookies in a heavy duty ziplock bag and beat them with a rolling pin - but beware of holes in the bag!). Makes about 1 1/2 C. In a mixing bowl, stir together the crumbs and sugar.
Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and mix well. Transfer the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. Use the back of a large spoon or the bottom of a measuring cup to get an even crust. Set the crust aside in the refrigerator.

2. Filling
Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, butter, and corn syrup to a simmer. Remove the mixture from the heat, pour it over the chocolate, and let sit for 1 minute. Then whisk the chocolate mixture until it is completely smooth. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar and bourbon.
Spread the fudge evenly over the bottom of the pie crust, cover it, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Soften the coffee ice cream by placing the container in the microwave for 10 seconds on high. Put it into a large bowl and use a rubber spatula to beat it until it is slightly malleable. Spread the ice cream over the chilled fudge filling, sprinkle it with pecans, gently pressing them into the ice cream, and freeze the pie for about 1.5 hours, or until the ice cream is firm.

3. Bourbon Fudge Topping
In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the cream, butter, and corn syrup together until the mixture begins to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until the fudge is smooth - if you still have a few stray chocolate chunks, reheat the mixture over very low heat until they are completely melted. Stir in the bourbon.
Beat the fudge topping until it reaches room temperature, and pour it over the ice cream and pecan layer in a zigzag pattern. Freeze the Mississippi Mud Pie until it is set, about 20 minutes. To serve the pie, cut it with a warmed sharp knife.

The pie will keep in the freezer, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

Happy New Year indeed!

1 comment:

  1. This pie was yummy. Whooo! What a wonderful way to bring in the new year.