Sunday, April 7, 2013

Catskill's Chocolate Mousse Pie



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The pie I'm featuring tonight served as a trial run for one that was sold at a pie auction yesterday. If you are curious to know what it sold for, stop by my Facebook page. The Silver Fox, who at his best, was never a candidate for the diplomatic corp, took one look at it and promptly dubbed my lovely creation, Borscht Belt Chocolate Pie. For those unfamiliar with that reference, the Borscht Belt was a resort area in the Catskill Mountains that was frequented by predominately Jewish guests who came from the NYC area to escape the heat and vacation in the crisp mountain air. In their hay day, the resorts were famous for entertainment and the copious quantities of food they provided for their guests. It is a virtual certainty that creamy pies, similar to this one, were found on dessert tables in the hotel dining rooms. While it is, admittedly, a study in wretched excess, this rich pie is delicious and I think that most of you will enjoy it, especially if you have the discipline to regulate your portion size. It consists of a pie crust that is covered with chocolate wafer crumbs and then filled with a truly delicious mousse that is topped with a mountain of whipped cream fraiche and chocolate curls. The whipped topping is unsweetened and it adds a lovely nutty tang that helps balance the richness of the mousse and cream. I found the recipe for this creation last summer in Bon Appetit magazine. The recipe that appears below is theirs and does not reflect the changes I made to the auctioned pie. To make the pie a bit more attractive, I baked the final version in a high-sided tart pan that was lined with a chocolate crumb crust rather than short pastry. I also added plain gelatin and a bit of white creme de cocoa to the topping to stabilize it and add a bit more flavor. This pie needs to sit for at least 24 hours before it is sliced. As a matter of fact, I recommend freezing it and slicing it while frozen if you want clean slices. This is not a hard dessert to make if you break it into segments, but do be forewarned, it is time consuming. If you like rich creamy desserts I think you'll love this pie. Here is how it is made.



Chocolate Mousse Pie...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Bon Appetit magazine

Ingredients:
1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 71% cacao), chopped, plus more shaved with a vegetable peeler for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup coarsely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), divided
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pie dish with crust; crimp edges decoratively. Fully bake pie crust according to recipe or box instructions. Let cool completely.
2) Whisk egg whites and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm but not hot, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until cool, tripled in volume, and stiff peaks form (the tips of the peaks won't fall over when beaters are lifted from bowl and turned upright), about 6 minutes.
3) Stir chopped chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over same saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth, 4–5 minutes; set aside.
4) Beat 2 cups cream in another medium bowl until medium peaks form (cream should be soft and pillowy), 5–6 minutes.
5) Gently fold egg whites into warm chocolate mixture until fully incorporated (work quickly to prevent chocolate from turning gritty). Gently fold in whipped cream just until no white streaks remain; do not overmix or mixture will deflate. Spoon 1/2 cup chocolate mousse into bottom of prepared pie crust; spread evenly over bottom of crust. Sprinkle 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed chocolate wafers over mousse. Top with remaining mousse, mounding in the center to create a dome. (The point is to add height, not to spread out evenly to edges.) Chill pie.
6) Beat remaining 2 cups cream, crème fraîche, and salt until medium-stiff peaks form (when the beaters are lifted from the cream, the peaks will hold their shape but the tips will fall over). Top chocolate mousse with whipped-cream mixture, following the same rounded dome shape. Chill pie for at least 4 hours or, covered, for up to 3 days. (It will slice best if chilled overnight, allowing mousse to set properly.)
7) Garnish pie with 2 tablespoons chocolate wafers and chocolate shavings. Slice pie using a clean, dry knife; wipe between slices to ensure clean, elegant pieces. Yield: 10 servings.









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30 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

So creamy, luscious and delectable as well, Mary. Chocolate crumb crust sounds perfect to me.

Kim G. said...

Oh MY! This pie is absolute dream! It looks really good!

Sri Love said...

Irresistible mousse pie!!!

Ginny said...

Oh YUM, this is the most awesome looking chocolate pie I have ever seen. There is nothing that you can't make.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Mary, that looks nothing short of sensational.

Cindy said...

Wow, wjat a beautiful looking dessert. Perfect for my birthday or Mothers Day (I always make my favorite dessert on special days)!

Simona Mastantuono said...

it very yummy delicious gorgious have a nice day simmy

Rafeeda AR said...

this looks really amazing... yummm...

Sugar et al said...

Oh my goodness..this is gorgeous! Wish I was your neighbour:-)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

This looks wonderfly indulgent! I'm sure the winner loved it:@)

Big Dude said...

I've always loved the rich chocolate flavor of mousse and this pie looks to die for. I'd probably not do well on portion control though.

bellini said...

I like thick, creamy and rich chocolate desserts. My thighs would be happy that it is only once in a while but this seems like a keeper. I use a teaspoon of powdered milk to stabilize my whipped cream but white creme de cacao sounds more delicious!!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Wow! That looks sensational - but it's WAAAAAY too soon after Easter!!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Yikes - this is awesome! I'll bet it earned a hefty price at the auction!

Chiara Giglio said...

that looks delicious Mary ! have a nice day, blessings...

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, how I wish I had been there to bid in that auction!!! I would have been having my socks going up and down right now with my coffee!! blessings ~ tanna

Joanne said...

That is one tall and luscious mousse pie! I'd love a slice!

Susan Lindquist said...

Wow! That is just incredible looking! It is fun, isn't it, to make a masterpiece creation every once in a while? It may be time-intensive, but it's so neat to see recipes like this come together!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I think I would be too impatient to make this, it does look delicious though. Keep well Diane

Jenn said...

Mary, I hope the Silver Fox won't mind, but I'm coming to live with you.. this pie solidifies my decision!!! :) YUM!!

lindalou said...

That is a work of art as well as yummy.

David said...

Mary, Cream pies are my absolute favorite and this chocolate mousse pie looks terrific! Thanks for the recipe... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

tender b. said...

The inside was so not what I expected compared to the outside. Looks incredible.

Foodycat said...

Oh my. That is one heck of a pie!

Daniela Grimburg said...

Wow Mary, what a treat!
This pie is sure worth 1/2 hour extra workout, it looks so delicious :)
Besides, the pictures are so pretty.
I love the contrast with the red background!

Claudia said...

ALL my neighbors vacationed in the "Borscht Belt" so I have to make this. Excess can be very satisfying! The opening photo is gorgeous. Okay - you have a Facebook page? Will check it out! (And want to Pin!)

AdriBarr said...

WOW! What a great pie!

Grubarazzi said...

What an amazing feat! Absolutely stunning and I would eat every crumb.

Ahu said...

This looks so good and I love the Catskills!

Mr. & Mrs. P said...

What a great looking pie!!

Mr. & Mrs. P
www.cristyandmichael.blogspot.com

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