Friday, June 15, 2012

Mocha Custard Pie

I love chilled pies in the summer, and this one is elegant and satisfied my chocolate craving. This recipe was clipped from the newspaper. It lists Horizon Organic butter, milk and cream, and indeed, that’s what I used. My first choice is Organic Valley since they’re a farmer-owned co-op, but Horizon’s my second choice, and everything is delicious. I worry a lot about the hormones, antibiotics and other contaminants in dairy. I guess organic cows still have to live in the world, but at least they have a good chance at being healthy, and I hope they live a comfortable life.

The trick in a chilled pie or cheesecake is the crust, I think. I don’t like a graham cracker crust – it’s too commercial, too much of a mouthful of dry eh. I save cookies to grind up for crusts. I used toasted pecan cookies this time. Mmmmm. And the other trick is that unlike a pastry crust that makes a container for the filling, a crumb crust will be held together partly by the filling, so don’t mash it down (that will make it hard to get out). Just drop it in and gently spread it around until it’s mostly uniform. This one only bakes 5 min., and the butter adds holding power.

This custard came out perfect, but a few times I’ve ended up with the bits of cooked yoke. Easy peasy –  just put it through a strainer.

Mocha Custard Pie

Crumb Crust

1 ½ c. finely ground cookies (If I didn’t have any cookies in the freezer, I might buy some gorgeous, expensive ones and serve the rest on the side.)
1/3 c. butter, melted

Custard Filling

2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 T. butter, divided
2 tsp. instant coffee or espresso
1 tsp. hot water
½ tsp. vanilla
6 egg yolks
2 ½ whole or reduced fat milk
½ c. sugar
¼ c. cornstarch

Coffee Whipped Cream

1 tsp. instant coffee or espresso
½ tsp. hot water
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9” pie pan. Mix crumbs and melted butter and spread onto bottom and slightly up sides of pie plate. Bake 5 min. and set aside to cool.

To prepare filling, place chopped chocolate and 1 T. butter in one bowl, and instant coffee, water (stir), vanilla and 1 T. butter in another bowl. (You will add half of the custard to each to make a layered pie.)

Place yolks in bowl, and set aside. Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan and whisk to blend. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until nearly simmering. “Temper” yolks by pouring about ¾ c. hot milk mixture into them in thin, steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Whisk tempered yolk mixture into saucepan to form custard. Bring to boil, whisking constantly, and boil 1 min. Immediately pour half into bowl with chocolate and half in bowl with coffee. Whisk each until blended smooth.

Pour chocolate custard into crust and spread smooth. Gently spoon coffee custard over chocolate and spread into even layer. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pie and set aside to cool. Refrigerate at least 6 hrs. or overnight.

Shortly before serving, prepare topping. Dissolve coffee in hot water and set aside to cool. Using electric mixer, whip cream until thickened. Add confectioner’s sugar and continue whipping until cream holds soft peaks. Add vanilla and dissolved coffee and whip until stiff. Pipe or spread over pie.

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