Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mud Pie

I don't know for sure if mud pie originated in Mississippi (and apparently either does anyone else), but I do know it's one of my husband's favorite desserts. He used to get his mud pie fix from Starbucks, which, for an all-too-brief while, made a sort of ice cream sandwich version that was really great. I still search grocery freezer sections for their mud pies, but I haven't seen them for more than a year. So, when my husband's birthday came around last week, I decided to make a mud pie.

This recipe, based on one my mom used to make, is an ice cream pie as opposed to a gooey chocolate-filled pie also called mud pie. My mom made it the easy way; she just bought already-made coffee ice cream and chocolate sauce, adding kahlua to the sauce, then made a pie crust and put it together. Still in the midst of ice cream-making mania, I decided to make everything from scratch, but, to be honest, next time I'll probably skip the homemade ice cream and just mix in a couple of tablespoons of kahlua into a softened pint of Haagen-Dazs.

Mud Pie

For the crust:
1-1/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter

For the fudge sauce:
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon kahlua

For the coffee ice cream filling:
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup dark-roasted coffee beans
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon finely grinded espresso powder
1 tablespoon kahlua

1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate wafers and butter, stir until well blended. Press into 9-inch pie pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Fudge Sauce: Combine in a bowl over hot (not boiling) water 1-1/2 C chocolate chips, heavy cream, and butter. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remover from heat, stir in kahlua or other coffee liquor. Chill 10 minutes. Spread 1/3 cup sauce on bottom of chocolate wafer crust. Chill 15 minutes. Reserve remaining fudge sauce for the top of the pie.

3. Coffee Ice Cream: Combine Milk and coffee beans in a heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat to a simmer. Pour hot mixture into a bowl, cover and set aside for an hour. In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat sugar and egg yolks until mixture is thick and pale yellow, about four minutes. Beat flour and salt into egg mixture. Reheat coffee mixture until bubbles form at the side, remove from heat and remove coffee beans from milk with slotted spoon. Slowly pour hot milk into eggs, whisking constantly, to temper eggs. Pour entire mixture back into the saucepan and place over low heat, whisking constantly until custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not boil. Remove from heat and pour coffee cusard through a strainer into a large bowl. Cool 5 minutes, then mix in cream, vanilla, espresso powder and kahlua. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours. Stir and freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer instructions. When done, pour ice cream into pie crust and freeze until hard. Remove from freezer and cover with remaining fudge sauce. Return to freezer until set.

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