Kim (see previous post A Very Mini Artist’s Colony in New Mexico) had the urge to make this fabulous dark chocolate pie with nut crust yesterday. What a revelation! I’ve only ever had chocolate CREAM pie, which creates a kind of milk chocolate/pudding experience. This pie is like having the very best dark chocolate you’ve ever had, surrounded by oven roasted nuts that somehow meld with it, and then served with raspberry sauce. I suspect it must have to do with the beaten eggs, but there is something like a cake quality to the finished pie. There simply aren’t enough words to tell you how utterly perfect this pie is. So I guess you’ll just have to make one for yourselves to find out.
I’ve been thinking about the holidays a lot lately as I know most of you have–about how crazy they can be and how our culture pushes shopping on us. And maybe we buy into it, in part, because we’d rather buy something than do the alternative–give our time. Whether that time is spent actually with the person or in making them a gift, I believe the gift of time is always priceless. The first thought I had upon taking my first bite of this revelation of a pie was that it would make a wonderful gift. Better still, prearrange when you’ll be delivering it and plan on staying for a cup of coffee or a pot of tea and, of course, a slice of chocolate pie.
Nut Crust (may substitute graham cracker crust):
1 stick (8 T) butter, softened but not melted
4 cups chopped nuts (walnuts/pecans)
6 T Baker’s Sugar (half cup)
Half tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 – middle rack
Chop nuts in food processor or by hand till quite small (somewhere between small and fine).
In a bowl, mix well with the butter, sugar (use Baker’s Sugar) and salt.
Press the mixture into a 9” pie plate, either by hand or with a flat bottomed container such as a glass measuring cup, till evenly distributed and packed on bottom and sides of dish.
1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate
4 T butter
5 large egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1/4 cup Baker’s Sugar
Preheat oven to 300 – middle rack
Separate the eggs.
In a bowl beat the eggs and sugar quite well till light in color, but don’t over-beat adding too much air to the mix (this is my dear old mixer that I bought very used at a garage sale in the early 70s).
… and fold them together till well combined and dark in color.
… and tip the plate to distribute mixture evenly.
Place in oven to bake 20-30 minutes or so, sometimes longer, till toothpick comes out clean.
Resist temptation and cool for 45 minutes.
1 package (average size) frozen raspberries–use more or less depending on the number of people
1/4 cup sugar (this will be fairly tart, so use more if desired)
2 T Grand Marnier (optional)
Thaw raspberries almost completely. Put into food processor with sugar, Grand Marnier and blade attachment. Process for 30 seconds or so till smooth and combined.
Lay a wide common sieve over a bowl. Pour the pulp into it and run a whisk round and round, slowly extruding the raspberry sauce through the sieve and into the bowl below, leaving the seeds and pulp in the sieve. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the strainer afterwards, to get all of the sauce, and then throw away the seeds. If there’s difficulty in this process, it may be that the pulp is still too frozen and needs to thaw a bit more before trying the whisking procedure.
Serve slices of pie with raspberry sauce…
… and try not to lick your plate like I did (well, actually, I used my finger–much more sophisticated).
Love to you all,