March 14 is an unofficial holiday: Pi Day. As in the mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159. Most people think of pi as 3.14, ie. March 14. And for all you math geeks, in 2 years it will be the best pi day ever 3-14-15! Get it? Yes, I am a dork. (Hey, I was almost a math minor, but that didn’t pan out past college calculus.) So when I realized it was Pi Day I knew I had to make a real pie! I pulled out my Chocolate and Coffee Bible Cookbook and looked at all the pie recipes until I found just the perfect one (and that I had all the ingredients for): Mississippi Mud Pie. It was a weekday and I was lucky that I was working from home in the morning so I was able to make all but the whip cream and chocolate shavings topping before heading off to my afternoon job. After work I finished it up and took it to the first read thru of the next play I’m doing, TO CARRY THE CHILD by Jon Courie. We will be performing at The Hollywood Fringe Festival this June! If you’re in LA I hope you can join me!
MISSISSIPPI MUD PIE (about 8 servings)
- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Butter (not Crisco!), softened
- 2-3 Tbsp Iced Water
- 3 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate
- 1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine
- 3 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup
- 3 Eggs, Beaten
- 2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 oz. Chocolate Bar
- 1 1/4 Cup Whipping Cream (1/2 Pint)
Make the crust first. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl with a fork or spoon. If you have a flour sifter, then sift the flour. I do not, so I did not. Add in the butter (make sure it’s a little soft so it’s easier to mix in) until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add in the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix with your hands or a fork until the dough forms into nice ball. Pull out a large flat surface to roll the crust out. Dust with flour first and start rolling. I discovered that a wine bottle works quite nicely in lieu of a rolling pin. Roll out to about 1/4″ thick and place in a 9 inch pie plate or tart tin. Don’t stretch the dough, just ease into the dish and make sure the entire surface is covered. Using a fork, prick the base and sides of the crust, then place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on a rack and lower the heat down to 350 degrees.
While the crust is baking work on the filling. In a heatproof bowl, I used a glass bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Place about a cup or two of water in a small pot that the heatproof bowl can sit on and wait for the water to simmer. Place the bowl on top so the filling ingredients can melt. Stir slowly. While you’re waiting for it to melt, beat your eggs in a small bowl and have your sugar and vanilla ready. Once all the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and add in the eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Once the pie crust is cool, pour the chocolate mixture into the crust and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and let cool.
While waiting for the pie to bake work on the whipped topping and chocolate decorations. Start with the chocolate curls. Lay out a paper towel or a piece of baking parchment. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape against one side of the chocolate bar to form little curls. Shave enough to cover the entire pie. Place in the fridge to keep cool until you are ready to decorate. Next make the whipped topping. You can just whip the cream into soft peaks, or you can follow this recipe for whipped cream a little sweeter. Store in the fridge until the pie is done.
Once the pie has cooled down, spread the whipped cream over the top of the chocolate filling so it’s completely hidden. Sprinkle the chocolate curls on top, covering all of the whipped cream. Store in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy! My cast did!