Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Pie

My mother, after years of diligent research, came up with what I think is not only the easiest Chocolate Mousse Pie recipe, it's the best. It is, however, incredibly rich, so you'll likely want to serve rather slender pieces. It's especially lovely if you garnish it with whipped cream, slivered almonds, and or fresh berries, and it works well as a mousse sans pie shell.

Ingredients:

Baked and cooled pastry (shortbread, chocolate or plain)
1 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels (like Ghirardelli)
2 1/2 c. cream, divided into 2 cups and 1/2 cup
1 t. vanilla
1 T. Rum, Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Cointrieau, or Peach Schnapps or Raspberry Liquor (double or triple this according to taste)

Procedure

  1. Beat 2 cups cream till soft peaks form. Place in refrigerator to keep cool while you do the following: 
  2. Microwave chocolate and 1/2 cup cream about 1 1/2 minutes till melted, stirring twice. 
  3. Add liquor and vanilla, mix well. 
  4. Cool about 5 minutes. The chocolate needs to soft enough to blend. 
  5. Fold whipped cream into chocolate. 
  6. Pour into shell. Chill at least 2 hours. 
  7. Garnish with whipped cream and/or sliced almonds or grated chocolate. 
  8. Dip a warm knife in hot water before slicing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pecan Pie


Pecan pie
This is another of my mother's recipes, one that I suspect she was making before I was born. We usually had Pecan Pie at Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's a very Southern recipe (you don't see much call for Pecans in Yankee cooking). My mother always sorts out the pecans, reserving the best looking pecan halves to place in an elaborate pattern.

I confess to using a dollop of bourbon on occasion. I once forgot the salt until the pie was ready to pop into the oven, and sprinkled salt on top of the nuts just before the pie went into the oven. The salt looked quite pretty on the cooked pie, and it was slightly different in taste, and quite good.


Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar
3/4 cup Karo syrup (clear syrup)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup plus of pecans (you'll want 3/4 or so additional pecans halves for the top)
pastry shell

Procedure:
  1. Cream sugar and butter.
  2. Beat in eggs, syrup, vanilla, salt and vinegar.
  3. Mix well, and add nuts.
  4. Pour into 8 inch pie shell.
  5. Bake at 350 F. for 55-60 minutes or until center is "set" when the pie is gently shaken.

Lena R. Spangenberg