ok, so we had our annual "friendsgiving" this weekend and i made two pies for it. the traditional pumpkin and a family favorite, cinnamon chocolate mousse pie. we have a tradition in my family that my mom makes special meals for our birthdays. a special breakfast (saved for the weekend), a special dinner and a special dessert. all of our choosing. well, this pie was always my birthday choice all through high school. i loved it. in fact, i loved it so much that my freshman year of college, i wanted to make it and i had never made much more than cookies at that point. so i called my own personal baking guru—my mother—to give me the play by play. i haven't made it in a long time for some reason but i think i need to make it more often, this sucker was a crowd pleaser at friendsgiving. it got demolished within minutes and loads of praise, which always makes a baker happy. this pie has a regular crust, lined with a cooked meringue, with a thin layer of chocolate, then a cinnamon mousse topped with a chocolate cinnamon mousse.
you need a 9" baked pie shell, and i thought i'd share a few tips about what i think helps make a good pie shell. you all might already know this, but if you don't these are things that helped me try to master the crust.
1) DO NOT OVERMIX. it will be flakier and lighter the less you handle the dough.
2) the thinner you make the crust, the better.
3) i think shortening makes a better crust than butter
4) there needs to be some salt in the recipe
5) fold over the ends then scallop the edges with your fingers for a nice presentation
6) if you need a pre-cooked shell, a lot of people use pie weights or beans. i just prick the crust all over with a fork then bake it for about 10 minutes. this helps the steam escape without creating bubbles in the crust while it bakes.
on to the rest of the recipe:
2 eggs, seperated
1/2 t. vinegar (i only had rice vinegar and that worked just fine.)
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. water
4 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
beat together egg whites, vinegar and salt until almost stiff but not dry. gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. spread meringue over bottom and up sides of pie shell. (if you have a deep dish pan, that would work better for this pie). bake in 325° oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.
melt chocolate chips over hot, not boiling water. beat together room tempurature egg yolks lightly. thoroughly blend yolks into melted chocolate. add water. spread 3 T. of this chocolate mixture over the cooked and slightly chilled meringue. chill remainder of chocolate until it begins to thicken. beat together cream, sugar and cinnamon until very thick.
spread 1/2 of whipped cream mixture over chocolate mixture in pie shell. fold chilled chocolate mixture into remaining whipped cream. (it helps to make a divot in each layer so the the layers don't get too high.) pile this on top of pie. chill at least 4 hours.