For this Chocolate Monday, you are in for a real treat! My friends Kate McDermott, author of the upcoming Art of the Pie cookbook, Debi Koenig, and I concocted a pie just for you! It is always such fun to play in the kitchen, creating new and delightful recipes, especially when we can share it with wonderful friends.
When I made the decision to transition from high tech to the world of food, little did I know how much it would change my life. Not only was I finally following my passion, but I had met my clan – people who shared my passion and understood my obsession. When I went to my first IACP Conference (International Association of Food Professionals), an event I had heard about for years and knew was incredibly valuable, I was nervous as can be. I would not know a soul in the crowd of 600 people!
I went to my first event – a luncheon for first-time attendees. Knowing there would be other people there that were as uncomfortable as me, helped a little. And then someone asked if the chair next to me was taken – I looked up and saw a lovely lady with a welcoming smile and the most beautiful blue eyes, twinkling with happiness.
That woman was Kate McDermott, and it was kismet that we sat together that morning. I was captivated by Kate and the stories she was sharing. She passed around a photo of the most glorious rustic pie and explained she had made in a Dutch oven on a campfire. This was a kindred soul and I knew it instantly.
Six years later we are still friends, closer than ever, supporting one another when life gets challenging, and sharing insights on ways to fix recipes to help each other. Our lives have followed similar yet different paths and we both have books being published within days of each other. Life has been good to us.
Debi and I met in junior high, were friends through high school and then went different directions. Many years later we met again at a class reunion and have enjoyed renewing our friendship. Still the same sweet gal I knew but even more fun today! She is a very talented home cook and excellent baker – another kindred spirit!
Kate, Debi and I all learned to bake from an older generation – me from my mom and grandmother Mimi, Kate from a neighbor, and Debi from her mom and great grandma. We watched as they created treats for our families, learning to bake by instinct, understanding that each day is a little different. and not to worry as much about measuring as how the dough feels in your hands. That is exactly how Kate teaches in her classes – a throw-back to earlier generations, urging us to toss our fears out the window and add love to every single pie!
For today’s pie we started with the base of a traditional grasshopper pie recipe of Kate’s (see her original recipe here) and then got creative with the choice of liqueurs we used in the filling. With much laughter while sipping of the different liqueurs at our disposal (oh yeah!), we came upon a combination we love and hope you will too. But the real beauty is that you can use any booze you like and make a totally customizable pie for you and your guests. Thus the name of the pie – choose your booze!
This pie is incredibly easy to make – perfect for little hands to help – no baking required. You can use a stand mixer, hand mixer, or even whisk by hand. If you want a good workout, use the whisk. 😉 The only part that requires “cooking” is melting the marshmallows. Supervise that part and let the kids do all the rest. They will love the sense of accomplishment and kudos that no doubt will ring out!
Refrigerator pies are great any time of the year, but especially in the hot months. You can serve dessert chilled, the perfect way to finish a summertime BBQ, birthday parties, or family gatherings. You can make a few if you want with different flavorings and make some non-alcoholic versions.
Kate is the author of Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings and Life. It is filled with the most amazing pie recipes and stories of Kate’s life. Books are available for pre-order – click here for more ordering info. Pre-ordering benefits future sales of the book, so we appreciate your help making sure her book is a huge success!
Happy Chocolate Monday from Kate, Debi, and me!! <3
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Pick your favorite liqueur flavors – try combining more than one – you might be surprised at how good it tastes. It’s also a very good idea to taste them before adding to the filling so you don’t wind up ruining your whole pie and having to start over. We started out with one, added it, tasted the filling and realized it needed something to give it a little more balance. A couple more tablespoons of a second liqueur and we had the perfect blend we all loved.
We’ve included all the tips for you to make an amazing gluten-free pie! If you use your favorite GF cookies, this is a snap. If you are making this for someone with celiac, be sure to triple check the booze you are using. Some people are sensitive to caramel coloring, a common ingredient used in “dark” alcohol and liqueurs.
- 1-1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs, gluten-free if needed (see Note)
- 3 tbsp salted butter, melted, preferably Kerrygold Irish brand
- 28 regular size marshmallows
- 2/3 cup half and half
- 7 tbsp liqueur, such as Kahlua, Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Chambord, Curacao, Framboise, Tuaca, Frangelico, etc. Any combination you prefer. (For our pie we used 4 tbsp Kahlua and 3 tbsp Grand Marnier) **
- 1 cup cool heavy whipping cream, whipped to firm peaks
- Additional chocolate cookie crumbs, for decorating
- Chocolate covered coffee beans, or other garnish, optional
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional
- Prepare the Crust: If you haven't already, crush the cookies into crumbs either in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix them together with the melted butter. Press the mixture into a shallow 9-inch pie plate creating a crust. Refrigerate while you make the filling to firm the crust.
- Make the Filling: In a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the marshmallows with the half and half. Heat, stirring, until the marshmallows are nearly melted. Carefully remove from the heat and finish melting the marshmallows, stirring constantly. Let the mixture cool while you whip the cream.
- When the cream has reached firm peaks (the will stand up with the tips bending over), whisk half into the melted marshmallow cream mixture. Once it is fully incorporated, fold the remaining whipped cream in until there are no more streaks. Add your choice of liqueurs and whisk until completely blended. Pour into the chilled crust, smoothing if needed, to the edges.
- Return the pie to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Decorate and Serve the Pie: Sprinkle the cookie crumbs decoratively over the top of the pie and add some chocolate-covered coffee beans or something that tells people what the flavor of the pie will be. If you chose to use mint in the flavoring, you would use some mint leaves as a garnish. If you used citrus, add some thin slices of the matching fruits.
- Cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
- Yield: One 9-inch pie
- ** For a non-alcoholic version, you can add more heavy cream. You can add flavor by infusing it with your favorite flavors using extracts or steeping the cream with ingredients such as citrus, coffee beans, or fresh mint leaves. If you want to make this for St. Patrick's Day, use Kate's original recipe (http://artofthepie.com/green-grasshopper-pie-st-patricks-day/) with Crème de Menthe for the green color.
- Notes: For a gluten-free crust we used Pamela's Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies, pulsed in the food processor. You can use any gluten-free chocolate cookie you like.
- The amounts in the ingredients are for a 9-inch shallow pie plate. If you are using a deep dish pan, increase the crust to 2 cups cookie crumbs and 4 tbsp of butter. No need to increase the filling.
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