Mocha Buttercrunch Pie, aka Chocolate Crunch Pie
(From a recipe given to me by the proprietor of the late, lamented Bootsie, Winkie, and Miss Maud restaurant on P Street in Washington, D.C., but identical to one in The Frog Commissary Cookbook.)
This can be made in stages. The crust needs to be baked and cooled. Then make the filling, fill the crust, and cool in the fridge. (At this stage, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until the day of the party.) Just before serving—or several hours before if you have fridge space—whip up the topping and cover the (thawed) pie.
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped chocolate (semisweet)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons (maybe more) water
1/2 lb. soft unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
OPTIONAL: Grated chocolate or chocolate curls
Preheat over to 350F. Combine flour, salt, and brown sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender. Stir in the nuts and chocolate. Mix in the vanilla and water. Work the mixture to combine (use your hands). Push mixture into pie plate and cover the bottom and rim. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cool.
Cream butter until fluffy and smooth. Add sugar, coffee, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate. Again beat smooth. Add the eggs one by one, beating for several minutes after each addition. Spread the mixture in the pie shell. Chill for several hours. (At this point the pie can be wrapped and frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.)
Just before serving, whip together the cream, coffee, powdered sugar, cocoa, and vanilla until stiff enough to hold a shape. I just heap this on top of the pie. Those skilled with a pastry bag can pipe rosettes all over the top. Garnish, if desired, with grated chocolate or chocolate curls. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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