Monday, August 11, 2008

Mississippi Mud Pie

How fun is it to spell Mississippi? Go ahead, say it out loud. See, kind of fun.

25 chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 cup pecan halves, plus more for garnish
4 Tbsp butter, melted, plus 2 Tbsp, cold, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

Set oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, process wafers and pecans until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and process until moistened. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie plate; press into bottom and up sides. Bake until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. A few tablespoons at a time, whisk in milk, being sure to incorporate the cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.

Over medium heat, whisking constantly, cook mixture until the first large sputtering bubble forms. Reduce heat to low, continuing to whisk constantly, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir in 1/4 tsp vanilla and 2 Tbsp cold butter.

Pour pudding into crust. Place plastic wrap directly on surface (to prevent skin from forming) and chill for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, beat cream, remaining teaspoon sugar and remaining 1/4 tsp vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over pudding and sprinkle with pecans.

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