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Easy Mississippi Mud Pie

Mississippi Mud Pie
A double boiler is used for cooking foods gently on the stovetop. Made up of two nesting saucepans, double boilers are available in cookware stores, but a makeshift one is easy to assemble. Choose a saucepan and a heatproof bowl that rests securely in the top of the pan. Fill the saucepan with water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Once the bowl is placed atop the pan, the water must not touch the bowl; allow at least 2 inches of clearance. Bring the water to a boil, set the bowl in place, and reduce the heat so that the water simmers gently.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cookie crumb crust (see related recipe
      at left), made with chocolate cookies
  • 1⁄2 cup toffee bits or coarsely chopped
      toasted almonds (see Note)
  • 1 quart premium coffee ice cream, softened

Directions:

In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate chips, butter, cream and corn syrup. Set over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan until the chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, in a microwaveproof bowl, combine the chocolate, butter, cream and corn syrup and melt in the microwave for 30-second intervals. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.

Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture for the top of the pie. Spread the remaining mixture evenly in the bottom of the cookie crust. Sprinkle with half of the toffee bits. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the ice cream on medium speed until it is spreadable but not runny. Immediately mound into the pie shell and spread evenly. Freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Reheat the reserved chocolate mixture in the top of the double boiler over barely simmering water, or in the microwave for 30-second intervals, until it is spreadable but not hot. Using a spatula, spread it over the ice cream. Sprinkle with the remaining toffee bits and return the pie to the freezer until it is completely firm before serving, 3 to 4 hours.

To slice, run a knife under hot water, then dry it off. If frozen overnight, the pie may need to stand at room temperature for a few minutes before it is soft enough to slice easily. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.

Note: You can find packaged toffee bits in the baking section of well-stocked markets, or chop up a toffee candy bar. The toffee bits make this pie a special treat, especially for children. For a more sophisticated version, use toasted almonds.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).