Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pie! Pie! Pie! (and Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe)

Thanksgiving is only a few days away (did you know? :) ).

Anyway, I'm hosting 16 people, which will be fun but hectic.

I love all parts of the Thanksgiving meal, but I really, really, really love pie.  So does the rest of my family.  We may love pie a little too much, in fact.

We even have a family song about pie.  My husband writes and records songs as a hobby.  A few Thanksgivings ago, in an attempt to keep the hungry hordes out of my way in the kitchen, he made up a great song.  It is aptly entitled, "Pie" and features a resounding chorus of "Pie! Pie! Pie!" (repeated about a million times).

Our pie obsession may have gone a little too far.  Most Thanksgivings, our pie to people ratio is 1:1.  That's when I started to realize that we may need a pie intervention sooner rather than later.

However, since we have so many people coming this year, I am happy to report that our pie to people ratio will be more like 1:2, which feels a little more respectable somehow.  We will be having: 2 pumpkin, 1 apple, 1 peach, 2 key lime, 2 chocolate cream and a pumpkin cheesecake.

In the meantime, my little brother's birthday was on Sunday, and I made him a Chocolate Mousse Cake with a shortbread crust.  Really, I think it should be considered a pie--it has a crust after all.  I guess cheesecake does, too, though.  Confusing.

Anyway, pie/cake distinctions aside, it was delicious.  It is sort of like eating a great big truffle in a shortbread cookie crust.  In other words, heavenly.  It is perfect when eaten just a little warm with whipping cream (don't even think about using Coolwhip) or a scoop of ice cream on top (or both, like we did ;) ).  Also, this crust is great to use for any pie that calls for a graham cracker crust in case you're still looking for pie inspiration.

Shortbread Crust

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel OR 1/2 tsp extract (almond or vanilla)
1 cup flour
2 T sugar

Mix all the ingredients together until you have a cohesive rubble (I use my Kitchenaid with the flat paddle).  Then press into the bottom and an inch and a half up the sides of a Springform pan (or pie plate, if using it for a different recipe).

Chocolate Mousse Cake/Pie

2 8-ounce packages (16 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped up (or use 16 oz. good-quality chocolate chips, like I did)
1 cup whipping cream
6 beaten eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Melt and stir chocolate and cream over low heat until chocolate melts (or microwave on medium or using your microwave's melt setting).  Transfer to a large bowl.  Combine eggs, the 3/4 cup sugar, and flour: beat 10 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored.  Fold 1/4 of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture.  Pour into crust-lined Springform pan.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 55 minutes or until puffed around the edge and halfway to the center (center will be slightly soft).  Place on a cooling rack.  Cool 20 minutes and remove sides of pan.  Cool for 4 hours.  Chill leftovers.  Serves 16 (it is really rich).

If I don't manage another post before then, I hope you all have a happy, delicious, blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by the people you love!

Oh, also--I was very moved to read about another blogger's experience with a premature birth and loss of her baby here.  Definitely grab a tissue before you follow that link, though.  What a sweet, faithful Mama, and what a poignant reminder to me to make sure I tell my Heavenly Father how grateful I am to be the mother of six healthy children.


  1. Yeah!! A fellow "Pie Hound" like me! We also have a 1:1 ratio of guests to pie, usually, and occasionally we have one extra dessert (cake, tarts, etc.) I was just thinking that it needs to be a little more reasonable this year, like 1:2. ;o)  Since we only have 6 for dinner this year, I'm going to make 1 pumpkin, 1 cherry, and 1 cranberry custard. OK, I'll likely make 1 Dutch apple pie for Joel too... 

    Have a wonderful holiday, and thanks for the blog link too. I'm praying for their family, and ever-more thankful for my kiddos as well. 

  2. Hi Katrina. Your "scaling back" looks like mine--pitiful! But delicious... :) I just like the variety, and once you start spending crazy amounts of time baking pies, you may as well spend more, right? :) I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for sending prayers their way. What a difficult way to usher in the holiday season...

  3. Wow, your pie sounds yummy. And now I understand why Ian was always happy when there was pie for dessert at our house or he would even bring pie for dessert.

  4. Hi Kim! Ian told me he has been the happy recipient of many good meals at your home :). We are a pie-loving family. I hope your Thanksgiving was great!


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