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.
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.