I have no idea why, but America’s love of pies has always confused and amazed me. I feel like everything gets turned into a pie. I mean, I guess I could say the same thing about the UK and crumbles or puddings, but I don’t have the same weird obsession with them. They don’t appeal as much.
Think about it. Sweet potato? Put it a pie and sprinkle some marshmallows on top. Pumpkin? Chuck it in a pie and load it with whipped cream. Nuts and molasses? Absolutely throw them in a pie and serve with ice cream. Buttermilk and custard? Yeah, they make sense in a pie. There are some obvious classics in terms of pie, don’t get me wrong, but there seems to be a lot of things baked in a pie crust that seem strange. I know people love them and therefore the flavours must work for some people. But I have always struggled with the idea of potatoes and squashes becoming desserts. I get it, they’re sweet naturally, so they work as a dessert. Just not in my head.
Anyway, a pie I’ve always loved the look of in display cases (besides my all-time favourite pecan pie) is the chocolate pie loaded up with whipped cream. I mean, are you surprised? Have you read any of my previous blog posts? Chocolate? Check. Sugar? Check. Cream? Check. What could possibly be not to like?
This decadent chocolate pie is also known as a Mississippi Mud Pie. The pie crust could be cocoa-based or plain, but the filling is always chocolate, and it’s always topped with cream. Usually there are gratings or curls of chocolate over the cream too.
Now, I’ve made a mud pie once before, about 9 years ago, and remember it being really delicious. I’ve not made one since, but I have always had the page bookmarked in the same recipe book that I used back then. I’ve since found an alternative mud pie recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, which uses fewer ingredients.
As I was making this pie for a friend, and needed to transport it easily (without loaning my pie tin for a few days while she and her husband munched it down), I decided to go down the mini pie route.
My cupcake tin needed a workout, and it’s had one these past few weeks with Egg Cups, Peppermint Brownie Cups, and Spiced Carrot Cupcakes. That might not seem like much, but it sat in the cupboard for a good two months with no usage.
Now, in the original recipe, these pies are meant to be baked only until the middle is just set but still a bit wobbly. However, I’ve purposely over-baked mine slightly, as I wanted to the inside to taste more like a brownie than a pudding. Obviously, if you want a soft, jelly-like centre, then don’t bake for as long, and keep an eye on them. This would make a more traditional mud pie. We all know I don’t always do things traditionally, but this experiment worked out VERY well.
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it yourself!
260 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
110 grams unsalted butter
75 grams dark chocolate
25 grams unsalted butter
15 grams golden syrup
150 grams soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 ml whipping cream
dark chocolate shavings
- For the pie crust, put the flour, salt, and butter into a bowl and mix on a slow speed (or crumble with your fingers) until you get a sandy mixture, and everything is well combined.
- Add 1 tablespoon of water and beat until well mixed. Add a second tablespoon, and get your hands in, to bring the dough together. If the dough is still dry, add a little bit of water at a time, until you have a smooth, even dough.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour, and roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
- Oil and flour a cupcake tin, to prevent the dough from sticking
- Using a ramekin, make 12 circles of dough, and line each cupcake mold with pastry. Prick each pastry cup with a fork along the base.
- Line each pastry cup with parchment paper and baking beans (or uncooked rice). Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pastry cases from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- While the pastry is cooling, melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler.
- Leave the chocolate until fully melted, then remove from heat and stir to combine everything. Allow to cool slightly.
- Mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat until well combined.
- Once the chocolate mixture is cool, slowly beat it into the egg mixture. Beat thoroughly until smooth.
- Pour into the pie crusts, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, for the more fudge-like consistency. If you want a more jelly-like consistency, bake for 15 minutes and check after that for a centre wobble.
- Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Spoon over the pies, and finish with chocolate gratings/shavings.