Once again, I tempted fate by entering a pie in this year’s Portland Pie-Off. Since I count two of the pie commissioners as friends, I also helped at the event itself, slicing pies and even answering questions, thanks to the ‘official’ status wearing an apron seems to grant one at an event like the Portland Pie-Off!
Last year, both my 10 year old daughter and I attended the inaugural event. We went shopping for pie ingredients together… bought new pie equipment together… schemed and strategized about our respective pies together… and then she took home the blue ribbon for best Mash-Up Pie. Hmmmph.
This year, I knew she wasn’t going to be there (she was at sleepaway camp all last week), so I figured the coast was clear. And I decided earlier this week that I’d make a Chocolate Mojito Pie.
My entry form contained this description:
What else would you expect from the woman who currently holds the #1 position for a ‘best mojito’ search in Google (thanks to this recipe)? After last year’s crushing defeat – at the hands of my own 10 year old daughter, no less – I’ve decided I’m in it to win it & going with a Sure Thing. So I’m modifying this…tweaking that…and adding a liberal dose of chocolate to the mix, just because I can.
I’m completely and totally superstitious, though. Which is why I’m a) using the same pie pan my kid did last year, b) stealing part of her recipe for S’Mores Without Fire pie (the chocolate base), and c) will even wear her apron over my neck while I assemble my pie.
I started a week ago by making mint simple syrup with lime rind in it. Began last night by squeezing a metric ton of key limes. Slaved over my original recipe, only to end up with something completely inedible by the end of the evening — way way too tart/lime-y.
So I started again this morning with less than 3 hours to go before the contest itself, improvising as I went & fast-tracking the recipe by adding ice cream in to cool the custard or freezing instead of refrigerating in some spots. Here’s what I ended up with:
Chocolate Mojito Pie
1 box Famous chocolate wafers, crushed
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cube (1/4 lb) butter
Mix the ingredients and press them into a 10″ pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool.
2 bars Green & Black Dark Chocolate w/Mint (save 1/4th of 2nd bar for garnish)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Melt chocolate in microwave on low temperature, Mix well with condensed sweetened milk, spread over not-yet-cool pie crust.
(Note: the first pie I made used 7 oz of bittersweet chocolate, 1 cup heavy cream, and one egg – this was melted/blended & spread over pie crust to bake at 350 for 20 minutes, and was amazing. I think the sweetened condensed milk, though, was almost as good and far less effort besides.)
1/2 cup sugar (for filling)
2/3 cup liquid – I made strong mint tea & 2 shots of 10 Cane rum to equal the 2/3 cup. I could see this with mint liqeuor instead, but I didn’t have any on hand!
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 10 – 12 Key limes)
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
(I also added 5-6 drops of green food coloring so I didn’t have a grey pie!)
Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, water, egg yolks, lime juice and gelatin in the top of a double boiler. The water in the bottom of the double boiler should be boiling. The upper container should be over but not touching the water. Cook the mixture until it thickens., remove from heat. Add the grated lime peel.
After it’s cool (a dip in an ice water bath can help; it does need to be stirred occasionally), add 2/3 cup Haagen-Dazs Five mint ice cream. Let melt, stirring constantly.
Refrigerate the mixture until mounds are formed when dropped from a spoon.
Beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in bowl with 1/4 cup sugar. (I used 1/4 cup of mint simple syrup instead) until peaks form. Fold carefully into gelatin mixture. Spoon into pie shell and chill until set.
(If you want to skip the ice cream; I’d whip 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 1/2 cup of mint simple syrup instead.)
I topped my pie with shavings from the Green & Black bar, garnished with a lime slice, and sprinkled it with chocolate mint leaves.
Did I win? Um, no. But I was gratified to see that the woman who won the Mash-Up Pie category also took the Grand Prize ribbon as well (if you’re going to get beaten, why not by the best?) I was also happy to see my pie disappear quickly once the judging was over and the pie hordes descended like locusts!
So what if my kid’s still taunting me about my ribbon-less state? There’s always next year…