Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PIE #38 - Louisiana Mudslide Pie

The paternal side of my husband's family has deep roots in the deep south. Papa Coco grew up in New Iberia, birthplace of the famous Tabasco sauce, and I credit the Coco clan for my love of spicy fare. My relationship with Cajun cuisine has been a sizzling one. I've eaten my way across the New Orleans area a number of times, keeping syncopated step with Dixieland music and jazz while cavorting with po boy sandwiches, dirty rice and gobs of gumbo all doused with that ubiquitous Tabasco. It's a good thing I don't live in the Big Easy for I would surely be as big as a bayou.

The pièce de résistance of Louisiana fare, however, is the dessert. Beignets with chicory café au lait and pralines are the perfect chasers after a spicy meal. I'm not a Starbucks fan, but if Cafe du Monde ever become a franchise chain, I would probably be the first to buy in! With coffee and caramel pecans as my inspiration, I present to you Louisiana Mudslide Pie. It's a frozen ice cream pie, an ideal counterpoint to the peppery fire of a Cajun dinner and the sultry southern summer heat.

Pecans are incorporated into the pie crust and can also be used as a garnish. A premium coffee flavored ice cream is a requirement, and if you can find it studded with chocolate pieces, that's all the better. Purchase a good quality caramel sauce as well as a thick hot fudge sauce. I've included my recipe for fudge sauce which is easy to prepare and can be stored for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. This is the sauce I used in my Love Potion pie, and I'm not so humble to say, this sauce is swoon-worthy!

Bon appétit!

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup pecans, finely ground in a coffee mill
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix all crust ingredients together and press evenly into a 9 1/2-inch pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool.

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce (you can use bottled, but recipe is below)
1/2 gallon coffee ice cream, softened
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans for garnish (optional)

Spoon 1/3 cup of caramel topping and into cooled pie crust and freeze for about 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and spread half of ice cream over the caramel sauce. Spread another 1/3 cup of caramel sauce and 2/3 cup of hot fudge sauce over the ice cream. Sprinkle with 1/4 cups chocolate chips and then spread remaining ice cream into the pie pan. Spread remaining 2 tablespoons each of the caramel and hot fudge sauce over top of pie. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and sprinkle with pecans if desired.

Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.

Fudge Sauce:
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk, chocolate chips and sugar to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for the pie and store the remaining sauce in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for another use.

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