If you’ve ever eaten mud pie, you know that there’s no going back once you’ve tried it. The decadent dessert contains a gooey chocolate filling on top of a crumbly chocolate crust and is usually served with ice cream
While its exact origin isn’t know, mud pie probably was created in Mississippi and named for the longest river in the U.S., some say because it resembled the banks of the Big Muddy. And now, it is known worldwide, owing in large part to the sheer amount of chocolate in each serving.
I have some recollections of my first taste of mud pie. I think it was at the Blue Moose restaurant in East Grand Forks shortly Therese became my bride. We were at the Moose with several friends, and after a delicious meal, we all shared a pie of mud pie, partly because it was so big and partly because it was so rich.
I haven’t had mud pie in a while, but just recently came across a recipe for it that was penned by Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. It is one of a number of recipes in a new book by Julie Loria, wife of Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. (See related story at www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/210291/.)
“Diamond Dishes — From the Kitchens of Baseball’s Biggest Stars” (Lyons, $24.95) also features recipes from the 18 other Major League All-Stars, the likes of Alex Rodriguez (baked kale chips), Albert Pujols (Dominican beans and rice) and Josh Hamilton (pulled pork sandwich).
Here’s Utley’s recipe for mud pie, which I hope (hint) someone will make for me soon.
Chase Utley’s Ultimate Mud Pie
CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST:
1½ cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pie pan
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
5 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate wafer crumbs, for garnish
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan.
To make the crust, combine the crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a medium bowl until moistened. Press firmly and evenly into the pie pan. Bake until the crust is set and smells like warm cookies, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
To make the filling, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat 2½ cups of the half-and-half, the sugar, and the salt, stirring often to dissolve the sugar, until simmering. Pour into a heatproof bowl. Rinse out the saucepan.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the cornstarch over the remaining ½ cup half-and-half and whisk until dissolved. Whisk the yolks in a medium bowl, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Gradually whisk in the hot half-and-half mixture and return to the rinsed-out saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a flat wooden spatula (to keep the mixture from scorching), until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture bubble, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, and vanilla, and whisk until the chocolate melts completely. Strain through a wire sieve into a clean bowl.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust and press plastic wrap directly on the filling to keep a skin from forming. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until the filling is chilled and set, at least 2 hours.
To make the topping, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a chilled medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed until stiff. Uncover the pie. Spread and swirl the topping over the filling. (If you wish, transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe the cream onto the pie.) Sprinkle pie with cookie crumbs. Slice and serve chilled.
Yield: Serves 8.