'After Eight' Pie (serves 8-10)
Pie Dough for one fully baked 9” pie shell or one fully baked 8” x 2” pie shell
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 stick (4oz.) unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine flour, salt, sugar and pulse once or twice. Add butter, pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Empty contents into a medium mixing bowl and gradually add 3 tablespoons of cold water and vinegar, gently mixing with a rubber scraper, or your fingertips until the mixture forms a soft dough. If the dough feels dry, you can add up to one additional tablespoon of ice cold water. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour before rolling out. Roll dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper to about ⅛” thick. Gently fit the dough into your pie plate, trim the overhang and crimp the edges. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line pie pan with parchment paper and pie weights or beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for approx. 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully lift out the parchment/pie weights and return the pie crust to the middle rack of your oven and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the bottom looks dry and the crust is golden. Set aside on a rack to cool completely before filling.
Fresh Mint/Chocolate filling (yields about 3 cups, enough to fill a standard 9” pie crust or an 8” x 2” deep pie crust) (adapted from Theo chocolate and Miette)
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
24 fresh mint leaves, rinsed and thoroughly dried on a paper towel
10 oz. of 62% dark chocolate, chopped
⅔ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
Finely chop the cleaned/dried mint leaves to release their concentrated oils. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the fresh mint, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Place the chocolate and confectioners’ sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk a bit to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. After the cream and mint have steeped, pour through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the mint with a rubber spatula to extract as much of the mint as you can. Discard the leaves and return the cream to the heat bringing it back to a simmer. Pour the warmed cream over the bowl of chocolate and confectioners sugar. Set this bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat, stirring with a rubber spatula until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat. Gradually add a bit of the warm chocolate mixture to the egg yolks to temper them, whisking constantly. Add the tempered egg yolks back into the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add the butter, a little at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Let it cool down for about 30 minutes before pouring the filling into your cooled, fully baked pie crust. Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and fresh berries. Blackberries are delicious teamed with fresh mint and chocolate.
Whipped Cream (see note)
In the chilled bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of heavy cream on medium–high speed until it begins to thicken. Lower the speed and gradually add 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whip until soft peaks form, remove the bowl from the mixer and finish whisking the cream by hand until thick.
(Note: the chocolate filling is extremely dense and solid when chilled. I take the pie out of the fridge for about an hour before topping it with whipped cream and serving it. If there are any leftovers, cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)