Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flowerpot Pie

If you're looking for daily cooking inspiration, you simply must sign up for the free Hoosier Homemade newsletters.  I don't know how Liz, the Cupcake Lady, does it, but she delivers multiple new ideas - with step-by-step pictures! - to my in-box several times a day.  It's really quite extraordinary.

She created this Flowerpot Pie for Earth Day.  The minute I saw the colorful gum drop flowers, I was smitten. I absolutely had to make it, and for what better occasion than our Memorial Day BBQ?!

I had just one hestitation, though.  Liz's recipe calls for instant pudding mix and Cool Whip.  I didn't want to go that route.  Nothing wrong with those ingredients; they are great for quick and consistent results.  But, I wanted to create the most amazing chocolate cream pie I could.  I wanted a high-end, lubricious filling for this pie.  I wanted a French Silk Chocolate Pie. 

Where do you turn for the most authentic, deluxe recipes?  Cook's Country, of course! They test and re-test their recipes so that you know, if you follow it carefully, your dish will come out perfectly.  Plus, in their recipe, the eggs are cooked so the very slight chance of salmonella is completely removed.

I also eliminated the walnut "rocks" from my version, since one of the BBQ guests was allergic to nuts.  She sure appreciated being able to have a slice of this decadent treat. My husband had two slices and only refrained from taking more because he didn't want to deny others their pieces.  Another guest described it as "better than sex".  High praise, indeed!


Filling & Crust
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used 2 4-ounce Ghiradelli 60% cacao chocolate bars, from the baking aisle.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (You can also add 3/4 cup of walnuts for more "rocks" in the flowerpot.)
  • 1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked and cooled (I used a frozen deep dish crust from the grocery store.)
  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed or other chocolate cookie (I used Teddy Graham's Chocolate Graham Snacks.)
  • Gummy worms (to scatter on top)
Gum Drop Flowers 
  • Gum drops
  • Mini cookie cutters in flower and leaf shapes (I used fondant cutters I found at Jo-Ann's.)
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Small amount of sugar for rolling the gum drops out
  • Small amount of frosting to attach centers and leaves
  • With electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer whipped cream to small bowl and refrigerate.
  • Combine eggs, sugar, and water in large heatproof bowl set over medium saucepan filled with ½ inch barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water).
  • With electric mixer on medium speed, beat until egg mixture is thickened and registers 160 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat egg mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
  • Add chocolate and vanilla to cool egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined.
  • Using spatula, fold in whipped cream until no streaks of white remain.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Scrape filling into pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
Gum Drop Flowers 
  • On a cutting board or hard surface, sprinkle a small amount of sugar.
  • Using your hand, press gum drop out then roll out with a rolling pin, flipping from side to side several times.
  • Cut flower out with cookie cutter.
  • Repeat for leaves and centers of flowers.
  • Attach to the pretzel with a small amount of frosting.
  • Place in fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes to set the frosting.
  • Sprinkle chocolate cookie (or chocolate graham cracker) crumbs on top of chiled pie.
  • Place flowers randomly on top of pie, gently pushing the pretzel stems down into the filling so they're secure.
  • Scatter gummy worms between flowers.
This dessert is a little difficult to transport, particularly in a hot climate like Las Vegas where I live.  However, if you freeze it ahead of time and bring frosting with you to make repairs, you'll be able to make a beautiful presentation at any party.

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