Chocolate Icebox Pie

This is a pie recipe I saw on the King Arthur website and have adapted for this evenings dessert.  We love chocolate and this is a light and airy version that is cool and refreshing.   It goes well I think with the two main courses today, spaghetti with meat sauce and spaghetti with shrimp and pesto.

We have family members who don't care for regular spaghetti and meat sauce and some who would never eat shrimp so it works out especially well for those of us who love both!

Ingredients for Chocolate Icebox Pie:

The Crust:

1 1/4 C. crushed graham crackers or chocolate wafers
1/4 C. sugar

1/4 t. cinnamon
5 T. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a 9" pie plate and set it aside.

Combine all of the ingredients well and pat into the pie plate.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes then bake for 8-10 minutes.  Do not over brown.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.

The Filling:

1/3 C. hot water  (or coffee)
2 T. Dark Cocoa
1 T. vanilla
1/2 T. espresso powder  (omit if using coffee)
1 1/3 C. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 T. sugar
pinch of salt

Combine the hot water and espresso powder or coffee, the cocoa, and vanilla then stir until dissolved in a small cup.  Set aside.

Microwave the chocolate for 1 minute and stir.  Microwave an additional 30 seconds and stir again.  Continue at 15-20 second intervals and stirring until the chocolate is completely smooth.  Let this cool.

After the chocolate has cooled whip the cream with the sugar and salt until stiff peaks form. 

Stir the cocoa mixture into the chocolate until well combined.

Using a whisk by hand, fold the chocolate mixture into the cream until no white streaks remain.

Spread the filling evenly into the cooled crust and refrigerate.

This pie can stand alone as it is or you may wish to top with whipped cream.

The Topping:

1 C. heavy cream
2 T. powdered sugar

Whip the cream and sugar together until soft peaks form then refrigerate.  Top each slice with a dollop of cream as you serve the pie.

This pie should be refrigerated for at least 1 hour before serving.  Yield one 9" pie,  8-10 servings.

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