The wisteria was in full bloom and that was a good enough reason to invite some friends to dinner last night. We began with drinks and nibbly bits down at the pond so we could enjoy the sight and smell of the lavender panicles drooping around us.
And for dessert -- frozen chocolate pie -- a popular favorite. I just wish I'd had the presence of mind to take its picture before we laid waste to it.
A wonderful, mostly do-ahead crowd pleaser
Pecan Crust (1 9-inch)
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons coffee liqueur (I use rum instead because I never happen to have coffee liqueur around)
Stir ingredients together; press mixture firmly onto bottom and up side of a nine-inch pie pan.
6 (1 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate squares
2 tablespoons strong coffee (or 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, divided ( again, I use rum instead)
1 and 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided (half will be used to top the pie)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate squares with the coffee in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Gradually stir about one-fourth of the hot chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs; now add the egg-chocolate mixture back to the remaining chocolate, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in three tablespoons coffee liqueur (or rum) and cook, continuing to stir for a few minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Beat 3/4 cup of whipping cream with the vanilla till soft peaks form. Fold into cooled chocolate mixture. Spoon into pecan crust. Cover and freeze. Thaw slightly before serving so it will be easier to cut.
Before serving, whip remaining 3/4 cup whipping cream with 1 tablespoon rum till stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie and grate a bit of chocolate on it for decoration