Fresh Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie

Mint Choc Brownie Pie

It’s the end of summer and I know I should mark the occasion with a fruit pie finale and an impassioned plea for wringing the last drops of berry and stone fruit pie pleasure from the season, but…

…the problem is I’ve had a serious hankering for a really decadent chocolate pie over the last few weeks. It’s not like I’ve run out of fruit options or I’m happy to see summer fading in the rearview mirror, because I’m not; I’m all about long-hot-lazy days, weekend cookouts, and watermelon margaritas. So the chocolate pie thing is a bit of a fluke and really hard to explain, even to myself.

Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie at ThePieAcademy.com

Allow me to digress: I had fully intended to bring you another genre of chocolate pie last week, one I’d never made before and which enjoys celebrity status in a particular region of this great country. (I am a visitor there in otherwise good standing, so that region and the pie itself shall remain nameless, except to say that a certain component of the filling has a textural kinship, in my opinion, to a yoga mat.) The pie was, in short, a dud. 

Deflated but not defeated, I decided to take a different path, one that has served me well all summer long, and let the garden inform my quest for the chocolate pie of my fancy. That’s when I hit upon the idea of a mint chocolate brownie pie. Chocolate and mint are already good friends and share a long history together. You can grow chocolate mint, if you please. And get this: there’s even a National Chocolate Mint Day. 

The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course

But how best, I wondered, to get my fresh mint into the brownie filling? And would there be enough of a minty flavor payoff to make the effort worthwhile?

Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie at The Pie Academy

Regarding the first issue – getting the mint into the pie – that was relatively easy: you grind it up with the sugar in the food processor. In seconds flat you’ll have fragrant and finely textured mint sugar, without the roughage. It should be readily apparent to your people that they’re biting into soft fudge brownie filling and not a hay bale.

Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie at The Pie Academy

Regarding the second question, I was surprised at just how much fresh mint was needed to bring out the flavor. I used a full cup of loosely packed leaves. Even at that the mint flavor is somewhat subtle – subtle, but absolutely worth it if you have a patch of mint in the backyard. Of course, you can always up the ante by adding a drop of mint oil or mint extract to the filling. But that’s cheating.

It wouldn’t be mint chocolate brownie pie without a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, so scoop away, ease into your hammock, and dig into this herb garden-inspired summer pie.

PASTRY NOTES: For this pie I recommend the Perfect Piecrust, in part because it makes just the right amount of dough for a standard (not deep-dish) pie pan recommended in the recipe. Feel free to use your favorite piecrust recipe. Just make sure it’s partially pre-baked prior to filling.

Fresh Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 batch PERFECT PIECRUST
  • FILLING
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Instructions

  1. If you haven't already, prepare and refrigerate the Perfect Piecrust. Roll the dough, line the pan, and chill the shell as directed. Partially prebake the shell according to the instructions. Cool.
  2. Make the filling: Cut the butter into large chunks and place them in the top of a double burner or a heatproof bowl placed over, but not in, barely simmering water. Add the chocolate as the butter begins to melt. When the chocolate has melted, remove the insert or bowl and whisk to smooth. Cool for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. While the chocolate is cooling, combine the sugar and mint leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the machine repeatedly until the mint is very finely chopped. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  5. Whisk the mint sugar into the partially cooled chocolate. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon zest. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture, about half at a time, stirring just until thoroughly combined. Turn the batter into the pie shell and smooth with a spoon.
  6. Bake the pie on the middle oven rack for 35 to 45 minutes. When done, the filling will have puffed and it may have developed a few cracks. A toothpick, inserted in the center, may have a few damp chocolate crumbs attached, but it should not be covered in chocolate goo. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing. The pie will keep at room temperature for several days, covered, or in the refrigerator for a week or more. Makes 10 servings.
http://thepieacademy.com/fresh-mint-chocolate-brownie-pie/