Happy Pi Day? What is Pi day? No idea, other than today is March 14th (3.14) and a lot of pie shops and pie makers (including my favorite, Pie Junkie) are really promoting this day and blowing up social media. So I thought I would get in on the action for a client.
…and my client and I are both glad that I did.
So I had this idea in my head of what I wanted to do, and frankly, the final product ended up being better than I had imagined. I love “cherry-chip” anything. Cherry chip ice cream, cherry chip cupcakes, all of it. Cherry-chip to me is basically roughy chopped maraschino cherries blended into something else. I’m sure other things constitute “cherry-chip” but whatever. Turning it into a mousse was the fun and delicious part, which you will see in the recipe.
The one snag I had, and it was a small one, was finding Oreo cookie crumbs for the crust. I’m pretty sure they produce it, like graham cracker crumbs, but in my limited time to shop, make this pie and a meal for this client, I did not have adequate time to store hop looking for the crumbs. So I just purchased a family size package of the famous chocolate wafer cookies, scarped out the cream filling, and “whizz-bang-boomed” the cookies in a food processor, and made the crumbs myself.
I tell you this in the hopes that you are reading these ramblings before the actual recipes (some people hate my FREE recipes and that I write a lot before the actual recipe), and that if you run into the same issue that I did you will know just to buy a family size package of Oreos and make your own crumbs. Consider yourself one of the enlightened, and thanks for reading.
Now, on to the recipe…
Chocolate Cherry-Chip Mousse Pie
3 cups Oreo Cookie Crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
16-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice)
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided (3/4 and 3/4 cups)
3 egg whites, room temp
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and melt your butter. In a large mixing bowl add your chocolate cookie crumbs along with the two tablespoons of granulated sugar. Give it a good stir t combine. Pour in the melted butter and mix to a wet crumb.
Pour the crust mixture into a 9”-9 1/2” round pie dish. Firmly and evenly pack the cookie crust down in the bottom and up along the sides. Using a measuring cup’s bottom and sides help with this task giving you a nice smooth and level crust. Look into it.
Place the pie dish in your oven and bake approximately 12 minutes or until the crust is firm and set. Remove and cool completely.
While the crust is baking, in a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of the maraschino cherry juice. Drain off the rest from the cherries. Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top of the juice and let it “bloom,” approximately ten minutes.
Rinse of the cherries in a strainer to remove all the sugary syrup and coloring. Lay the cherries out onto a paper towel to absorb as much moisture as you can. With a large knife, and watching your fingers, begin to rough chop the cherries into small chip like size. Almost the size of Panko bread crumbs. Set aside.
Using a double boiler, add the white chocolate chips (yes you may use 6 ounces rough chopped white chocolate bar) and the first 3/4 cup of heavy cream. Gently heat and melt the white chocolate into the heavy cream until smooth.
Add the bloomed gelatin into the white chocolate mixture, the second 3/4 cups of cold heavy cream, and stir to a creamy pink consistency. Cover and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to semi set.
While that is going on, begin to whip your egg whites to a stiff peak in a CLEAN and dry bowl of your stand mixer. Egg whites will not beat to stiff peak in a dirty bowl or a bowl with even a hint of fat in it. Once the egg whites are at a soft peak or cloud-like, begin whipping in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, along with the almond extract. Having a handheld mixer and stand mixer really helped when making this pie. If you do not have both, just use separate clean bowls.
Once the egg white meringue has been made, remove the partially set mousse base from the fridge. Using a hand mixer whip the heavy cream mixture to stiff peaks… just like whipped cream. This may take 10 minutes or so because of the gelatin in the cream. Gently fold in the chopped cherries until evenly disbursed in the whipped cream mousse base.
Spoon in a quarter of the egg white meringue and mix thoroughly into the whipped cream base… just to loosen it up. With the remaining egg whites, gently fold into the mixture until no solid meringue is visible.
Pour the cherry chip mousse into your cooled chocolate cookie pie shell. Chill in the fridge at least one hour before serving. Top with shaved chocolate or chocolate curls. Enjoy!