Sunday, January 06, 2013

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream | Nothing in the House

Happy New Year! Hope you rang in your lucky 13 year with friends and fun a little bit of debauchery. We brought ours in with all of that and more, down in Asheville, North Carolina at our friend's honky-tonk show filled with so many more pals that it felt more like a private party than a public event. After two-stepping the night away (along with a little solo shimmying for the cowgirl costume contest), we took it to the after-party, for jams, backyard sling shot shooting, and a Dwight Yoakam/George Jones living room dance party of my dreams. Though the party was still raging, we finally had to shut ourselves in a room at 6am so we could get at least a little sleep before we drove home to D.C. the next day.

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream | Nothing in the House

But before we launch to far into this new year, I still have a few things to share from the old one, this Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream being one of them. Before I had even gotten to my parents', my dad was requesting chocolate-orange pie, as they were overflowing with citrus from school fundraisers and holiday gifts. My first morning there, he jumped up from the breakfast table, ran out to his car, and came back bearing a chocolate bar with orange zest, just to emphasize what a good combination it was.

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream | Nothing in the House

Oranges at Christmas are not unusual in my family, though. It's a tradition to get one in our stocking, there at the bottom, filling out the toes. When we were little and had our stockings at the foot of our beds, it gave us something to snack on while we played with our stocking stuffers and waited for our parents to wake up. If we were lucky, we got two oranges, one as you would expect, and the other a chocolate orange, to "whack and unwrap" later, after we'd eaten breakfast and opened presents.

It turns out that this pie, adapted from Serious Eats, tastes EXACTLY like those chocolate oranges, a dark chocolate, amply infused with fresh orange zest for a thick mousse- or soft ganache-like filling. I made this for Christmas dinner, but got a late start, so on account of the setting time, we didn't get to eat it that day, despite my uncle and grandmother's multiple inquiries (while my aunt and I anxiously awaited for the Brits to upload the Downton Abbey Season 3 Christmas Special). We tried to take it to my grandmother's the next day, but a Boxing Day snowstorm kept us at home, so we were unable to share. I'm sure my dad didn't mind...

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream slice

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream
Adapted from Serious Eats

Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved
2 c. (16 oz.) whole milk
3 Tblsp. orange zest (from about 3 oranges), plus additional for garnish
13 oz. 65% chocolate, chopped
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 c. (4 oz.) mascarpone cheese
6 oz. heavy whipping cream
2 Tblsp. confectioner's sugar

For crust:

1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions. Chill dough at least 1 hour before rolling out and fitting into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Using a fork, prick chilled crust all over the bottom. Line crust with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove weights, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let crust cool completely.

For filling:
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk milk and orange zest. Place pan over medium heat and bring milk just to a boil, then remove from heat and let sit about 20 minutes. Pour the milk mixture through a sieve and  return milk to the cleaned saucepan. 

2. Combine the chopped chocolate and salt in a large heat-proof bowl. Bring milk just to a boil and pour over the chocolate mixture, letting it sit, covered, for 2 minutes, then stirring until chocolate is melted. 

3. Return mixture back to the saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously for about 8 minutes (make sure to keep stirring so chocolate does not burn on the bottom of the pan). The mixture will thicken and begin to bubble. Continue stirring until it becomes the consistency of a thick ganache. Remove from heat and pour into the pie shell. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight, if possible. When ready, the chocolate will be set up like a thick chocolate mousse.

For mascarpone cream:
1. In the bowl of a stand or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and confectioner's sugar together until the cream is thickened but does not yet hold soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and whip until the mixture holds medium peaks.

2. Mound the cream on the center of the pie and decorate with orange zest curls or candied orange zest, if desired. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy! And you don't even have to "whack and unwrap."

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream | Nothing in the House


Megan said...

I'm in love with your blog, and I haven't made it yet, but I think I might be in love with this pie. I'm sure once I do, I will be!

I am about to make Levon Helm's Lemon Icebox pie for the third time. It's one my favorite things in the world. Love that Levon too!

emily said...

Aw, thank you for your kind words and for reading, Megan! I think you'll like this one. And yes, Levon forever! I just watched Coal Miner's Daughter again him as Loretta's father.

Bubble & Squeak said...

I made this two weeks ago and it was divine! The only problem I had with it was that the oil from the orange zest rose to the top of the ganache and turned "milky" when cooled. It tasted great, but the over-all pie looked a little amateur-ish. I'm curious if my orange zest was just too oily, or if I "zested" just a little too much? If I used a cloth to strain the milk, perhaps the oil would absorb into the cloth and the milk would flow through? Would love to hear your thoughts.

emily said...

Hmm interesting...I'm sorry to hear that. I've never encountered that particular issue so I'm not totally sure, but can I ask how you zested it? I could see if the pieces were too large and you got too much of the pith, that might be the cause. Also, did you use a fine sieve or a strainer?

Bubble & Squeak said...

Hi Emily. I used a microplane zester, which creates a fine zest. And I used a vintage fine wire sieve. I tried it again the other night and used a coffee filter to strain the milk (instead of the sieve), which worked a great deal better. There was still a small amount of oil on the surface, so I used an icing knife and smoothed out the surface after it was set. I'm beginning to think that it might be the chocolate? I've been using Ghirardelli's 60% bittersweet baking chips. I'll try another brand and see what happens.



emily said...

Aha! That could be it. I don't recall what variety of chocolate I used when I made it--I often bake with Ghirardelli 60% but it also could have been Callebaut semi-sweet (I made it at my parents' house, and this is what they often buy). Do keep me posted and thanks for your experimentation!


Susan said...

I love a good chocolate orange combo, so I really want to try this pie. Do you think it would be improved by using heavy cream in place of milk, or would that make it too heavy?

emily said...

Hi Susan, I bet heavy cream would be fine, but it's already very rich with the milk. Hope you enjoy!

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