Mile-High Chocolate Pie

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OK, I love the Dallas Cowboys, but I am also a fan of Peyton Manning and he just happens to play for the Denver Broncos in “The Mile-High City.” So, I thought this recipe would be apropos for my chocolate and football fans.

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Yield: Makes 10 servings

To get a super-light mousse, you’ll need to properly fold together the whipped cream, egg whites, and melted chocolate.

Ingredients

1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 71% cacao), chopped, plus more shaved with a vegetable peeler for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup coarsely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), divided
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Special equipment: A 9″ pie dish

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pie dish with crust; crimp edges decoratively. Fully bake pie crust according to recipe or box instructions. Let cool completely.

2. Whisk egg whites and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm but not hot, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until cool, tripled in volume, and stiff peaks form (the tips of the peaks won’t fall over when beaters are lifted from bowl and turned upright), about 6 minutes.

3. Stir chopped chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over same saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth, 4–5 minutes; set aside.

4. Beat 2 cups cream in another medium bowl until medium peaks form (cream should be soft and pillowy), 5–6 minutes.

5. Gently fold egg whites into warm chocolate mixture until fully incorporated (work quickly to prevent chocolate from turning gritty). Gently fold in whipped cream just until no white streaks remain; do not overmix or mixture will deflate. Spoon 1/2 cup chocolate mousse into bottom of prepared pie crust; spread evenly over bottom of crust. Sprinkle 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed chocolate wafers over mousse. Top with remaining mousse, mounding in the center to create a dome. (The point is to add height, not to spread out evenly to edges.) Chill pie.

6. Beat remaining 2 cups cream, crème fraîche, and salt until medium-stiff peaks form (when the beaters are lifted from the cream, the peaks will hold their shape but the tips will fall over). Top chocolate mousse with whipped-cream mixture, following the same rounded dome shape. Chill pie for at least 4 hours or, covered, for up to 3 days. (It will slice best if chilled overnight, allowing mousse to set properly.)

7. Garnish pie with 2 tablespoons chocolate wafers and chocolate shavings. Slice pie using a clean, dry knife; wipe between slices to ensure clean, elegant pieces.

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