Monday, August 19, 2013

Feeling Nostalgic, Mom & Nesselrode Pie

Growing up in Brooklyn had its perks, we had great restaurants "back in the day".  Sundays were our family's day to hit one of the few that were my parents' favorites.  Tappans (long gone) in Sheepshead Bay was top on the list and where I learned to appreciate seafood, developing a taste for raw clams and lobster at a very early age.
My mom, though no longer here is here as I think of her daily and sometimes I feel I get a "visit" because I just googled one of her favorite desserts, Nesselrode Pie.  After one of her ultra rich dinners consisting of Lobster Thermidor, mom always had room for the equally rich dessert she loved, Nesselrode Pie.
I don't think there is anywhere in New York (or anyplace else for that matter) that still serves this mid-century modern dessert on its menu but I found a recipe.
I'm not a big cook or baker but one day might consider trying this in memory of my mom.  Funny, I don't even remember if I liked it or if I just settled for my scoop of chocolate ice cream at the end of dinner, but I so remember my mother adoring this dessert.
Thanks for the memories mom, miss you so much.

For crumb crust:
  • 1½ c. chocolate cookie crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s chocolate cat cookies)
  • 2 T sugar
  • ½ c. butter
For the filling:
  • ½ cup finely diced candied fruit (I used red and green pineapple for color and texture and candied orange peel)
  • ⅓ cup rum
  • 1½ c. heavy cream, divided into ¾ c. and ¾ c.
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • ½ c. sweetened chestnut puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until stiff
For crumb crust:
  1. Process sugar and crumbs in food processor.
  2. Melt butter, combine with sugar and crumbs.
  3. Press into a 9 inch pie plate until firm (I use the bottom of a glass to press it in.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, let cool.
For the filling:
  1. Pour rum over the fruits, let macerate for at least one hour.
  2. Bring ¾ c. cream to a simmer. Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in part of the hot cream, then return the eggs to the remainder of the cream and whisk over low heat until the mixture is thickened. Fold in chestnut puree.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl. When the gelatin has absorbed the water and the custard is thickened, whisk the gelatin into the cream and eggs mixture. Refrigerate until firm.
  4. Break up the firmed custard with some vigorous stirring. Beat the egg whites until stiff and whip the remaining cream. Fold the macerated fruits (with the rum), the whipped cream and the beaten egg whites into the chestnut custard mixture. Pour into the prepared pie shell.
  5. Chill until firm, and garnish with curls of chocolate.