Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peppermint Cream Pie

Well, my wonderful regular readers and friends--savory recipes might be on hold for just a while longer. It's Christmas time, and that means that I'm baking treats and candies as gifts, and planning our family Christmas dinner.  On Christmas Eve, I always have to make a dessert that looks pretty, and tastes good, too (like this red velvet cake with white chocolate frosting)!

For last year's Christmas Eve family gathering, I opted to make Prime Rib instead of our traditional German Menu. The prime rib was a total success, along with all the side dishes. So, it was a good thing that I opted to make this Peppermint Cream Pie, for dessert.   I thought the pie looked pretty, and it was light and refreshing.  So did my family and dinner guests.

Peppermint and chocolate is one of my favorite dessert combinations.  This pie starts with a very simple chocolate crust, and is filled with real whipped cream that has been flavored with melted peppermints, and a dab of peppermint extract.  Unflavored gelatin binds the light filling together.

The most work involved, really, was unwrapping all of the peppermint candy canes.  I like to use my food processor to crush them, but you can take out your aggressions by putting the candies in a zip-loc bag, and smashing the candies with a rolling pin.

For the crust, I used Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, combined with some sugar and crushed to a fine crumb.  Of course, you need to add melted butter-- and press it all into a prepared pie pan.  Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes and allow to cool.

In the meantime, I "bloomed" some unflavored gelatin...

and then melted the crushed peppermint candies (reserving some as a garnish) along with some heavy whipping cream, then allowed it to cook to room temperature.

Using a stand mixer, I whipped more heavy cream until stiff peaks formed.  

Once cooled, I added the peppermint mixture and gently folded it into the whipped cream.

Spread the filling into the prepared pie crust, and refrigerate for at last two hours.

I garnished the chilled pie by piping on more whipped cream, sweetened with a little confectioner's sugar ( to stabilize it) and added some sprinkles for color.

Getting a "finish" shot of the pie wasn't easy to do.  Imagine this:  it's winter dark outside. There's lots of animated talking going on, and I just can't set up photography lights.  In all the excitement, I forgot to fix my white balance on my camera...and well, suffice it to say that my photography went to pot between slicing prime rib, serving dinner and everyone pitching in to clear dishes.

 So, this is as good as it gets-- picture-wise!

TASTING NOTES:  It's a simple, unfussy dessert.  The chocolate crust is buttery and rich and delish.  The filling is very light, with just the right balance of peppermint.  One thing I didn't realize, that's important to mention--  adding crushed peppermints as a garnish should be done, right before serving. Otherwise, they melt, while in the fridge. Not a deal breaker, but worth noting.

I didn't post this recipe, last year, because it was after our Christmas dinner. I saved this recipe to share with you, this year...but with my busy work schedule, I'm coming just down the wire in getting this post up.

One more week until Christmas!  Gosh the time flies, once our childhood is behind us.  Sometimes I wish that Christmas would approach much slower, like when I was a little girl and could hardly wait for that day.

The printable recipe card  is at the end of this post. (Recipe slightly adapted from "Saving Room For Dessert".

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Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

This is a perfect dessert for a holiday meal...very festive and not as heavy as some of the traditional desserts. I think I'll make it in little squatty Mason jars and take a few to friends. Can't wait to try it. Merry Christmas.

Big Dude said...

Looks like the ideal Christmas dessert Debbie.

Joanne said...

Ooo now this does sound lovely as a holiday dessert. I'm sure the whole family will love it!