Usually the differences in a popular recipe—say red velvet cake—are a matter of subtle variations (I.E., less flour, more sugar, cream cheese frosting versus vanilla frosting) and personal tweaks (some people trade the red food dye for beet juice). However, on occasion, a recipe will undergo seismic differences from state to state and person to person. The Mississippi Mud Pie is one of those recipes. Mississippi mud means many things to many people, and we took the liberty of reinterpreting two of the most popular versions (see version B). This recipe is the simpler one. In fact, you can put it together rather effortlessly (though there are stretches of time to account for the chilling and freezing steps), and I find that perfectly charming: chocolate cookie crust covered in a layer of chocolate fudge covered in a layer of coffee ice cream and drizzled with more bourbon fudge. You could swap the coffee ice cream for another flavor, but then you couldn’t call it Mississippi mud.
In a food processor, pulverize the wafer cookies into a very fine crumb. You should have about 1½ cups. Place the crumbs into a bowl, add the sugar, and stir until combined.
Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and mix well. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. Use the back of a large spoon to get an even crust. Set the crust aside in the refrigerator.
Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, butter, and corn syrup to a simmer. Remove the mixture from the heat, pour it over the chocolate, and let sit for 1 minute. Then whisk the chocolate mixture until it is completely smooth. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and bourbon.
Spread the fudge evenly over the bottom of the pie crust, cover it, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Soften the coffee ice cream by placing the container in the microwave for 10 seconds on high. Put it into a large bowl and use a rubber spatula to beat it until it is slightly malleable. Spread the ice cream over the chilled fudge filling, sprinkle it with pecans, gently pressing them into the ice cream, and freeze the pie for about 1½ hours, or until the ice cream is firm.
In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the cream, butter, and corn syrup together until the mixture begins to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until the fudge is smooth—if you still have a few stray chocolate chunks, reheat the mixture over very low heat until they are completely melted. Stir in the bourbon.
Beat the fudge topping until it reaches room temperature, and pour it over the ice cream and pecan layer in a zigzag pattern. Freeze the Mississippi Mud Pie until it is set, about 20 minutes. To serve the pie, cut it with a warmed sharp knife.
The pie will keep in the freezer, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
© 2010 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.