Thursday, March 23, 2017

Natchez Mississippi Mud Hand Pie

Oooooooh... do we have a treat for you. Our creative baker, Lorraine Masonheimer, has been at it again, this time with a Mississipi Mud Pie to celebrate the release of the third book in Greg Isles' Natchez Trilogy. (You have to check out her NCIS cake here). This is just too awesome. 

Lorraine explains the concept behind her recipe: The pie is inspired by the Natchez Trilogy set in and around Mississippi. The hand print is painted the color of mud to represent corrupt, dirty hands gripping the State of Mississippi (the shape of which is cut out of the center of the hand).  The question mark is painted red to symbolize mystery and murder. Bourbon or rum is added to the filling of the pie to further root the pie in Mississippi’s bootlegging history as the “wettest dry state in the country.” 


Materials for Hand Decoration:

  • Handprint cutout
  • Question mark cutout
  • Mississippi State cookie cutter, 2” x 1 ¼” (
  • Paint brush (used only for food) 
  • Food Paste (Yellow, Red & Blue)
  • Ready Made Pie crust

STEP 1:  Create the Hand & Question Mark
To create the hand for the top of the Mississippi Mud Pie, draw an outline of a hand or print a royalty free copy from and cut out.  Size the hand to 6 ¼” from palm to middle finger.  Using word, type and print a question mark using the typeface Chiller, 170 points and cut out.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Use a small knife to cut the hand and question mark from a ready-made pie crust.  Place the Mississippi cookie cutter in the center of the hand, cut and remove the crust. 

Bake the hand and question mark for about 5 minutes until a light golden color.  In a disposable cup, mix 6 drops of yellow, ½-1 drop of red and a dab of blue food paste on the paint brush to the color of mud.  Brush lightly over the hand.  Rinse paint brush and brush 1 drop of red food paste over the question mark.  Touch up the fingers with a bit of red if desired.  Set aside. 

Materials for Crust and Filling:
40 Oreo Cookies or 9 Chocolate Graham Crackers
1/2 cup+ chopped pecans (extra for rimming the finished pie)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon or spiced rum
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs

STEP 2:  Make the Crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pulse the cookies and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add the t tablespoons of melted butter and mix until moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until set, about 10 minutes, and let cool. 

STEP 3: Mix the Filling & Bake
Melt the stick of butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and salt until smooth. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup, bourbon and vanilla. Adding the eggs one at a time, stir until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooked crust and bake until set and cracked on top, about 30 minutes.  Cool about 2 hours (the pie will be slightly warm).

Ingredients for Topping:
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ to 1 tablespoon of bourbon, optional
4 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese 

STEP 4:  Fluff the Cream & Top
In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a chilled whisk, beat the heavy cream, vanilla and bourbon until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Add mascarpone cheese and sprinkle confectioners' sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over the top as shown.  Whipped cream can be kept covered in fridge for up to two hours. 

STEP 5:  Finishing Touches
Sprinkle finely chopped pecans around the edge of the pie.  Carefully place the hand in the center.  Drop the question mark into the center of the hand as shown.  Serve cold.  Pie is best served within 24 hours but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

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