This is a favorite dessert recipe that I'm reposting because, well, now is the time for something deep, dark, and delicious. Chocolate Rum Pie, which is really more of a European-style torte, is loaded with rich chocolate taste and has a smooth, buttery hint of rum. The pie has a creamy center, but the addition of a little cornmeal causes the filling to form a firm, sugary topping as the pie bakes. I use left over brownies, which I whir in the food processor, to make the crumbs for an easy, pat-in-the-pan crust, but you could also use chocolate cookie crumbs, if you'd prefer. The crust bakes in about 10 minutes, and the filling needs about 45 minutes in the oven. When you pull the pie from the oven, it will look soft in the middle. That's okay. The pie needs to chill in the refrigerator for six to eight hours before you serve it, and the center will set up nicely. Generally, I make the pie/torte a day ahead and stash it in the refrigerator. If you make the pie a day (or even two) early, you'll have less hassle if you're planning on serving the pie/torte for a special dinner and need to concentrate on other dishes. The pie/torte is fine on it's own, but a scattering of raspberries on top and perhaps a little whipped cream alongside would be even better.
Chocolate Rum Pie Torte -- Serves 8+
2 cups of ground brownie or chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of butter
1 1/3 cups of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of rum extract
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of cornmeal
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chunks or morsels
1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9-inch spring-form pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the brownie crumbs, cinnamon, and oil and mix them well. Pat the mixture evenly on the bottom of the spring-form pan to form the bottom crust of the pie. Bake the crust for 10-13 minutes until fragrant and set. While the crust is baking, use a wooden spoon to beat the butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture just enough to mix the egg into the batter after each addition. Beat in the milk, rum extract, and vanilla. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder and the cornmeal until incorporated, then mix in the dark chocolate chunks and mini-chips. Pour the batter over the baked crust and bake the pie for 35-45 minutes until barely set. The middle of the pie should reach 165 degrees, if you'd like to use a thermometer to check to see if it's done. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Dust the top of the pie with the remaining 1 teaspoon of cocoa. Cover the pie and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours before serving it, preferably topped with raspberries and/or whipped cream.