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Which sounds more mouth watering? A cool maple pie with a spiced vanilla crumb crust or a lemon pie with chocolate hazelnut crust and hazelnut caramel oozing out of the middle? Let us know in the comments!
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Lemon Icebox Pie
Nancy Olson, Gramercy Tavern
Note: To make this dessert without turning on the oven for any part of it I like to toast the hazelnuts in a sauté pan over medium heat until they are lightly colored and fragrant. To make a non-alcoholic version substitute water for the Cointreau.
Yields one 8-inch pie
Chocolate Hazelnut Crumb Crust
½ cup Hazelnuts, toasted
¼ cup Sugar
¼ cup Flour
3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until everything comes together. Lightly press the crumbs onto the sides and bottom of an eight-inch quiche pan. Refrigerate until set.
Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel
¼ cup Hazelnuts, toasted
¼ cup Sugar
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 ounce Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until they are very fine crumbs.
In a medium saucepan over high heat bring the sugar with a couple tablespoons of water to a boil. Caramelize the sugar until it is a deep mahogany color. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the heavy cream down the side of the saucepan. Pour the hot caramel over the chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and completely incorporated into the caramel. Stir in the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Lemon Curd and Lemon Mousse
5 tablespoons Cointreau
1 ¾ teaspoons Gelatin
½ cup Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Salt
Zest from 1 Lemon
½ cup Lemon Juice
3 Eggs, plus 1 Egg Yolk
2 tablespoons Butter
¾ cup Heavy Cream
Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the Cointreau and allowing it to sit at room temperature for about five minutes.
In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and egg yolks. Whisk until completely combined. Place the mixture over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin and Cointreau. Whisk in the butter until completely melted. Press through a fine strainer.
Pour enough of the lemon curd onto the chocolate hazelnut crumb crust to just cover the bottom. Return the crust to the refrigerator to set the curd. Set the remaining lemon curd aside at room temperature.
To make the lemon mousse, whip the heavy cream to very soft peaks. Fold about one third of the whipped cream into the remaining lemon curd to lighten it. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the lemon curd.
Check to be certain that the first layer of lemon curd has set enough to be able to pour the caramel over it without the caramel mixing in with the lemon curd. Gently pour the chocolate hazelnut caramel over the lemon curd. Spoon the lemon mousse over the chocolate hazelnut caramel. Refrigerate the pie for a couple of hours until set before serving.