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      RECIPE TITLE "Truffle Pie" recipe from Debbie Fields' Great American Desserts Copyright © 1996 by Debra J. Fields and Reid/Land Productions

    yieldsMakes 12 servings time ---difficultymoderate

    Mention the word "truffle," and you could be referring to one of nature's most expensive ingredients or to a luxurious chocolate confection. Like a good truffle, this pie is rich and silky and intense with the flavor of good chocolate. Just a thin slice makes the most wonderful ending to an elegant meal.

    As extravagant as this pie looks and tastes, it may be one of the simplest and quickest recipes to prepare in this book. The crust comes together in a food processor, and the pie, once filled, requires no baking at all.

    Equipment Needed: * food processor fitted with metal blade * 8- or 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom * electric mixer * pastry bag (optional)

    1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted
    6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    1 3/4 cups heavy cream
    1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
    2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    Whipped cream:
    1 cup heavy cream, chilled
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar

    Grated semisweet chocolate


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Make the crust:
    2. Combine the pecans, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg, and butter, in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are crushed and the butter is incorporated. Remove from processor and press the crust over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes; then set aside on a rack to cool.

    Make the filling:
    3. In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream until it just begins to bubble around the edges; be careful not to let it scorch.

    4. In a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Gradually add the hot cream to the melted chocolate, stirring constantly to combine. Stir in the egg yolks and vanilla until fully blended. Cook over low heat until thickened and hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the filling into the prebaked crust and chill for at least 4 hours.

    Make the whipped cream:
    5. Put the cream and powdered sugar in a chilled bowl and beat with the electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

    6. Before serving, pipe the whipped cream with a pastry bag over the filling in a crosshatch pattern or spoon it on decoratively. Sprinkle the grated chocolate over all.

    7. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the pie to a plate for serving.

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