Chocolate Espresso Mousse Pie

“Pie and coffee have a lot of symbolism in people’s lives. Coffee symbolizes musing and discussion – chit chat between friends…Pie is the sweet thing that ends a meal. It adds a sense of peacefulness and closure…” ~ Dorian Scott Cole

The only thing better that I can think of deviates from the Americana tradition that comes from mother and apples. (Before reading on, note here that I am a Midwestern anomaly: I was born without a sweet-tooth and generally prefer savory to sugary. When my husband asks me to pick him up some cookies at the grocery store I stare, nose wrinkled at the bakery selections unable to make a selection. Eventually someone bumps my cart and I move to another aisle, coming home with a prepackaged bag of ginger snaps.)   

No, when I think of dessert it is in the forum of an after dinner trilogy: dark chocolate, espresso, and red wine. Not everyday fare and not pie. But, in honor of National Pie Day –  and a party I’m invited to – I decided to combine the concept of pie and coffee with chocolate mousse.

 My initial searches for a recipe did not give me what I was looking for. I narrowed my focus to chocolate mousse and found a good baseline  by Tyler Florence  (Recipe is at and my adaptations are listed below this post) that uses egg whites and a little less cream than some of the others.  The crusts I found mostly consisted of the crushed chocolate cookies type. (Go for it, but you know I’m not going that route.)  If I’d had time I might have made a tart crust with cocoa in it, another good alternative. As it happened, the day escaped me and I used a pre-made roll out crust. 

The end result is not for children. Serve up a small piece and nobody get’s seconds. It is a grown-up dessert, one had I made on New Years Eve would have helped me greet 2011 instead of my pillow.  Finally, this pie pairs beautifully with a Ripassa style wine or dry Italian…but that’s just me.  A Syrah or Scotch works, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recipe Notes:

  • Use 4 oz bittersweet and 2 oz semi-sweet (Those who taste buds have been dipped in the Candyland well can use all semi-sweet).
  • Add one and a half shots of brewed espresso to the melted chocolate and butter.
  • Temper the eggs.
  • Prick pie crust with a fork lightly, put parchment paper over, add dried beans or stones and bake for 15 min. Remove parchment and stones for remaining cooking time: golden in color.
  • Spread mousse into cooled crust.
  • Top with fresh whipped cream (There’s a time and place for Cool Whip, but this isn’t it). I used powdered sugar rather than granular for both the egg whites and the whipped cream.
  • Crush milk and dark chocolate covered espresso beans and sprinkle on top.
  • Make sure the pie is very chilled before serving

 Last word…

For a wonderful history of pie go to to read the Hearth to Hearth article by Alice Ross, Pie Crusts: From Meat to Fruit (search in “articles” if link goes to main page). And for a celebration of pies and more history


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2 Responses to “Chocolate Espresso Mousse Pie”

  1. Katharine Lehmkuhl Says:

    I can relate to the conundrum a non sweet tooth person is put into when asked to pick out something “sweet.” My husband pours maple syrup on chocolate ice-cream, just to give you some insight of what type of treat he is hoping I might surprise him with. Standing at the bakery counter, I usually just point. Fortunately, my husband and I can both agree on dark chocolate, so I do plan to try this mousse pie. It might be just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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