We are no where near Kentucky, and it certainly is not derby season.
However, THIS amazing dark Chocolate Mint Julep Pie can be devoured anywhere and anytime, in my humble pie opinion.

With just enough bourbon, a hint of mint, and a whole lotta dark chocolate, the pie balance is perfection. Silky smooth, inside a flaky, homemade pie crust, again…do you even need to be sipping your cocktail on the porch?

Well maybe, but let’s have the pie first.

The mint julep as we now know it became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. By then, Kentucky bourbon, distilled far from the sugar-rich Caribbean, had replaced its more saccharine cousins as the main spirit in the cocktail.

We all know there’s nothing like a good glass of bourbon, or single malt Scotch, for that matter.

And nothing like good old pie…

Inspired by Butter and Brioche

Chocolate Mint Julep Pie

Flaky Crust:
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp. sea salt
1 ½ tsp. white sugar
1 stick (8 Tbs.) COLD butter, cubed
½ cup cold water
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
½ cup ice
1 egg white + 1 tsp. water, whisked together for the egg wash

Chocolate Filling:
1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
½ tsp. sea salt

3 large eggs
1 tsp. peppermint extract
3 Tbs. Kentucky bourbon
Dutch processed cocoa powder and sugared mint leaves, for garnishing

Lightly butter a 9″ pie tin and set it aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Add in the chunked butter and coat it with the flour. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, dough scraper, or spatula until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain.
In a small bowl, combine the water, apple cider vinegar and ice. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix it in until fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 Tbs. at a time, as needed, and combine the dough, bringing it together into a ball using your blender or hands. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator 5 to 10 minutes before you begin rolling it out. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Place the dough in the center of the floured surface and roll it away from you in one even stroke. Spin the dough a quarter of the way around and roll it out again. Continue to spin and roll out the dough until it is 2″ larger than the pan you are using and about ⅛ ” thick. 
Fit the dough into the  prepared pan, trim the overhanging excess then crimp or flute the edges. Cover with aluminium foil and chill for at least 1 hour, and then freeze until solid – about 10 minutes.

Once solid, fit the pie with weights or beans and bake in a 425 degree, preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are set but not browned. Once set, lift out the weights, and let the pie cool slightly before lightly brushing the sides and base with the egg wash. Set back in the oven for 3 more minutes, before removing and allowing the pie to cool before filling it.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a light boil. Place the chocolate pieces in a large bowl, then pour the hot cream over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes, before adding in the salt and whisking to combine. Whisk the eggs in a separate small bowl. Slowly stream in a small amount of the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking as you pour to acclimatize the eggs to the warmth. Whisk this egg mixture back into the chocolate mixture.

Add in the peppermint extract and bourbon then whisk until smooth and combined. Strain this chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the pie shell.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The pie is finished when the edges are puffed in slightly and the center is no longer liquid, but still slightly wobbly. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack for 2 to 3 hours, before garnishing with cocoa powder and sugared mint leaves.

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