The Mississippi River is the trunk of the family tree of all folks living within 50 miles of either of her banks, and surely each of them have swam or waded her waters. They will know the earthy scent of her drifting perfume and the feel of that roiling water as it touches your skin—it’s gritty. So who in tarnation could conceive of making a Mississippi Mud Pie without that vital sensory element—grittiness? The wrong has been righted in our version of a classic by adding a few of our rice middlins. The vanilla and chocolate infused grits will roll around your chew like the roiling sediment carried by the river. And as sure as the riverbed is gluten free, our crust is as well, made so with the use of our rice flour.
1 cup cocoa powder, divided
1 cup plus 3 tbsp Delta Belle or Missimati Fragrant White Rice Flour, divided
½ tsp salt, divided
1½ sticks plus 1 tbsp butter, softened, divided
2 cups plus 3 tbsp sugar granulated sugar, divided thrice
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided thrice
½ cup rice grits
1 tsp coconut oil (or butter)
1 cup water
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
8 ounces sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks, soft beaten
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped (preferably butter toasted and salted)
1½ cup sweet milk
1¼ cup heavy whipping cream, divided
In medium saucepan, melt coconut oil and add rice grits to coat well. Add 1 cup water and ½ tsp vanilla extract, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid, stir once, and set aside to cool. When cool, stir to eliminate clumping.
For the crust. In large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and 1½ cups sugar and mix with blender until rather creamy. Thoroughly sift together 1 cup rice flour, ¾ cup cocoa powder, and ¼ tsp salt, and add into the butter/sugar mix, blending well. Add the egg and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract and blend together well. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour to chill. 20 minutes before ready to use, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a heavy ovenproof 9 ½ inch pie pan with cooking spray and evenly spread crust mixture on bottom and up sides in uniform, thin layer. Bake for 20 minutes until set. Remove and cool.
For the bottom chocolate layer, melt ¾ cup chocolate chips in medium sauce pan. Add sweetened condensed milk and blend well. Add softened cream cheese and melt and blend well. Add rice grits and blend well. Pour this into prepared cocoa rice flour crust. Uniformly top with pecans and refrigerated to cool.
For the pudding layer
In small mixing bowl, whisk together ¼ cup cocoa powder, ¼ tsp salt, and 3 tbsp rice flour. Add ¼ cup cream, egg yolks, and 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix well. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring sweet milk and butter to slow boil. Add ½ cup sugar, stirring until dissolved. Take ½ cup of hot milk and slowly add to egg, cream, and cocoa mix, stirring quickly so that eggs don’t cook. Add this back into saucepan containing balance of hot milk, stirring quickly with a whisk; add ¼ cup chocolate chips and stir until uniform and thickened. Set aside to cool.
For the whipped cream
Place 1 cup heavy cream, remaining 3 tbsp sugar, and remaining 1 tsp vanilla extract in mixing bowl and whip slowly with mixer until medium soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream, and very lightly sift sprinkling of cocoa powder over that whipped topping and decorate to use and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!