Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recipe | Sundae School Inspired | Mocha Pie

If you've ever vacationed in Cape Cod you know that there is no shortage of spots to grab ice cream. Honestly, it feels like you can find an ice cream stand about every 100 feet.  There are many good ones, but only a few really great ones.  Sundae School is one of the BEST.  At night the line of sandy footed patrons winds all the way down the road.  We go to the one in Orleans, just minutes from Nauset Beach.  This time Jimmy and I tried their Coffee-Oreo ice cream and it was insane.   It tasted just like the Mocha Pie my Mum used to make for dessert when I was little.  I used to love the surprise of opening the fridge and finding the pie in there waiting for dessert.  When Jimmy and I started dating in high school it became one of his favorite desserts too.  I asked for the recipe back when I was in college, but I remember reading the directions and finding it more involved than I hoped, so I never made it.  Its been many years since my Mum made one but once we had the ice cream I knew I'd be making that pie as soon as we got back home.

The instructions weren't so daunting anymore, in fact it's a pretty simple dessert, with only a few ingredients.  It does however get a few dishes dirty and requires a little make ahead planning.  The good news is it can, and tastes even better when it is, made a day in advance.  It is a light, almost mousse like, pie that tastes like creamy coffee and chocolate cookies.  I'm not the biggest fan of traditional cream pies like Key Lime or Coconut Cream, but this one I could eat in embarrassingly large quantities if given the opportunity.  Which is why the one pictured here went with us to my parent's house for dinner.  It was a little role reversal, me making this pie to share with my parents! Ha!

Mocha Pie
(based on a Bon Appetit recipe from their 1979 best-of cookbook)

1 Oreo pie crust * (pre-made if you can find it.  I couldn't, so I made my own. See below)
1 cup whole milk
3 TBS instant espresso
32 marshmallows
2 egg yolks
2 cups whipping cream, divided

*Crust: 1.5 cups chocolate wafer crumbs + 4 TBS melted butter.  Combine and press into glass pie dish.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool.

Over medium low heat combine milk and coffee granules in 3 quart sauce pan.  Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted.  Remove from heat.  Beat yolks till pale yellow.  Add 3 TBS of coffee/marshmallow mixture to the eggs, then add egg mixture to the pan with the remaining marshmallow mixture.  Cook over medium heat for another minute.  Pour into 3 quart bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 1.5 hours.  The mixture should not be runny at all when you take it out.  Whip 1 cup cream.  Fold into mocha mixture, pour into cool, prepared crust.  Place in fridge for 3- 4 hours (or over night).  Before serving, add whip cream garnish around the edges. In the picture above I had a pastry bag/ piping tip incident, so I added more whipped cream to disguise it.  You can make any sort of pattern you like, you can also add ground chocolate (I did), chocolate leaves (I wanted too but ran out of time), or chocolate curls, etc.  Be as fancy or simple as you like!

Here is a phone picture of the first one I made...  I made another to make sure I had the timing right in between steps, the original recipe didn't include them in their instructions.  The perfectionist in me wanted to make a third so I could get the decorating perfect, but I wouldn't be able to squeeze into my jeans this fall if I did!  :)  Enjoy!!  Hope it becomes a family favorite for you as well!!


  1. I'll definitely be making this! Thanks for sharing, it sounds delicious :)

  2. Can't help but laugh -- I am LITERALLY sitting outside of my car with the dog at the VERY SAME Sundae School you are mentioning. My kids are inside getting a treat! We come here several times a week during our annual month-long summer vacation. Too awesome seeing this!!! And yes, they are the best.

  3. Too wild! I am LITERALLY sitting outside of the VERY SAME SUNDAE SCHOOL you mentioned (in the car, keeping the dog company) while the kids make their treats. We're here for our annual month-long vacation and this is one of our several-times weekly treats! How fun, and yes, so very good!!

    1. what are the odds?!!! crazy! so jealous of your month long vacation!! have a coffee-oreo ice cream for me!! xo

  4. Oh yum!! Just over from pinterest...too funny, my parents live in Harwich and my fave ice cream place is the Sundae School in Harwichport...I always get their Mocha Chip!!! My family actually has fights over which ice cream place is best...several of them think its the Schoolhouse down the road on 28 but they got nothing on Sundae School. Thanks for the recipe and the laugh!

  5. Ok, where is the chocolate mentioned in the recipe? How am I missing the chocolate type and quant??

    1. The only chocolate is in the wafer cookies used for the crust. The chocolate color of the filling comes from the coffee! :)