Mississippi Mud Pie
The History: The funny thing about this dessert, unlike some of the others we delved into, is that there isn’t a lot of background on the Mississippi Mud Pie. However, as the name suggests, it’s widely accepted that this pie came from Mississippi and showed up in popular culture in the 1970s, namely thanks to the restaurant chain, The Chart House. While it’s been a staple chocolate dessert in the South, it never spread much beyond that, though this deviant pie does have a history of being a chocoholic’s favorite.
Where to Try: Though this pie originated in the south, you can get a great version of it at Petsi Pies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mud may be in the name, but that only refers to the color of this pie, as it’s comprised of rich brown layers in the form of chocolate, cream, more chocolate and, in this case, even more of the stuff.
The Update: Sarah Lange, pastry chef at The Hart and the Hunter in Los Angeles, has taken this Southern classic and turned it on his head. “I was looking for a good chocolate dessert, and Mississippi Mud Pie came to mind,” she said. “Mud Pie or Mud Cake comes in many variations, but the one that I found most often in old Civic Club cookbooks was store-bought coffee ice cream spread into a chocolate cookie crust and topped with caramel and toasted marshmallows.” With that in mind, Lange substituted the ice cream for a housemade coffee semifreddo using cold-brew coffee. Then, instead of a traditional crust, she used crumbled chocolate cookies and topped it off with chocolate-pecan toffee and marshmallow meringue, which they brûléed to order. For the kicker, they also serve it with chocolate fudge sauce.