I'm Joining the Frozen Fan Club: Frozen Maple-Mousse Pie with Candied Cranberries

In recent years, I've expanded the sweet offerings at our holiday party to includes chilled and frozen desserts. I've adopted this approach because it not only provides more variety for our guests, but it also helps me balance out the workload because I can make the cold desserts in advance. One of the frozen desserts I decided to try this year was a Frozen Maple-Mousse Pie with Candied Cranberries.

This pie has a crust, but it's gluten free -- it's just a mixture of ground toasted pecans, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and melted butter. You press the crust mixture into the bottom of a springform pan and chill until firm.

The pie filling is a mousse made by combining Italian meringue and whipped cream -- but the Italian meringue is made with hot maple syrup instead of hot sugar syrup. To make the meringue, you beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt, and drizzle in maple syrup that has been heated to 235 degrees. You continue beating the meringue until it's cool and then fold it into heavy cream that has been beaten with vanilla to soft peaks. You spread the mousse over the pecan crust and stick the pie the freezer for at least eight hours. 
To make the cranberry garnish, you put fresh cranberries and sugar syrup into a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and then put the bowl over a pot of simmering water. You cook the cranberries undisturbed for 45 minutes. The sauce was quite thin, but it had a lovely sweet flavor. The cranberries themselves, on the other hand, remained puckery tart.

I loved this pie. It was easy to make, easy to cut and serve, pretty, and most of all -- it was incredibly delicious. The mousse had the most wonderful light, creamy texture -- even straight from the freezer it was much lighter than ice cream and more closely resembled whipped cream. The maple flavor was beautiful and went along perfectly with the toasted pecan crust and the cranberries. And while the cranberries themselves were quite tart when eaten alone, the balance of tartness and sweetness was just right when eating the cranberries and mousse together.

This pie is such a lovely, elegant dessert, and it's perfect for a holiday party or special occasion. I wouldn't change a thing.

Recipe: "Frozen Maple-Mousse Pie with Candied Cranberries" from Food and Wine.


Sally said…
THANK you for posting this! I'm not sure that I would have tried it based on the title of the recipe, but your description made me want to try it immediately - and it was so, so worth it. A huge hit at our holiday dinner. It was perfection, esp. paired with the cranberries, which I normally don't even like... Thanks!
So glad to hear this -- it definitely exceeded my expectations as well! Happy you enjoyed it!