February’s Pie: Pomegranate White Chocolate Mousse Pie

For February’s Pie, I was thinking about something with chocolate.  Then, strawberries came to mind as a nice Valentine treat, but wanting to step outside the box, I kept thinking about something totally different and unexpected, something new I’d never tried before.  I don’t know why, but pomegranates actually came to both mine and J’s mind almost simultaneously.  A quick Google search led me to The Pioneer Woman’s website and a recipe for Pomegranate White Chocolate Mousse Pie.

I liked this recipe because it was quick and simple.  Only 20 minutes prep time and no baking!  It also used two new ingredients that I had not worked with before – pomegranate juice and gelatin.  Here’s a full list of the ingredients you will need:

  • 1-¼ cup Pomegranate Juice Plus 2 Tablespoons, Divided
  • 1 envelope (1/4 Oz. Envelope) Unflavored Gelatin
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 ounces, weight White Chocolate Chips, Melted
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 1 whole Pie Crust (pre-baked) Or Graham Cracker Crust
  • Pomegranate Arils And Extra Whipped Cream, For Decorating

I also wanted to try a different pie crust this time, so I decided to make my own with graham cracker crumbs.  I used the recipe on the side of the box which calls for crumbs, butter, and sugar. You mix the ingredients together and then flatten them out in your pie dish.  It can be very lumpy if you don’t press enough, and it can also be a challenge getting the crubs to ride up the side of the dish.  Don’t be afraid to scoop out the lumps with a spoon and transfer them to other places where you need more. I used a the back of the spoon to press the crumbs firmly and that worked just fine.

With a bit of patience, this process is not hard at all.  However, the recipe calls for baking it for 8 minutes.  My gas stove, not even preheated, probably overcooked it a bit because when I took it out of the oven I noticed the crust was more brown that it probably should have been.  Perhaps I’ll test this process again later in the year with a different pie.

Next, you take the two tablespoons of pomegranate juice and mix them with one packet of the gelatin and then sit this to the side.  I’m not really sure why since you later mix this into the rest of the juice after its been boiled, but I did it anyway.  It quickly formed a gritty, almost clear, paste.  I picked up a bottle of unknown Pomegranate juice called A1.  It’s mixed with aloe, pulp, and a few other flavors.  Alone, it had a pretty good taste, but it wasn’t the best choice.  More about it later.

I put the rest of the juice on the stove in a small sauce pan and brought it to a slow boil.  While it heated up, I went ahead and put my white chocolate chips in a measuring cup and popped them in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Then, I poured my cream into a bowl and began to give it a whip with my mixer.

Here’s another lesson learned…Don’t leave three ounces of white chocolate chips alone in the microwave for 2 full minutes.  They burn and they stink!  They turned into some nasty smelling dark chocolate mess which I had to throw out.  I popped another three ounces in and this time I only let them go for one minute – stopping the microwave half way through to give them a stir.  I probably could have let them go another 30 seconds as they were still pretty thick when I took them out, but I didn’t want to take any more chances.

By now, my juice on the stove had come to a boil.  I cut it off and mixed in the gelatin/juice mixture.  I gave it a quick stir till the gelatin had disolved and then let it sit.  Turning my attention back to the whipping cream, I beat it till I had soft peaks and then mixed in the sugar and the melted white chocolate.  I couldn’t resist not giving this a taste!  It actually reminded me of snow cream!

Once the juice/gelatin mixture had cooled a bit, I poured it into my whipped cream mixture and gave it a quick stir.  The instructions at the Pioneer Woman website says this will have a soupy consistency and indeed it does.  It almost looks like milk because the whipped cream completely dissolves. Once it was well blended, I poured it into my pie crust and put it in the fridge for three hours.

The photo of the finished pie on the website has a soft rosey or mauve color to it. Right away I noticed I probably should have used a dark juice like the POM name brand.  My mixture was completely white after I mixed the juice with the cream.  And unfortunately my pomegranate flavor was lost in the mix.  If you tasted my pie, you’d never guess the juice that was in it. This led me to believe that a darker more flavorful juice would probably work better for this recipe – like orange juice, grape juice, or lemonade, maybe even a frozen juice concentrate.

The pie itself firmed up well after the three hour wait time.  It definitely had a mousse-like texture to it.  But as for flavor, it was indeed like the snow cream I had thought of earlier when I taste tested the cream.  I even thought of milk ice cream while eating it.

And I was right about that crust too.  It was a bit too hard to cut into.  Flavor was good, maybe a bit tough, but should probably be baked for a lesser amount of time in my stove.

Would I make this recipe again?  Yes, actually.  The quick prep, easy clean-up, and no bake makes it a winner.  But I would tweak the recipe and try a darker heavier juice.  If you want to try it with pomegranate, I’d probably add one or two drops of red food coloring to the blend to give it a darker color.  After the disappoint with the color of mine, I only served it with whipped cream, but the website suggests whip cream and pomegranate arils as a garnish.

Next month, I’m thinking something St. Pattys.  Green!  I may go for a traditional key lime, or something more out of the ordinary to get away from the gelatinous pies all together. Hmm…maybe even a shepard’s pie?

We’ll see….

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