Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas in The Big City-The Frango Mint!

Yum
In case I haven't mentioned before (yeah, right), I love going into the Big City...Chicago!

Anytime of year is fun, but during Christmas is perfect...just like the movies!  Well almost...the last time we were in the city, we sorta of forget where we parked.  Now we knew the general area and the fact that we parked on the 5th floor, but couldn't remember which garage.  Who knew there were so many parking garages in a 2 block area???  So, the blame game began...who was supposed to pay attention?  There were 5 of us and each thought the other was paying attention...evidently not?  What to do?  Well, once we found the parking ticket...again some confusion as to who had it...lo and behold, there was an address!  Thank goodness for GPS!  Anyhow, all ended well!  Everyone still loves each other and will pay attention next time... lesson learned.  AND, all the time before the parking mishap was PERFECT!

A favorite place to go in Chicago, during the holidays, is Marshall Field's Walnut Room.  Yes, I know Macy's bought out Marshall Field's, but it will always be Marshall Field's to me.  The Walnut Room Restaurant has a huge Christmas tree and serves wonderful meals.  As for many families, ours included, it is a tradition to see the Christmas windows and then eat in the Walnut Room.

Walnut Room Christmas Tree
   
Macy's Christmas Windows
The best part in the Walnut Room is the Frango Mint Pie!  Just as the store window shows, Marshall Field's aka Macy's makes these chocolates that are soooo good!  They come in many different flavors, but our favorite is the traditional Frango Mint, so when I saw it came in pie form...my life was complete!


Now the traditional Marshall Field's (aka Macy's) does not serve it with the nuts...so that is up to you.  But this recipe from Midwest Living is the perfect knock off!
 Here's what you need:
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 20 squares)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 Marshall Field's Frango Mint Chocolates or 3 ounces solid mint flavored chocolate candies, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped Cream 


  • For crust, in a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons butter and the 1/4 cup sugar. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form a firm, even crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on a wire rack.

    For filling, in a heavy medium saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chocolates and the remaining 3/4 cup milk. Cook and stir over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove pan from the heat.

    In a small bowl, whisk the egg until lightly beaten. Gradually stir about 1/4 cup of the hot filling into the egg, whisking constantly until well combined. Return egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is slightly thickened and just begins to bubble (about 1 minute). Transfer the filling to a medium bowl; cool 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir whipping cream and vanilla into cooled filling. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours until well chilled.

    Freeze filling in a 1- to 2-quart ice cream freezer according to the manufacturers instructions until frozen but soft and spreadable. Transfer the ice cream to the prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
    Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.

    To serve, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Garnish with whipped cream. 

    Love it when you can recreate restaurant recipes!  The pie is refreshingly mint and hits the spot!  It totally tastes like the original!

    Celebrate the little things that make life Frango Mint sweet!

    Christine