For the most part, this classic pie has suffered the same fate as the dinosaurs. Interestingly, Arthur Schwartz, aka, The Food Maven, used almost the same descriptive. And, it's a shame if you ask me. Mr. Schwartz discusses the history of the Nesselrode moniker--named after Count Nesselrode--and continues to describe its popularity by Hortense Spier. He goes on to list where the main "ingredient," can be found, at the Raffetto manufacturer, Romanoff International, Inc. Unfortunately, as Mr. Schwartz laments in an additional post, Raffetto's Nesselro can no longer be found. So, for all of you Nesselrode Pie lovers out there....if anyone knows where a renegade jar can be purchased, please inform Arthur Schwartz and me....and anyone else who loves this pie.
Mr. Schwartz does post a terrific recipe, but for tradition's sake (my tradition), I'm going to post the recipe my mother made....and yes, even a wonderful Italian cook used Betty Crocker's recipe. She desperately wanted to please everyone.
You can substitute candied chestnuts for the Nesselro, and as Mr. Schwartz points out, there was actually cauliflower, yes cauliflower, in the Raffetto's product. Who knew?
I've also learned through my quest for Nesselro, that a bakery in Brooklyn, NY--Teena's Cake Fair--makes this pie....but only for the holidays. As it should be.
Baked 9-inch pie shell
4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 bar (4 ounces) sweet cooking chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring
1 jar (10 ounces) Raffetto's Nesselro
3 cups chilled whipping cream
In a medium saucepan, mix gelatin, sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the hot mixture into bowl; set aside and cool.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the chocolate for topping; blend remaining chocolate and the vanilla into hot mixture in saucepan. Cool completely.
Line 9-inch pie pan with waxed paper. Stir rum flavoring and Nesselro into plain mixture in bowl. In chilled bowl, beat 2 cups of the cream until stiff; fold one half into each mixture. Pour chocolate mixture into baked pie shell; pour Nesselrode mixture into waxed paper-lined pan. Chill each until firm.
Loosen edge of Nesselrode layer; invert layer on chocolate filling. In chilled bowl, beat remaining cream until stiff. Spread over pie, covering completely; sprinkle with reserved chocolate. Serve immediately.