Starting today, I’m going to post a chocolate recipe a day for the next five days. I have a serious chocolate craving and, by golly, I aim to satisfy it. I am not a chocaholic (I’d choose a citrus dessert over a chocolate one in a restaurant), but once in a great while, I get chocolate brain.
This month for You Want Pies with That?, Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake and Mary at Alpineberry chose “Taste of Summer” as the theme. For me, summer means fruit, berries to be precise. But I’ve made so many berry pies that a desire to do something different, combined with an intense craving for chocolate, resulted in this marvel of deliciousness, Ye Olde Chocolate Cream Pie. I’d never made it before, and I’m glad my recent chocolate jag led me to take the plunge. (Wow, whipped cream is hard to photograph).
Some friends of ours recently had a second child, and mom was out of town for the weekend, so we invited dad, the babies, and his visiting mom over for dinner. The pie was a hit, especially with their 19-month old daughter, who is not a big eater. Apparently, they had yet to try chocolate cream pie because after one bite of it, she pointed to it repeatedly, loudly proclaiming “PIE!” every time she wanted her dad to shovel some more into her mouth. Her sweet, chocolate-covered mouth. I love cooking. Moments like that make it all worthwhile. You can find the recipe after the jump, and check out the blogroll after July 7 to see what other pies everyone baked.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Adapted from a recipe in Food & Wine Magazine
- 6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies, finely ground (use a food processor, good blender, or place cookie in a plastic bag and whack away with a rolling pin)
- 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or coffee granules (optional, you may want to leave it out for the kiddies)
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate shavings, for garnish
- Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs with the butter, sugar and salt until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch glass pie dish and press evenly over the bottom and up the side of the dish to form a crust. Bake for 8 minutes, until the crust is fragrant. Remove from the oven and, using the bottom of a drinking glass, immediately press the crumbs again to compact the crust. Let cool completely.
- Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with 1/4 cup of the sugar until bubbles form around the edge. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture, and the espresso powder. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat (better to have the heat a little low, or you’ll end up with a lot of lumps), whisking constantly, until very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate until smooth. Strain the chocolate filling into the pie crust through a coarse sieve and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. This may take a while, especially if you had the heat too high and you ended up with a lot of lumps, so be patient. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie filling and refrigerate for 3 hours, until chilled.
- Let the pie stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla until firm. Spread the whipped cream over the pie, cut into wedges and serve, garnished with chocolate shavings.
The pie can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated, but wait until just before you serve it to top with the whipped cream.