|Perfect Chocolate Cream Pie |
Author: Cookie Madness
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 180 mins
Total time: 3 hours 10 mins
An easy and delicious chocolate cream pie based on a recipe from Michelle's Pies in Norwalk, CT. Cook time listed actually represents chill time.
- 1 prebaked 9-inch pie shell
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional, but good!)
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 to 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Chocolate chips or chocolate shavings for garnish
- Off heat, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium size saucepan.
- Whisk in the milk and egg yolks. Place the mixture over medium heat, constantly whisking and scraping the sides of the pan until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.
- Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. When all of the butter is mixed in, add the vanilla and chocolate extract (if using). Add the chocolate a little at a time, giving each addition of chocolate the chance to melt into the filling before adding more. Keep the mixture over the heat until the chocolate is smoothly melted and the cream thickens.
- Pour the chocolate filling into the pie shell. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool and chill (Note: I like to let it cool at room temperature for about 40 minutes, first). When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap.
- Whip the cream and sweeten it with the powdered sugar. Stir in some vanilla. Spread or pipe whipped cream over the top.
Crust Normally I’d make chocolate cream pie with graham or chocolate crumbs, but in this case a basic pastry crust worked perfectly because it made the pie easy to slice and was a nice savory relief from the filling. I used Crisco’s recipe for a double crust pie (the pie has one crust, but I wanted to make sure I had plenty of dough to flute the edges) and blind baked it with pie weights. Use whatever pie crust you like and don’t let making the crust scare you off! And don’t worry about using an all-shortening crust because you probably won’t miss the butter. It was the saltiness of the crust combined with the chocolate filling that made it so good.
Filling The change I made to the filling was to add about 3/4 teaspoon of chocolate extract. You could definitely taste it in the pie, so make sure to use a good chocolate extract. The only one I’ve tried is Nielsen Massey’s and I’d say it’s good. Also, I added both extracts after taking the pie filling off the heat. I noticed in Michele’s recipe it’s added as the filling is being cooked, but I am in the habit of adding it last because I’m always worried it will burn off.
Topping If you want less whipped cream, use only 1 cup cream and 2 tablespoons sugar. I like more cream so I whipped 2 cups of heavy cream and added 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla then piped it on with a large French star tip. You could spread it on or just pipe big dots of it out of a zipper bag with a hole cut out of the corner. For the chocolate shavings, I stole some Hershey bars from Fuzz’s Halloween candy stash and shaved off bits with a peeler.
Recipe by Cookie Madness at http://www.cookiemadness.net/2011/11/perfect-chocolate-cream-pie/