I've made a lot of chocolate cream pies, and I really like the ones made with evaporated milk. Fillings made with evaporated milk always seem to have a very smooth and slick texture, and the filling in this pie is no exception. It's an all-cocoa (meaning no melted chocolate) filling, so it's a little bit lighter.
All Cocoa Powder Chocolate Pie
The recipe calls for ½ cup cocoa powder and no chopped chocolate, which means it's best to use a cocoa powder you really love since that's where the flavor comes from. I've used both Dutch process and natural and kind of prefer the flavor of natural over Dutch in pie filling. But that's completely subjective. Another thing about being all-cocoa is the pie sets up softer. The fact that there are no eggs contributes to this as well. If you want a stiffer pie, look for one with chopped chocolate, flour or cornstarch and eggs. This filling does work for pie, but it would also be good as parfait filling since it's less stiff. Remember the little chocolate parfaits Kentucky Fried Chicken used to sell (maybe they still do?). This filling would be perfect for making those.
With an all-cocoa powder egg-free pie, you run the risk of lumps. One way to lessen the lumpiness is to sift the cocoa powder before using. Also, do your best to blend the ingredients well before putting over the heat. That is, try to get the texture as homogenous as possible. You can also strain the pie filling before adding the butter and vanilla if needed. I have only needed to strain this pie filling once, and it was when I made it with unsifted Dutch chocolate cocoa and only mixed the ingredients about halfway before putting over the stove.
Evaporated Milk Chocolate Cream Pie Size
This recipe below is for a 9 inch pie, which is the standard size. Since we never really need a full size pie, I've been known to halve the recipe and make it in a 6.5 or 7 inch pie dish. That might sound like a strange size, but Amazon has a ton of cute 6.5 and 7 inch pie dishes which are just right for making small family pies. Or you can just stick with the recipe as it's written and freeze any leftovers.
Evaporated Milk Chocolate Cream Pie
- 1 9 inch pie crust, deep dish baked
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (250 grams)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, best quality** (60 grams)
- ⅓ cup cornstarch (40 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cans evaporated milk, Pet (12 oz each/3 cups total)
- 4 tablespoons room temperature butter, cut into chunks (56 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a medium to large (I use a 3 ½ quart) saucepan off heat.
- Gradually whisk in evaporated milk until blended. Try to blend it as evenly as possible to avoid lumps.
- Set the pan over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. After mixture starts to boil, set timer for 1 minute and continue stirring until timer goes off.
- Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter is melted. Pour into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap or buttered parchment to prevent skin from forming. Let the pie cool at room temperature for about an hour, then transfer to the refrigerator.
- Chill 4 hours or until ready to eat.
- Uncover pie. Spread whipped topping on top of pie.