Thick, delicious, sweet, chocolate pudding, tucked into a pie crust, beneath billows of softly whipped cream. Who among us wouldn’t love this? Oh, sure, I guess there are some people out there who don’t like chocolate, but everyone else would be on board, I think. I was following a recipe out of an old cookbook I had, but decided there wasn’t enough chocolate in it. Sadly, I only had semisweet, rather than bittersweet, chocolate chips, but it turned out quite lovely after all.
If you like your chocolate pies rather sweet, go ahead and cook this recipe as written. If you like your pies a little less sweet, either reduce the sugar by half, or use bittersweet chocolate for all of the chocolate chips. Either way, don’t use too much sugar in the whipped cream – lightly sweetened is the way to go, I promise. Also, I didn’t put any sugar at all into the pie crust, and again, found it to be quite nice this way.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cream Pie (makes 1 9″ pie)
For Pie Crust:
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into slices
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3-4 tbsp. ice water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- 2/3 c. chocolate chips
- 2 c. milk
- 3 beaten egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2-1 c. whipping cream, lightly sweetened and whipped to stiff peaks
For Pie Crust:
- Place flour and salt into a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Scatter butter slices over the surface of the flour, and pulse ten times, for one second each, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cold water over surface, and pulse several more times. When some of the mixture is pressed between your fingers, it should hold together without crumbling. If it crumbles, add the other tablespoon of water and pulse several more times.
- Dump mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press together into a flat disk about six inches across. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove dough and rest about twenty minutes to let it come to room temperature. Roll out to a circle about 12 or so inches across. My preferred way to transfer a crust to a pie dish is to roll it around the rolling pin, then unroll it over the top of the pie dish. You could also fold it into quarters, or place the pie dish upside-down over the dough circle, and then flip right-side-up. Adjust dough in the pan, and fold edges under to create a even edge. Pinch to create a decorative edge, if you like.
- Prick pie crust all over with a fork, and then fill with pie weights, if desired. Bake 20-40 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Let cool to room temperature before filling.
For Pie Filling:
- Place first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens (this may be before or after it boils). Cook two minutes longer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
- Pour a small amount (1-2 tbsp.) into egg yolks, and whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour yolk mixture back into the saucepan, and return to heat. Cook for two minutes, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla, whisking to combine. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing down onto the surface of the pudding to prevent its forming a skin (unless you like that kind of thing, in which case go ahead and eat it off the top before pouring the filling into the pie). Cool to room temperature.
For the Pie:
- Pour filling into the pie shell and smooth the top. If you’d like to serve the pie chilled, place the pie into the refrigerator for an hour or two or until cold.
- Top with whipped cream and serve.