Kate's Cuisine

Nov 20 2017

Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie in Pie Plate

I feel as though we haven’t talked about dessert in a little while around here. Which is weird, because I love dessert. And I’ve also been making it a lot lately, which is also weird. A baker I am not, typically. But when Thanksgiving rolled around last month, we were all headed to the in-laws and I was asked to bring dessert. And my mother-in-law gave me a challenge without even knowing it – making chocolate cream pie.

I’ve always loved chocolate cream pie. I’ve always admired the way it stands so high in display cases and when it arrives on your plate, has the tiniest bit of jiggle still left in it. But making it? Really? Turns out, when someone asks you to make chocolate cream pie, all you have to do is take a deep breath and believe in yourself. I wouldn’t say it’s any more difficult than lemon meringue pie and I’ve made that plenty of times without breaking a sweat. Plus, when you make it yourself there are all those good chocolate-covered spatulas and whisks lying around that you get to snack on while you clean up!

The recipe does call for the pie to be topped with whipped cream and rest assured, we did do just that once we got to the Thanksgiving destination. With an hour car ride though, you don’t want to risk it melting all over the pie or flying right off of it (which was in fact, one of the fears we had with the meringue on a lemon pie we also brought). So let’s not put this off any longer than we already have. On to the chocolate cream pie!

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 16 Oreo cookies, with filling, processed into crumbs $1.91
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled $0.26

For the chocolate cream:

  • 2 1/2 cups half and half $1.55
  • Pinch of salt $0.01
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar, divided $0.06
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch $0.54
  • 6 egg yolks, at room temperature $0.30
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 6 pieces $0.78
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips $1.99
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.22

For the whipped cream topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream $2.29
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons icing sugar $0.03
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.33

Total cost $10.27
Cost per slice $1.28

Directions:

1.) Start by making the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs with the melted butter in a medium bowl, tossing with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9″ pie plate and press them evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan to form a crust. I find it easiest to start at the centre of the pie plate and work your way out and up the sides. Refrigerate the crust for 20 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes until the crust is fragrant and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

2.) To start making the chocolate cream filling, bring the half and half, salt, and 3 tablespoons of sugar to a slight simmer in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to melt the sugar and ensure the cream doesn’t burn. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch.

3.) Whisk the egg yolks thoroughly in a medium-sized bowl. Add the cornstarch/sugar mixture and whisk until the mixture is glossy and the sugar has begun to dissolve.

4.) When the half and half mixture has reached a slight simmer, use a ladle to remove about 1/2 cup and add to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to temper the eggs. Then whisk the entire egg yolk mixture back into the half and half mixture. Whisk constantly for about 30 more seconds, until 3 or 4 bubbles have broken out on the surface and the mixture is thick and glossy.

5.) Remove the half and half mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until melted, scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to fully incorporate all ingredients. Stir in the vanilla then immediately pour the entire filling through a fine-mesh colander over a bowl. Using the same rubber spatula, pour the filling into the baked and cooled crust and spread into an even layer. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate the pie until the filling is cold and firm, at least 3 hours.

6.) When ready to serve, use a hand mixer to beat the cream on low speed until it begins to froth. Increase the speed to medium for about 1 minute and then turn the speed to high. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and continue to beat for another minute or so, until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread the whipped cream over the chilled chocolate cream filling.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

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