Chocolate cream pie is one of my favorites. I’ll choose a chocolate pie over a fruit pie any day of the week. My philosophy is that fruit is healthy so a fruit pie isn’t really a dessert, it is more of a side dish or breakfast or something. Chocolate pie? There’s no doubt about it. It is dessert. This chocolate pie is dark and decadent and delicious. It is thick. No chocolate spillage here. And then you take that bite and it just melts in your mouth! Yummy! Your taste buds squeal with ecstasy and before you know it half the pie is gone and you have to explain why there isn’t enough for everyone else to get their own piece. You try and direct people towards a fruit pie, but you realize that everyone else knows that chocolate is the real dessert here.
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 oz (3 squares) unsweetened baker's chocolate, chopped up into little bits.
- 3 tablespoons milk chocolate chips
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 prepared pie shell (I like graham cracker crusts with my choco!)
- Combine the sugar, cornstarch, milk, cream, and chocolate into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to bubble. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and quickly mix a little of the mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk it rapidly and return it to the rest of the chocolate. Cook for an additional 90 seconds over medium heat.
- Remove from heat again and stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Let cool for about 15 minutes and then refrigerate until completely cooled and set.
Welcome to the world of custards! A custard is a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolks. There is a wide variety of custards out there. They can be thick or thin or somewhere in between and they come in all sorts of flavors. This particular recipe would be considered a pastry cream or a confectioner’s custard becomes it involves a starch (cornstarch). The starch in the recipe acts as thickener, but also helps prevent the mixture from curdling when it boils. A custard ends up being a different texture than puddings and makes for a more dense pie filling. Pudding is a bit too light weight to hold up well in pie form.
Now you know a bit about custards. Next thing you know you’ll be making a creme brulee!