Finally! If there is one recipe you make while reading this blog, make this one. I kid you not, its quite possibly one of the best things I have ever eaten. This is a family recipe, so full credit goes to my mom for teaching me this. And not to brag or anything, but one she made went for over $200 at a charity auction. I relate this pie to Sunday morning, because it is often not ready until the following day, which prompted us to eat a slice while reading the morning paper. Breakfast of champions and yes, I would do it again.
So what is chocolate cream pie? Its the pie you wish you had when you were eating chocolate pudding in a graham cracker crust. That pie. There are very few tricks to this recipe, but the ones that exist are crucial. My two main points would be the milk and stirring. Use at least 2% milk. I know, I use 1% for recreational purposes, but the extra bit of milk fat is the difference between pie and runny goop. If you use whole, more power to you, it will actually be even better. The other point is the stirring. When this pie is on the heat, you best be stirring it constantly. No "oh, I can go wash the dishes and stir occasionally" stuff. This recipe is more stir happy than risotto, and that's saying something. Stir constantly. The pie should be ready to go from the pot in about 15ish minutes (or as I timed it, 3 songs off the new Metallica album). Just...don't....walk....away!!
I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I (and my family, and my fiancee, and anyone who happens to be in the area to get a slice) do.
Chocolate Cream Pie
2 1/4 cups graham crackers
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Crush gram crackers in bag with rolling pin or with food processor until fine. Combine ingredients in medium bowl and mix with hands until the butter is incorporated. Dump into a 12 inch pie pan, pressing down with the heel of your palm and fingers to make a firm, even crust (it should go part way up the sides). Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes, then bake for 12 minutes, let cool.
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 t salt
3 T cornstarch
3 T butter
1 T vanilla
In large pot over medium heat, heat milk until almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Meanwhile, while milk is heating, in stand mixer or large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beat until fluffy. Add salt and cornstarch, mix well. Reduce burner heat to medium low, pour about 1/3 of the milk mixture into the bowl (this will temper the eggs), mix and dump entire contents of bowl into pot. Return to heat and stir (constantly!) for about 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, stir to combine, and pour into pie shell. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then move to the fridge for at least 3 hours. Your patience will be rewarded. Make sure the pie is firm and cool before cutting. If its a bit runny, cook it a little longer next time. Serve with Cool Whip slathered on top.
And look, a picture! I will try to include more of these in upcoming posts so you can see what you are getting into.