What I’m about to say is a trifle embarrassing, and I’m kind of ashamed to admit it….but, I’m not a pie person. Fruit pies that is. Sure, give me a lemon meringue or a Derby pie – and I’m a happy camper. But, I just don’t care for fruit pies. I’m slowly trying to change that, but it’s been a long row to hoe, and while I’ll enjoy a slice of blueberry pie that I’ve made for my fruit-pie-fiending family – I’m just not quite there yet.
I wanted to make something chocolate for Valentine’s Day. But since our dinner is always relatively low-key in the form of a heart-shaped meatloaf, I didn’t want anything too fancy or extravagant. I’ve been wanting to make chocolate cream pie for ages now, so I decided to go with that. Quickly came together, no rolling of crusts or crimping required. Just a simple Oreo crust, with a chocolate custard poured in, then you let it chill most of the day. Took less than 20 minutes to throw together. The custard filling was wonderful – rich and decadent, and not too sweet. Bittersweet chocolate really is the best in my book! Then it’s topped with some fluffy whipped cream right before slicing and serving!
It was one impressive pie, and I’m also to admit by 11 PM on Valentine’s Evening – it was already half gone. And, everyone else only had 1 slice – so you do the math. It also makes a fabulous breakfast! What I’m getting at is that it didn’t last long. This one was so easy I’ll definitely be turning to it again on those days when you want dessert – but don’t want to spend hours doing so. Which, could be me any day of the week! Have a great weekend, everyone.
Chocolate Cream Pie
For the crust:
16 Oreo cookies (with filling), broken into rough pieces
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate cream filling:
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
pinch table salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)
1 1/2Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°. In bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process cookies with 15 one-second pulses, then let machine run until crumbs are uniformly fine, about 15 seconds. (Alternatively, place cookies in large zipper-lock plastic bag and crush with rolling pin.) Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle with butter, and use fingers to combine until butter is evenly distributed.
Pour crumbs into 9-inch pie plate. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie plate. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumbs down and firmly into place along the bottom and along the sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate lined pie plate 20 minutes to firm crumbs, then bake until crumbs are fragrant and set, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack while preparing filling.
Bring half-and-half, salt, and about 3 tablespoons sugar to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
Meanwhile, stir together remaining sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Just as the half-and-half mixture starts to simmer, sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over yolks and whisk until mixture is glossy and sugar has begun to dissolve, about 1 minute. When half-and-half reaches full simmer, drizzle about ½ cup hot half-and-half over yolks, whisking constantly to temper; then whisk all of egg yolk mixture into simmering half-and-half (mixture should thicken in about 30 seconds). Return to simmer, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 15 seconds longer.
Off heat, whisk in butter, then add both chocolates and whisk until melted, scraping pan bottom with rubber spatula to fully incorporate. Stir in vanilla, then immediately pour filling into the cooled crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate pie until filling is cold and firm, about 3 hours.
Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla in bowl of standing mixer on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about 30 seconds more. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume and forms soft peaks, about 20 seconds. Spread or pipe whipped cream over chilled pie filling.
Source: adapted from The New Best Recipe by America’s Test Kitchen