Monday, December 17, 2007

chocolate cream pie

A classic and a favorite of mine -- chocolate cream pie. I'm actually not a big chocolate freak, but if you top it with a pile of whipped cream I'm much more interested. This pie seemed more cream than chocolate in the end, and I'm not complaining, but that probably goes against most other people's tastes.

I had to laugh at myself when I substituted some of the flour in the pie crust for whole wheat flour. Who was I kidding? Did this really make it any less bad for me? But strangely enough, in the end it was an interesting choice. The resulting crumbly texture put this crust somewhere between a classic pie crust and a cookie crust, either of which would go fine in a chocolate cream pie. I guess it was best of both worlds, with some extra fiber thrown in.

The only downside to this pie is that you have to do a lot of waiting. The pie crust dough needs to rest before rolling out and being baked, and the chocolate filling needs to cool and set for a while before adding the topping and serving. It's a little torturous.

But definitely all worth it in the end. Recipe after the jump:


Pie Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
4 tbsp shortening, chilled
3 tbsp ice water

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. To make the crust, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, quickly cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles tiny split peas. Do not use hands to mix, as the heat from your hands will melt the butter and result in too dense a crust. Add the ice water and combine with a fork. Gather dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. To make the filling, combine sugar, flour, milk, and chocolate in a 2 quart saucepan or a double boiler. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Mix a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks to temper, beating rapidly to avoid cooking the yolks. Stir the warm yolk mixture into the remainder of the chocolate mixture, and cook for an additional 90 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool while you roll out the pie crust.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Line the pie plate, flute the edges and dock the bottom and sides with a fork. Lay a piece of parchment paper in the crust and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned, removing the weights for the last 5 minutes of baking. Allow to cool before filling.
4. Pour filling into pie shell and chill until set, about 2 hours. Shortly before serving, combine the topping ingredients and whip with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Spread the whipped topping evenly over the chilled chocolate pie, and finish with shaved dark chocolate.

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