Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chocolate Cream Pie

Grandchildren are such gifts.  Ours live very far away from us so when they visit it is such a treat.  The Thanksgiving holiday found me thankful for getting to spend some time with them.

One of my highlights was making a chocolate cream pie for the best son-in-law in the world.  And what made it even better was that Miss Muffet helped!

She was the perfect assistant.

She really whipped the butter and chocolate into the hot custard!

Once the custard cooled to room temperature she spread it in the pre-baked pie crust.

After a couple of hours chilling in the 'fridge she topped it with whipped cream and finished it off with some grated chocolate.


In my opinion the best recipe for chocolate cream pie recipe comes from one of my favorite dessert cookbooks Classic Home Desserts by the late Richard Sax.  Lutz Olkewicz's Chocolate Cream Pie became a legendary favorite in the The Cape Cod Room in Chicago's Drake Hotel.

It's dark, dense and rich.  R-I-C-H

Chocolate Cream Pie
Adapted from  Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax
Serves 8

dough for a 1-crust pie *see note
2 cups milk, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
10 ounces semisweet chocolate (such as Scharffen Berger)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream

Mise en place:
  • pre-bake a pie crust in a 9" pie plate
  • chop chocolate
  • cut butter in pieces and keep in refrigerator until ready for use
  • measure out milk (divided), cream, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla
  • crack eggs into a small mixing bowl
Note:  Use your preferred recipe for pie crust.  For convenience sake during the holidays, I use the refrigerated Pillsbury crust that you simply unroll.  It's easy and makes for a very nice crust when you do not have time to make a dough from scratch.

Scald 1-1/2 cups of the milk and all of the cream in a heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk with the sugar, eggs and cornstarch until smooth.  Add a little of the hot milk mixture to the bowl, and whisk well.  Repeat with more hot milk. until the egg mixture has tempered.  Return the warmed mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking.  Boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, butter and 1 tsp of the vanilla.  Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth.  Strain the custard into a clean bowl.  Place a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a "skin" from forming, and refrigerate until cooled to room temperature.

With a spatula give the chocolate mixture a good mixing and pour the cooled custard into the cooled pie shell.  Loosely cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Whip the 3/4 cup whipping cream with the remaining  1/2 tsp. vanilla until nearly stiff.  Spread it over the pie with a spatula, swirling attractively.  Finely grate chocolate over the top.  Chill before serving.

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