Introduction: Chocolate Cream Pie

Picture of Chocolate Cream Pie

My entry into the 2013 Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest.

Classic creamy, delicious chocolate cream pie. Recipe from Good Housekeeping: Great American Classic Cookbook. Adapted steps from book.

"Pie are round, Cake are square"

Serves: One - 9" chocolate cream pie

Chocolate Cream Pie:
- 1 - 9" Chocolate Crumb Crust
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/3 cup Cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3 3/4 cups Milk
- 5 Large Egg Yolks
- 3 squares (3 ounces) Unsweetened chocolate, Melted
- 2 tablespoons Butter or Margarine, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Heavy or Whipping Cream

For Sweetened Whipped Cream (additional items)
- 1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar (optional: if sweetening whipped cream)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional: if sweetening whipped cream)

Chocolate decorations (optional)
- 1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon Crisco

Tools/Equipment:
- 1 3qt saucepan/pot
- Whisk
- Egg separator (optional, depending your method of egg separation)
- Microwave safe containers to melt chocolate
- Metal Strainer/Sieve (optional to strain filling)
- Extra bowl (optional if using strainer to strain filling)
- Plastic wrap
- Hand mixer
- Mixing bowl

Steps:
In a pot combine: Sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together. Over medium heat, add milk and whisk until blended and smooth. Whisk constantly until milk mixture has thickened and boils. Boil for one minute. Turn heat to low.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with whisk. Add 1/2 cup of warm milk mixture while continuing to whisk together. Stirring quickly, slowly pour egg mixture, into milk mixture -  to prevent the eggs from curdling (no scrambled eggs here). Stir constantly over low heat until mixture is very thick, or until temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.

While continuing to stir add melted chocolate, vanilla extract and butter pieces. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is smooth.

Optional: Pour pudding into fine-meshed sieve placed over a medium sized bowl. The pudding will move through the sieve on its own. Gently stir, but do not push through. Discard any bits remaining in sieve.

Slowly pour chocolate filling into crust. Tap the pan slightly to settle any air bubbles. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of filled pie. Refrigerate until filling is set, approximately four hours.

Create chocolate decorations or chocolate curls if desired.

Using a hand mixer, whip heavy cream or whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Remove plastic wrap from pie, and gently top pie with whipped cream. Decorate as desired. Enjoy!

Step 1: Measure and Prepare Tools and Ingredients

Picture of Measure and Prepare Tools and Ingredients

There's not much time between steps to stop and measure. Plus it's a really good habit to prep all your ingredients when in the kitchen.

Serves: One - 9" chocolate cream pie

Chocolate Cream Pie:
- 1 - 9" Chocolate Crumb Crust
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/3 cup Cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3 3/4 cups Milk
- 5 Large Egg Yolks
- 3 squares (3 ounces) Unsweetened chocolate, Melted
- 2 tablespoons Butter or Margarine, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Heavy or Whipping Cream

For Sweetened Whipped Cream (additional items)
- 1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar (optional: if sweetening whipped cream)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional: if sweetening whipped cream)

Chocolate decorations (optional)
- 1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon Crisco

Tools:
- 1 3qt saucepan/pot
- Whisk
- Egg separator (optional, depending your method of egg separation)
- Microwave safe containers to melt chocolate
- Metal Strainer/Sieve (optional to strain filling)
- Extra bowl (optional if using strainer to strain filling)
- Plastic wrap
- Hand mixer
- Mixing bowl

Steps:
In a pot combine: Sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together. Over medium heat, add milk and whisk until blended and smooth. Whisk constantly until milk mixture has thickened and boils. Boil for one minute. Turn heat to low.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with whisk. Add 1/2 cup of warm milk mixture while continuing to whisk together. Stirring quickly, slowly pour egg mixture, into milk mixture -  to prevent the eggs from curdling (no scrambled eggs here). Stir constantly over low heat until mixture is very thick, or until temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.

While continuing to stir add melted chocolate, vanilla extract and butter pieces. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is smooth.

Optional: Pour pudding into fine-meshed sieve placed over a medium sized bowl. The pudding will move through the sieve on its own. Gently stir, but do not push through. Discard any bits remaining in sieve.

Slowly pour chocolate filling into crust. Tap the pan slightly to settle any air bubbles. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of filled pie. Refrigerate until filling is set, approximately four hours.

Create chocolate decorations or chocolate curls if desired.

Using a hand mixer, whip heavy cream or whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Remove plastic wrap from pie, and gently top pie with whipped cream. Decorate as desired. Enjoy!

Step 2: Separating Eggs

Picture of Separating Eggs

There's several different ways to separate the yolk from the whites of an egg. I use an egg separator, but you can use your hands.

Use two bowls, one for whites and one for yolks.

Gently tap the egg on counter-top to break. Push thumbs against shell to break open. Drop egg yolk gently into separator (or cradle the yolk in your hands.) Tap separator, and place yolk in other bowl.

Save the egg whites for Meringue Cookies or Egg White Omelettes.


Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients and Milk

Picture of Combine Dry Ingredients and Milk

In a pot combine: Sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together.

Over medium heat, add milk and whisk until blended and smooth.

Step 4: Whisk and Whisk and Whisk Until Thickened

Picture of Whisk and Whisk and Whisk Until Thickened

Whisk constantly until milk mixture has thickened and boils. Takes about 7-10 minutes for mixture to thicken. Generally a large bubble will come up, and gently collapse. Boil for one minute.

Turn heat to low.

The mixture almost feels like stirring a can of latex paint. Thick and clings to whisk.

Step 5: Whisk and Temper Eggs

Picture of Whisk and Temper Eggs

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with whisk.

Add 1/2 cup of warm milk mixture while continuing to whisk together.

Step 6: Add Egg Mixture to Milk Mixture

Picture of Add Egg Mixture to Milk Mixture

Stirring quickly, slowly pour egg mixture, into milk mixture -  to prevent the eggs from curdling (no scrambled eggs here). Stir constantly over low heat until mixture is very thick, or until temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.

Step 7: Melt Chocolate

Picture of Melt Chocolate

Add 3 oz unsweetened chocolate to microwave safe container and begin to melt. First cook for 45 seconds, check. Then continue in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to help along.

Step 8: Add Chocolate, Vanilla, and Butter

Picture of Add Chocolate, Vanilla, and Butter

While stirring together, add melted chocolate, vanilla extract and butter pieces. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is smooth.

Remove from heat.

Step 9: Optional: Pour Pudding Into Sieve

Picture of Optional: Pour Pudding Into Sieve

Optional: Pour pudding into fine-meshed sieve placed over a medium sized bowl. The pudding will move through the sieve on its own. Gently stir, but do not push through.

Discard any bits remaining in sieve. 


Step 10: Pour Filling Into Crust

Picture of Pour Filling Into Crust

Pour chocolate filling into crust. Depending on the size of the crust, it may not all fit (extras for the cook!) Tap the pan slightly to settle any air bubbles.

Step 11: Cover Pie With Plastic Wrap and Chill

Picture of Cover Pie With Plastic Wrap and Chill

Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of filled pie. Refrigerate until filling is set, approximately four hours. 

It does not need to be perfect, because whipped cream will go on top later.

Step 12: Optional: Piped Chocolate Decoration

Picture of Optional: Piped Chocolate Decoration

Print out shape/s you want to create a chocolate decoration of. Place shape on a plate, then put a piece of wax or parchment paper on top.

In a microwave safe container, add 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips plus 1 teaspoon of Crisco. Melt in microwave beginning with 45 seconds, and then in 30 second intervals. Stir until melted.

Pour melted chocolate into a zip top or plastic bag

Snip a corner.

Trace and fill the shape.

Chill shape in refrigerator until it hardens.

Use leftover chocolate to coat cookies, fruit, or just eat with a spoon.

Step 13: Make Whipped Cream

Picture of Make Whipped Cream

Unsweetened Whipped Cream
Whip 1 cup of Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream with hand mixer until soft peaks form.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
Add powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla to 1 cup of Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream.

Whip until soft peaks form.

Step 14: Add Whipped Cream and Decorate Pie

Picture of Add Whipped Cream and Decorate Pie

Remove plastic wrap from the pie.

Gently add Whipped Cream to top of pie.

Add decorations.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

Comments

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-03-11

Mmmm! Chocolate pie!

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Bio: Food-music-space geek. Love cooking, listening to music (EDM is awesome!)
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