Introduction: Chocolately Chocolate Cream Pi

This is truly one of the BEST pies you will ever eat!  This is a great dessert on Pi day or any day of the year. Velvety, rich chocolate, sits on top of a flaky golden pastry crust, topped with swirls of sweetened whipped cream. 

Step 1: Pie Crust

• 1  1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
• 1/8  cup ice water
• ¼  cup chilled vodka

Directions for crust
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
2) Cut in the shortening until it's in lumps the size of small peas
3) Dice the butter into 1/2-inch pieces, and cut into the mixture until you have a uniform mixture.
4) Add the water/vodka mix, two tablespoons at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle the water into the dough.
5) When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper.
6) Fold it over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then pat it into a disk 3/4-inch thick.
7) Roll the disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.
8) To blind bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
9) Roll out the pastry for the pie to a 13-inch circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, and trim the edges so they overlap the edge by an inch all the way around. Tuck the edges up and under, and flute them. Put the lined pie pan in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
10) Line the crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and gently remove foil or parchment with the weights or beans. Return the crust to the oven for 10 more minutes, until it's golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Step 2: Rolling It Out

Roll chilled dough out on parchment or waxed paper that has been lightly floured.  Keep the dough cool, making sure to work quickly.  If dough becomes too warm, it will not properly roll out.   Roll dough slightly larger than the pie plate.  Once dough is placed in pie plate, trim excess and flute edges.  Chill the pie plate and pie dough at least 10 minutes before baking.

Step 3: Blind Baking the Crust

Using a fork, dock the bottom and sides of the pie dough.  Carefully place a parchment round or foil in the pie plate and add pie weights or dried beans, using enough to cover the entire bottom of the pie.  Place the pie in the pre-heated oven on the lowest rack.  Bake for 20 minutes, remove pie weights and parchment paper or foil. Return pie to the oven to finish baking until light golden brown, about 10-15 minutes more.  The bottom of the pie crust should not have any wet or doughy areas when it is thoroughly baked.

Step 4: Chocolate Filling

Chocolate Filling
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1  1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon instant espresso
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder- I used King Arthur’s Cocoa Rouge
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 3 large egg yolks
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 cups milk

1) Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.
2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso and salt. Whisk cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks.
3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the milk.
4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute
5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.
6) Mix until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
7) Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.  Let cool for 20 minutes and then transfer to cooled pie crust.  Smooth top of pie.  Refrigerate pie for 2 hours or overnight to set the chocolate filling.

Step 5: Whipped Cream Topping

• 1 cup very cold heavy cream
• 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Place the heavy cream in a chilled mixing bowl, add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.
2) Whip until thickened.

Using a pastry bag with a large piping tip, fill bag with whipped cream.  Use a tall glass to help hold filled bag of whipped cream.  Using circular motions, swirl the whipped cream on top of the pie.

Step 6: Chocolate Pi

Items Needed:

mini chocolate chips
zip loc bag
image of pi or desired shape from printer
waxed paper
off set spatula

Place printed image under waxed paper.  Melt 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips for 25-40 seconds in microwave.  Place melted chocolate in ziploc bag.  Snip a tiny corner from the bag, creating a small piping bag.  Carefully trace over the image onto the waxed paper using the melted chocolate.  Refrigerate.  Once set, lift shapes off waxed paper with an off set spatula.  Place chocolate shapes onto whipped cream.

Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest

Participated in the
Serious Eats Pi Day Pie Contest