This is a chocolate chiffon pie. This is a serious dessert with a graham cracker crust and a rich and fluffy--but not too chocolaty--filling. The ingredients are fairly simple, but it takes time to make! Let's get started.
Step 1: Assemble Ingredients and Tools
There are three parts to this recipe, the crust, the filling, and the topping. Here are the ingredients:
Graham Cracker Crust
- 12 graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (comes in tablespoon-sized packages)
- 1 ounce of unsweeted chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar (x 2)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- whipped cream OR Coolwhip
- graham cracker crumbs
- chocolate covered orange peels
Some gear you should check to see if you have are a food processor, a 9-inch pie tin, an electric mixer, and a few large bowls.
Step 2: Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
Step 3: Crumb Your Crackers
Break apart your 12 graham crackers so that they can fit into your food processor.
Give them a minute or two in the processor until they are crushed into small crumbs.
Measure off 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. Place the rest in a bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Mix Crumbs With Butter and Sugar
Measure out 6 tablespoons of butter, melt in your microwave.
Pour your crumbs into a medium bowl.
Mix with melted butter and 1/4 cup of sugar.
Mix until you have no clumps of sugar or butter sitting around. Don't worry: your crumbs will not stick together very well.
Step 5: Shape Your Pie Crust
Pour your crust mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. You do not need to grease the pan.
Use your hands to push the crumbs down around the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
The thickness and pressure with which you push your crust against the pan will directly affect the strength of the crust. If you are concerned with plating, I recommend making extra sure that your crust is thick up the sides.
Step 6: Bake for 8-10 Minutes
Bake your crust for 8-10 minutes.
You will know the crust is done when it has darkened slightly around its edges.
Set aside and let cool.
Step 7: Mix Gelatin With 1/4 Cup Cold Water
In a small bowl, place 1/4 cup cold water.
Pour 1 tablespoon of gelatin into the water and let it dissolve for at least 5 minutes.
You can buy unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon packets. However, I've observed that they often fall just short of 1 tablespoon, so be sure to actually measure it out in a tablespoon.
Step 8: Boil Some Water
Boil some water on the stove.
You will need 1/2 cup, but boil more so that you are sure to have enough.
Step 9: Chop Unsweetened Chocolate
Chop 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate.
Put into a large mixing bowl.
The size of your pieces will effect the color of your filling. If you finely chop (or grate) your chocolate it will have a much darker appearance. If you leave your pieces slightly larger, around 5 millimeters or 1/4 inch and below, your pie will have a freckled appearance similar to the pie which I have made.
1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate is generally measured into 2 blocks in packages. In any case, consult the packaging the be sure.
Step 10: Mix Your Chocolate, Water, and Gelatin
Over the sink, measure out 1/2 cup of boiling water.
Add to chocolate and mix until mostly uniform (you will have the occasional big piece floating around).
Next, add the gelatin, which by now is semi solid.
Mix and move on.
Step 11: Separate Egg Yolks and Whites
Separate your egg yolks from your egg whites.
Set your egg whites aside for now.
How To Separate Eggs
If you've never done this before, you don't need to buy a tool for it. Simply crack your egg down the middle and juggle the yolk between the two halves while letting the whites drop into a bowl.
Step 12: Create Egg Mixture and Add to Chocolate
In a medium bowl, combine your four egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Whisk together until smooth.
Add to chocolate mixture.
Whisk together until uniform.
Step 13: Beat Egg Whites
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat your 4 egg whites.
Continue beating only until whites are foamy.
Step 14: Add Sugar and Beat Until Peaks Appear
Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar to egg whites and continue to beat.
Add a pinch of salt.
Beat for several minutes, until mixture turns white and stiff peaks appear.
How to Check if Your Egg Whites Are Done:
You will need to beat your egg whites and sugar for a while. The mixture will gradually turn bright white and expand as air enters the mixture. Stop mixing and lift your beaters. If little mountains appear in the bowl you are finished. If you want, you can touch them. They should be surprisingly stiff.
It may seem like this part takes forever, but remember, you can still over-beat the eggs, so you will want to occasionally stop and lift your beaters up to check for peaks.
Step 15: Fold Egg Whites Into Chocolate Mixture
Put your egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula.
Fold your ingredients together until uniform.
Your filling is done!
How to Fold Ingredients
To fold ingredients, turn your mixture over and over with the spatula, literally in a folding motion. Be gentle as you do this: folding is less vigorous than mixing, and is meant to ensure that fluffy ingredients like beat egg whites maintain their volume.
Step 16: Pour Filling Into Crust and Chill
Pour your filling into the crust you made.
Set in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 2 1/2 hours.
Air bubbles will float to the surface as your pie thickens. If you don't want so many of these tap your bowl of filling against the table a couple of times before pouring it into the pie. This will free some bubbles, which you'll see appearing on the surface of your filling.
A lot like chocolate milk, the dregs of your filling will be much darker and chocolatier than the rest of your filling (especially if you cut larger chocolate pieces like me). Don't pour this into your bowl! If you can stop pouring before reaching this point you can then pour this darker filling over the top of the pie to make a pattern! I made circles for pi day.
Step 17: Toppings Galore
Two toppings I like for this pie are Coolwhip and candied orange peel shavings.
Here I used chocolate-covered orange peels, Coolwhip, and my extra graham crackers to make a nice finishing touch to my pie.
I mixed roughly equal parts graham cracker with chocolate-covered orange peel in my mixer and put them in a sifter to capture the larger chunks.
Add a dollop of whip cream and maybe an intact cracker or two and you have a beautiful dessert.
Cutting Your Pie
Graham cracker crust can be difficult to cut, so make sure you have a sharp utensil to do it with! This pie holds together very well, so it is suited to really beautiful platings.