Monday, May 20, 2013

Milk Chocolate Cream Pie

Who can resist homemade chocolate cream pie? Don't ever use a pudding mix for cream pies - making your own filling lets you use good quality chocolate for a rich, divine chocolate pie. And if you like it dark, this same recipe makes a decadent dark chocolate cream pie, just substitute dark chocolate for milk.

1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust using, chocolate graham crackers or chocolate cookie crumbs.

1 cup sugar (or you can start with 3/4 cup and add more as you go - this pie is very sweet)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 Cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 oz. chopped milk chocolate (use good quality chocolate here)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and milk. Stir the mixture in the bowl while the water boils beneath it, cooking for about 10-12 minutes until the mixture thickens (stir it frequently). Thickening time depends on how cold your milk is to start with. It can take anywhere from 9-14 minutes to get it nice and thick like a pudding. Once it has thickened, remove it from the heat.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Take a small amount of the hot milk/flour mixture (about a tablespoon) and stir it into the eggs. Add another spoonful and stir it in (you are "tempering" the eggs so they don't cook and curdle). Now pour the egg mixture into the rest of the hot milk mix. Return it to the double boiler and cook until thickened some more (about 3 more minutes) stirring constantly. Take it off the heat.

Stir in the chocolate and the vanilla extract to the filling mixture. Now let it cool a bit. (You can stick the filling in the fridge or freezer to help it chill faster, just remember to take it out and stir it occasionally). When the filling has cooled pour it into the pie shell. Then return it to the fridge to for another hour to make sure it is well-chilled before topping it with whipped cream (you can add the whipped cream ahead of time or just before serving) Keep it in the fridge when not serving.

Fresh Whipped Cream Topping:
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, depending on how sweet you want it

Make sure the cream is well-chilled, (I even chill the mixing bowl and beaters when I make whipped cream). Beat the cream on with a wire whisk (or electric mixer with the whisk attachment on high) until it is thicker and can form soft peaks. Add in the sugar and continue to beat until very thick and can form stiff peaks. Spread it over the chilled pie and garnish with shaved or curled chocolate. (To make chocolate curls, warm the chocolate bar slightly in the microwave for about 5 -10 seconds, then scrape a vegetable peeler along the edges. If it doesn't curl, it may not be warm enough, put it back in the microwave for 5 seconds, but be careful not to melt it.)

Keep the pie back in the fridge until serving.

Cut this with a very sharp knife dipped in hot water. Clean the knife with a towel between slices to keep it neat.

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