According to legend, The Hero’s dad makes a mean chocolate cream pie (or French Silk pie to the purists out there). Unfortunately, since The Hero is grown, his dad no longer makes said pie. Want to know how I found that out? After many, many, many requests and retellings of how Hero Dad refuses to make pie no matter how many times or ways The Hero asks.
Here I come to save the day. Loving The Hero, I decided to surprise him and try to make the same pie his dad made. I have to say this upfront: he said his dad made the pie with graham cracker crust. Being me (and I know it all since I am Head Cook/Pastry Chef around here), I decided to make the chocolate cookie crumb crust.
Epic pie fail. The Hero looked like he wanted to scrape the pie off his tongue. Of course, being great, he kindly said that the filling and whipped cream were delicious and the crust was also delicious, but both together was too much dessert. The graham cracker crust would have been better with the luscious chocolate filling, but he can’t eat both.
I, on the other hand, loved it. And that’s saying a lot considering I don’t care for chocolate all like that. In your house, you be the judge: chocolate cookie or graham cracker crust?
Chocolate Cream Pie
adapted from Saveur
For pie crust
- 8 tbsp butter or margarine (I used I Can’t Believe It’s not Butter)
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 sleeves (about 2¼ cups) graham crackers, finely crushed
- ⅓ cup (1 oz) cocoa (optional)
For chocolate filling
- 8 tbsp. butter or margarine, cut into ½” cubes and chilled, plus more for pie plate
- 3 ½ cups half-and-half
- ⅔ cup plus
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 9 egg yolks
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
For whipped topping
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Crust. Heat oven to 375°. Grease bottom and sides of a 9″ glass pie plate with margarine or butter; set aside. Heat butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Transfer butter mixture to a medium bowl; stir in ground graham crackers and cocoa (if using). Transfer mixture to pie plate; press into bottom and sides, using the bottom of a measuring cup to compress crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake until set, about 10 minutes; let cool.
For the Filling. Heat half-and-half in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer; remove pan from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch; add egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Drizzle half-and-half into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until bubbles rise to the surface and mixture is very thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add remaining margarine or butter and chocolates in small batches, whisking until smooth; stir in vanilla. Set a sieve over a medium bowl and strain chocolate mixture.
Using a rubber spatula, spoon mixture into reserved crust, forming a dome, and smooth surface with the spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto surface; refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
For the whipped topping. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, remaining vanilla, and heavy cream until stiff peaks form; spread on top of filling, forming a dome. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.