Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Chocolate Cream Pies For Your Consideration

How do you like your chocolate cream pie? Dense, dark and sweet or fluffy and custard-like?

Chocolate Cream Pie

Photo: wintersoul1 (flickr)

The pie crust recipe makes two crusts, so you can bake both of these chocolate cream pies to see which you prefer.

I’ve eaten lots of chocolate cream pie, but I’d never made one until a few weeks ago. Searching through cookbooks and the internet I found lots of recipes, each with different ratios of ingredients and cooking methods.

So, like the curious girl I am, I decided to chose two recipes and test them out on a few friends. The results yielded two similar pies, but just different enough to give you both of my tweaked recipes.

One Awesome Pie Crust

making a pie crust by hand

Photo: Random Michelle K (flickr)

Every good pie starts with a good pie crust. This is the recipe I used.

Makes two pie crusts.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter (cubed and chilled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6–8 tablespoons ice water

Method for Mixing Dough:

  1. Put flour, sugar, salt, and butter in food processor, pulse until the mixture is a cornmeal texture.
  2. Add water (2 tablespoons at a time) and pulse a few times between adding water.
  3. Once mixture has begun to bind, remove from food processor and place on a floured surface.
  4. Turn a few times on floured surface to form a ball of dough.
  5. Cut the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic (or place in a freezer bag) and chill (in freezer) for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

Method for Forming Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Roll out dough and place in pie pan.
  3. Place back in freezer until completely chilled (the sides will be hard).
  4. Pull out of freezer and line crust with wax paper or foil, and pour in pie weights, dry rice, or dry beans to hold the crust down while baking.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and let cool down slightly.
  6. Take out weights and poke small holes in the bottom of crust with a fork, return to oven (without weights).
  7. Bake 10 more minutes.
  8. Remove and cool completely.

Chocolate Cream Pie, Exhibit A

Chocolate Cream Pie

Photo: michaelkmak (flickr)

The first pie recipe is fluffy with a light, custard-like texture. The second one is dense, dark, and sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Freshly whipped cream

Method:

  1. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs yolks in a small saucepan.
  2. Turn heat on medium and add milk in a stream, while whisking constantly.
  3. Bring to a boil, simmer for one minute.
  4. Pour mixture through a sieve, or fine mesh strainer, and into a bowl.
  5. Whisk in both chocolates, butter, and vanilla.
  6. Cover with buttered wax paper, chill two hours, and put in fully cooked pie shell.
  7. Chill for two more hours, then cover with freshly whipped cream and serve. Makes one nine inch pie.

Chocolate Cream Pie, Exhibit B

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • Freshly whipped cream

Method:

  1. Heat milk with half of the sugar.
  2. In a  separate bowl, mix egg yolks, the other half of the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  3. Whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, place back in saucepan.
  4. Cook until thick – about three minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chocolates.
  6. Chill for six hours, top with freshly whipped cream, and serve. Makes one nine inch pie.
Clara Moore

Clara Moore is a chef from St. Louis finding her way in Seattle, one plate of food at a time. She lives in a cedar cabin in the woods and cooks at home a lot more now than ever before.

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