Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chocolate Cream Pie




“You know what I love about cooking?  I love that after a day where nothing is sure-- and when I say noting, I mean nothing—you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick.  Its such a comfort.”
 Quote from the movie “Julie and Julia”, during a scene in which Julie Powell is making a chocolate cream pie after a rough day at work.    

Chocolate Cream Pie
(The original recipe calls for a chocolate wafer crust, but I changed it to include a graham cracker crust, like the one in the above-mentioned movie)

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter melted 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt   
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
7 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
3 tablespoons cold butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Serves 8 - 10
Set oven to 350°F.

Directions:

Pre-Make The Crust:

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar until all the crumbs are moist.  Mixture should be crumbly.   Transfer mixture into an 9-inch pie pan and press the mixture evenly to the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Bake crust 7 to 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Filling:
1.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt together thoroughly. Then whisk in the whole egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the milk until it is thoroughly combined.

2.  Using a large saucepan (heavy bottom) over medium-high heat, bring to a boil the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Remove from the heat. While constantly whisking, slowly (very slowly) drizzle  the hot milk into the egg mixture. Continue whisking to avoid scrambling the eggs. Return all the mixture to the pan. Continue to cook over medium heat, constantly stirring.  Allow mixture to come to a boil and thicken.  This should take 3 to 5 minutes.

3.  Remove mixture from the heat.  Then add in the chocolate, and let sit in the mixture for a minute. Also add the butter and vanilla.  Whisk the mixture together until everything is thoroughly blended and the chocolate is smooth.

4.  Pour the filling into the prepared and cooled pie crust.  Smooth the surface of the filling over with a rubber spatula. Use plastic wrap to completely cover the whole surface, so that a “skin” will not form.  Be sure the plastic wrap is touching the filling.  

5.  Cool pie in the refrigerator until it is completely set, which will take about 2 hours.  Top with whipped cream (store-bought or homemade, recipe below) and serve.

Whipped Cream Topping:

1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In an electric mixer with a whisk attachment (or using a bowl with an electric hand mixer) whip together the cream, sugar and vanilla on a medium-high speed, until peaks begin to form.  Spread topping over pie.

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