I had these big plans to try to convince you why chocolate cream pie is the perfect dessert for the new year. I was going to tell you about how it represents new things; how it’s a good dessert to bring to a new year party; I was even going to try to say that you should have this one last indulgence before new year resolutions begin. Are you convinced? Sigh, neither am I.
Make this pie because it’s delicious! It’s chocolate and whipped cream piled into a sweet crust! It’s this totally old school, comforting dessert, but all fancied up with high quality chocolate that is barely sweet and so grown-up tasting. People! You don’t need another reason.
But if you do need another reason, I say pretend. Pretend that it represents the new year, pretend that you have a party to take this to, have this one last indulgence before resolutions begin, and just make it this weekend. And then try to think of why you would ever need a reason to make this. Really. Try.
Chocolate Cream Pie (recipe from Flour)
This recipe is actually relatively simple to put together, but does use several plates and bowls to get to the finished product. So prepare yourselves. But have I mentioned that it’s worth it? Which you really shouldn’t be surprised about because, let’s be honest, this cookbook never fails.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 egg yolk
Cream together the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and beat on low for 30 seconds. Add the egg yolk and continue to beat for an additional 30 seconds, or until dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Remove dough from the fridge and let soften for 30 minutes. Sprinkle flour on the dough, and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. It should be about 10 to 11 inches in diameter. Carefully lift and place the dough in a pie plate. Cut off any excess pieces.
Place the prepared pie shell in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. As soon as it comes out of the oven, place 1 ounce of bittersweet chocolate (ingredients listed below) onto the crust. Place the pie shell back in the oven for about 1 minute, until the chocolate has melted. Spread the chocolate all over the crust to form an even layer of chocolate. Let cool completely.
For pie filling:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided
3/4 cup half and half
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
slab of milk chocolate, for decorating
In a pot, combine half and half and 1 cup of the cream and heat over medium high heat until bubbles form on the side. Make sure that the liquid does not boil. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 5 oz. chocolate in a double boiler until it has melted. Take off the heat. Pour the cream mixture over the melted chocolate and whisk to incorporate.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly incorporate the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, a little at a time, making sure that eggs will not cook. Return the entire mixture to the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 6-7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Strain through a sieve. Stir in vanilla and salt. Pour the filling into the shell and refrigerate, uncovered, until set, about 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with powdered sugar and cornstarch. Whip until stiff peaks form. Pour onto the chocolate pie and spread to the edges of the pie. Using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate on top of the whipped cream.