Here is that pie recipe I promised you…it consists of a baked pie shell filled with the creamiest most indulgent homemade chocolate pudding contrasted nicely with slightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The pudding is delicious because it is not overly sweet, and it gives this amazing dark chocolate taste that lends it some class. This is not your kids average jello pudding! I’ve been toying with the idea of making a chocolate pie for some time now, and was torn between chocolate silk pies, a chocolate pie with an oreo crust (which I will definitely have to make sometime soon) and this recipe which I got from Smitten Kitchen. Smitten Kitchen won out, as it usually does. I’m glad I went with this for the end of a foodie meal (recipes coming soon) because it was a real crowdpleaser, and an easy recipe to pull together to conclude a day of cooking.
Chocolate Pudding Pie adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from Gourmet)
Chocolate Pudding Pie
One single pie crust after it’s been wrapped and chilled for at least 30 minutes
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream
Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
Prepare pie dough: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes. While shell chills, preheat oven to 375°F (190 C) with a baking sheet on middle rack. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights*.
Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil, then bake shell on baking sheet until pale golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool shell.
*NOTE, I used Deb’s technique of baking the pie crust without using pie weights (the reason pie weights are usually used is to prevent crust shrinkage) and it worked like a charm! I’d suggest using it, find it below)
Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.
Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours. Mine didn’t solidify much, it was classic pudding texture which made for some messy cutting but yummy eating. This pudding makes a great stand alone pudding recipe if you don’t want to make the whole pie!
Just before serving, beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings to make it look all prettty. Pie can be made and chilled up to two days. Pie, without whipped cream, can be chilled up to one day before serving. Whipped cream is best added at the last minute before serving.
* Instead of using pie weights, Deb blind bakes pie and pastry shells by freezing the crust that has been rolled into the pie pan for 20-30 minutes until solid, then pressing a piece of buttered foil, buttered side down very tightly against the frozen shell. You then blind bake according to regular directions (or directions in the first step above). When it is time to remove the weights, pull back the foil, and press any part of the crust that has bubbled up gently back with the back of a spoon and continue baking the shell until light golden brown.