The Chocolate Pie Battle

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For New Year’s Eve, I made a chocolate pie. Wait, let me start again. While in Michigan over Christmas, I stopped in a bakery and had a slice of Chocolate Pie. It was delicious. It was very dark and rich, and the texture was very dense, yet smooth and creamy at the same time. I didn’t expect to like it, but I did. Very. Much. When I returned home, I thought about making one myself (I’ve never made one before). I poked around a bit for a recipe and settled on this one because it had both cocoa and chopped chocolate in the recipe. The crust for the recipe was interesting too. You mixed melted butter with the flour and pressed it into the pie shell.

I made the pie with little drama. I was even surprised that my cream mixture didn’t become lumpy (sometimes I have to strain it before chilling). I already made the decision not to freak out about the crust since it was a new version as well.

I took the pie to my friend’s house, snapped a couple of pics and sampled. It was ok. Well, ok, the filling I thought was pretty good, but the crust was very hard. It was somewhere between a crust fail and shortbread. This feeling stayed with me for a while and I felt the need to redeem myself. Plus, it wasn’t close to the same texture as the pie I had in Michigan, which is what I was going for.

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I dug out the photo of the pie from Michigan and finally noticed the big difference between my pie and the bakery pie. The bakery pie was a baked. Ah ha! I immediately scoured the web for fudge pies and kept getting results for “chess” pie. (I’ll save you from my rant on chess vs cream pies. After two weeks of researching both, I’m still kinda lost on the major difference between them)

I finally settled on the recipe below. I was a little weary because this recipe only used cocoa, but I decided to go for it anyway. I made my own tried and true pie crust (from Martha) omitting sugar. The pie almost overflowed in the oven, but luckily, it held together. Actually in exchange for not overflowing, a large air bubble grew on one half of the pie that I didn’t think would ever go down.

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I really hated this pie. It tasted like cocoa flavored eggs. Personally, I don’t eat eggs, so I asked my son (who loves eggs) to try the pie and give me his opinion. He said it was ok, but it tasted “eggy”. I was pretty disappointed, but still determined to recreate the pie I had back home. The other day I came across a recipe that uses evaporated milk, and chopped chocolate. I think I may try that one next. Stay tuned…

ChCream1

Chocolate Cream Pie

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

Chocolate filling

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Scharffen Berger or Valrhona, I use Callebaut)
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Method:

Make the crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish.

Mix melted butter, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add flour and mix until well blended. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish; crimp edges decoratively. Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, about 18 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the chocolate filling:

Bring 2 cups milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup milk to blend in medium bowl; whisk in cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until filling is cold and set, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

ChocoChess-Cover

Chocolate Chess Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9″ pastry shell

Method:

Melt butter with chocolate. In a mixing bowl, combine chocolate and butter mixture with sugar, flour, salt, milk, eggs, and vanilla; beat with electric mixer for 5 to 6 minutes. Pour filling into prepared pastry shell; bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes, until set.  

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