One thing I’ve learned as a new dog owner and spring fashionista: There is no having white pants and a bull dog. You can have one or the other, not both. The same might go for having white pants and chocolate cream pie. I know which I choose…
Chocolate Cream Pie
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
Graham Cracker Crust
This recipe actually calls for an oreo crust, which I made, but accidently poured my Vanilla Cream pie filling into because I was not really paying attention. Turns out, graham cracker tastes great with this, though I’m sure the Oreo crust would too. Stay tuned for that one)
9 graham crackers (5 oz), broken into rough pieces
2 TB granulated sugar
5 TB unsalted butter, melted and warm
CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING:
2½ cups half-and-half
pinch table salt
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 large egg yolks at room temperature, chalazae (protein strands attached to yolk) removed
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups heavy cream (cold)
1½ Tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the Crust: adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, process the graham crackers until evenly fine, about 30 seconds (you should have about 1 cup crumbs)—I did this all by hand, and it tasted great.
Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding the warm melted butter in a steady stream; pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch glass pie plate, evenly press the crumbs into the pie plate, using your thumb and a ½ cup measuring cup to square off the top of the crust. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes; cool on a rack. Thank you Abby, L’Heureux–crust art here is hers.
FOR THE FILLING: Bring half-and-half, salt, and about 3 tablespoons sugar to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, stir together remaining sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Just as the half-and-half mixture starts to simmer, sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over yolks and whisk until mixture is glossy and sugar has begun to dissolve, about 1 minute. When half-and-half reaches full simmer, drizzle about ½ cup hot half-and-half over yolks, whisking constantly to temper; then whisk all of egg yolk mixture into simmering half-and-half (mixture should thicken in about 30 seconds). Return to simmer, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 15 seconds longer.
Off heat, whisk in butter until incorporated; add chocolates and whisk until melted, scraping pan bottom with rubber spatula to fully incorporate. Stir in vanilla, then immediately pour filling into baked and cooled crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate pie until filling is cold and firm, about 3 hours.
FOR THE TOPPING: Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla in bowl of standing mixer on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about 30 seconds more. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume and forms soft peaks, about 20 seconds. Spread or pipe (what the heck does this mean?) whipped cream over chilled pie filling. Cut pie into wedges and serve. Be sure to make a little extra whipped cream for yourself and the bulldog–
This was terrific. The “whipping one’s own cream” phenomenon dazzles me. I have a liquid, and then after eight or so minutes of a good thrashing it becomes semi-solid. It stands up and makes so-called peaks. I can scoop this former liquid onto my forefinger and it does not drip off, rather, stands toward my tongue, or Izzy’s… Wonderful trick. Confession: I knowingly made extra whipped cream for my little party. I ate the remainder today for lunch, spread upon left over graham crackers. The whipped cream bowl was in my fridge, next to the bag of spinach, and I chose the gluttoner. Happy Monday to me.