Pi Day: Chocolate cream pie

Celebrate Pi Day (3.14) with a generous slice of classic chocolate cream pie.

Eat. Run. Read.
Decadent dark chocolate cream pie over a graham cracker crust with a layer of freshly whipped cream is the only proper way to celebrate Pi Day.

I saw a great Israeli film, called "A Matter of Size." It's a comedy about four friends who decide to ditch their weight-loss club and form a sumo wrestling team instead.

An Israeli sumo wrestling team is kind of a big deal because apparently there are no fat people in Israel! Who knew? In a land of hummus and shwarma and Jewish mothers – no fat people? Really? (All I'm saying is that in those conditions there's a pretty good chance I'd be sumo-sized!)

So I thought it'd be fitting for me to post about something, ahem, kinda sorta fattening ... Chocolate Cream Pie. This pie is totally worth it!

I had some cream left over from the Double Chocolate Tart. So there I was at work, daydreaming about what I could make ... and then it struck. DUH! I have cream ... I want to make something with it ...*Lightbulb!*... Cream pie! And surprisingly not as bad for you as it could be ... I mean, I used non-fat milk, so that counts for something ... right? 

Chocolate Cream Pie
Adapted from Lost Past Remembered

For the crust:
1-1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs or chocolate wafer crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Stir together crumbs, butter, and sugar and press on bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake about 15 minutes, and cool on a rack.

For the filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used almond extract)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream, divided
2 cups milk

1. Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks

3. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.

4. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute

5. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.

6. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

7. Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.

8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.

For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the heavy cream in a chilled mixing bowl.

2. Whip until the whisk begins to leave tracks in the bowl.

3. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the cream holds a medium peak.

To assemble:

1. Transfer the cooled filling to the cooled crust. Level the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Let it chill thoroughly.

2. Serve with the whipped cream on the top of the pie or top individual slices with the cream. I also garnished with finely chopped dark chocolate. Just to make it prettier!

Related post on Eat. Run. Read.: Black and White Whoopie Pies

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