I talk a lot about my grandmothers, but they were everything you’d hope for when it came to cooking and baking. Each year was a parade of different pies, influenced by the fruits that were in-season. But chocolate pie – now that was a different story. You see, in my family, chocolate is always in season.
The preparation of fruit pies often took the better part of a day, considering the dough was made from scratch, the fruits were fresh or had been canned the year prior, and the toppings were dough or intricate lattice strips made from dough, or the ultimate meringue. It topped lemon, coconut cream, rhubarb and sweet potato pies, but it also crowned chocolate with sweet, delicious toasted peaks.
It Was A Different Time
Chocolate and lemon pies were the exception from scratch fillings. Typically, both grandmothers used an instant pudding mix. It seems like cheating today, but chocolate was quite expensive for them and typically reserved for holidays. Today, we have the ability to create chocolate fillings from scratch, to match the homemade style and appeal of the crust and topping. You can still create shortcuts, like using a good pre-baked pie shell to save time, while focusing more on the filling and topping.
This recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie is another in our series from TCHO, the Berkley-based ethically sourced chocolate company. I still have a bag of the Cinnamon Spice Bites hidden in my desk, but I fear my co-workers are onto me. The chocolate ingredients in this pie can be purchased online here.
Two Bakes Baking And A Spare
This recipe was created for TCHO by Three Babes Bakeshop, which is actually two fierce women who’ve been friends since 3rd grade. They love baked goods and source many of their fresh ingredients from local farmers, who’ve been friends of their families for years. Even their parents work together. Thanks to Anna and Lenore for sharing their take on a Chocolate Cream Pie that my grandmothers would have been proud to serve.
- 1 fully pre-baked pie shell, cooled
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 cups whole milk
- 5 ounces TCHO Pro 66% Dark Chocolate Discs, melted
- 2 ounces TCHO Pro 99% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Discs, melted
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 liquid cup heavy cream, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and yolks in a 3-quart heavy saucepan until combined well. Then add milk in a stream, whisking. Bring to boil over moderate heat, while constantly whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking 1 minute (filling will be thick).
- 2 Force filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then whisk in chocolate butter and vanilla.
- 3 Cover surface of filling with a buttered round of wax paper, or parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours.
- 1 Heat sugar and water on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want from this point on.
- 2 Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. The mixture will foam up considerably.
- 3 Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.
- 4 Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.
- 5 Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 Beat whipping cream until soft peaks begin to form.
- 2 Add sugar, vanilla and bourbon while continually mixing. Beat until just combined.
- 1 Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of caramel on bottom of crust.
- 2 Add chocolate filling.
- 3 Chill pie, loosely covered. Before serving, top with Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream.
- 1 Because of the caramel's weight and the natural foaming of the butter and cream, use at least a 2-quart (preferably 3-quart) thick-bottomed pan.
- 2 Remember to always use potholders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.