How to make chocolate cream pie
This is an update of a traditional American favorite, even more chocolaty than you remember because the shell is painted with chocolate before the filling goes in. Serves 10.
Things you’ll need
- small saucepan
- heavy bottomed saucepan
- double boiler pot
- pastry brush
- pastry bag with a #7 plain tip
- flour sifter
- sharp chef’s knife
- hand-held electric mixer with whisk attachment
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 9 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 8½ oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 1 9-inch pie shell, pre-baked
- 2¾ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Bring ¼ cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remover from the heat and add 3 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate. Stir with a spoon until smooth and glossy. This is called ganache (ga-nawsh). Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Refrigerate until the ganache is dense, about the texture of soft fudge.
- Scoop out a heaping ½ tsp of ganache and roll it in your hands to form a ball. (Your hands will be getting thoroughly coated with chocolate during this step!) Repeat until you have made all the ganache into tight balls. These are now the chocolate truffles that will be used to decorate the top of the pie.
- Sift the cocoa powder into a shallow bowl and roll the ganache balls in it, one by one, until they are completely coated. Refrigerate until firm, and keep them chilled until ready to use as they soften quickly.
- Sift the sugar, flour and cornstarch together into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and beat with the electric mixer at a high speed until light. Bring the milk to a boil in the saucepan.
- Stir half of the milk into the bowl with the egg mixture, then pour all the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Cook over high heat, stirring vigorously with a whisk to keep the eggs from scrambling, until the mixture thickens and bubbles in the middle. Remove from the heat.
- Cut the butter and 3½ ounces of the chocolate into pieces, then stir them into the thickened egg mixture a little at a time. Cool to room temperature.
- Melt the remaining chocolate over simmering hot water in the double boiler pot. Do not let the water boil or it will over cook the chocolate. With the pastry brush, paint the inside of the pre-baked pie shell with the melted chocolate.
- Pour in the cooled chocolate filling and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until firm.
- Whip the remaining cream with the mixer until it has soft peaks. Put the whipped cream in the pastry bag with a #7 plain tip. Pipe the cream onto the pie in rows of snowball-like mounds. Start at one edge, and with a single up-and-down motion, make a round mound of cream about 1-inch across. Make a row of 5 mounds along one edge of the pie, then begin a new row, increasing the number of mounds as you make a line straight across the pie from edge to edge. Continue, row after row, until the pie is completely covered.
- Decorate the top of the pie with the chocolate truffles, evenly spaced around the edge of the pie. Refrigerate until just before serving.
- You can practice making the whipped cream snowballs on a plate, if you want. Then just scoop the cream back into the bag and reuse it when you’re ready to place it on the pie.
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