There are actually people in the world who don't like pie. You are not alone! There, we said it! It’s always a fun baking project, but mushy fruit filling just does not do it for some! But chocolate, that’s a whole different story - who doesn't love chocolate!? This decadent Chocolate Cream Pie starts with a flaky, blind-baked pie crust before being filled with a smooth and silky chocolate pudding spiked with a hint of espresso powder. The whole thing is capped off with fluffy whipped cream and a few dark chocolate shavings for the pinnacle of dessert perfection. Make one (or two!) to enjoy with loved ones this holiday season!
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For the Pie Crust:
- 1 1/ 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen and grated
- 1/ 3 cup vodka, over ice
- 1 egg, beatened
For the Chocolate Filling:
- 1 1/ 4 cups sugar
- 3/ 4 cups cocoa powder
- 1/ 4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 1/ 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/ 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 egg, yolks
- 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/ 4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate shavings, optional
For the Pie Crust:
To make the crust, add the flour and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add grated frozen butter and toss to coat. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until pea-sized clumps form.
Add the vodka and stir the mixture together with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead together by hand for a few seconds until you can form the dough into an even disc.
Wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
Once chilled, roll the dough into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Transfer the crust to a 9 inch pie plate. Trim the edges, tucking the excess under before crimping the edges. Prick the bottom and side of the crust all over with the tines of a fork.
Place the prepared pie dough in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 425ºF and place cast iron skillet in the oven while it preheats. Once the prepared pie dough has chilled, line the crust with tin foil or parchment paper (make sure the paper or foil is not covering the edge of the crust) and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place in the oven to blind bake for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and take out the pie weights and paper or foil. Return pie to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove pie from oven and brush with beaten egg. Cook for a final 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
For the Chocolate Filling and Assembly:
Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt and espresso powder in small saucepan. Add milk and cream and whisk to combine. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Let simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate heat safe bowl. When milk and cream reaches a simmer, ladle about 1 cup of hot liquid into the yolks to temper. Add the yolk and milk mixture back to the saucepan on the stove and cook for about 3 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
Remove from heat and whisk in chopped dark chocolate, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Cool custard to room temperature, then pour into cooled blind baked pie shell.
Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is touching the chocolate mixture so a skin does not form.
Chill overnight. When ready to serve, add 2 cups of heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add ¼ cup sugar and whip until medium peaks form. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Serve chilled pie topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.