It's been a thuper busy week with work and... work, so I haven't been cranking pies out as quickly as I would like to! But for the latest endeavor I thought I'd go a different direction and do something with chocolate. Really quickly, I should say that I don't generally favor chocolate dishes - too sweet, too much chocolate! Ha. (*A side note to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Dudes: Why do you have to put chocolate in *everything*?! Some of us don't like fudge or chocolate chunks or chips or chocolate icing. Some of us would appreciate something like hazelnut or pistachio or some unexpected element OTHER than chocolate in your ice cream, which we may or may not buy religiously. That's all I'm sayin'. Your heath and coffee flavor ROCKS by the way.)
The recipe for said chocolate cream pie called for a rolled cornmeal crust, which I thought was very bland and pecan-y with the peach pie fiasco (pie #2). Instead, I opted for a chocolate crust. [From here on, assume that I will mostly use that easy pie crust recipe because it's so fast and simple I can't really justify substituting a labor-intensive option without good reason.]
I added 2 TBSP of cocoa powder to the dough and pinched the edges into a "scalloped" crust before baking and then cooling it in the freezer...
As the shell chilled like a Smirnoff Ice (okay, I've never actually tasted one to my recollection, but I imagine they would only be tolerable chilled) I made a custard filling similar to the profiterole cream - eggs, cream, cream of tartar and flour for thickening, sugar, vanilla... After getting the base cooked to the right consistency (as to thickly coat le spatula), I took it off the heat and added my version of finely chopped dark semi-sweet chocolate. By my version, I of course mean that I didn't bother to chop it finely, and I used TWILIGHT delight chocolate! Yessss! Directions require that the chocolate sit atop steaming custard delight for approx. 2 minutes to (mostly) melt, and then the adventuresome baker is to stir the pudding lightly until the chocolate is all combined with the pudding and chocolate-looking.
Once the chocolate is all melted into the custard, it must be strained into a large bowl using a fine mesh strainer. This eliminates the little inevitable chunklettes of egg and flour. Once de-chunked, add vanilla and butter and stir until combined. Remove pastry shell from yon cooling apparatus, pour the pudding into the crust, and cover with greased plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. The chocolate wonder must then chill for a minimum of 4 hours. I let it chill for 24, and man did that wrapper come off like magic!!! No puckers or anything! =)
Lastly, you pipe lightly sweetened whipped cream over the chocolate, and then (if you're like me) shave approx. 12 chocolate chips over the top. Or if you're less prone to doing things the hard way, shave off of a chocolate bar until you've got as much as you want and thprinkle it artistically for dramatic effect...
...Like so! Since the topping is whipped cream you need to cut/eat it quickly or get it back in the fridge before the cream slides off. It will hold its shape for at least 5 minutes in a relatively warm-but-not-hot vehicle as long as it's not in the sun. I tried it.
AND THE RESULTS...
This pie made me think of those Bill Cosby-endorsed Jello pudding pops that used to be so popular back in the 80s. The 80s, for those humans college-age and below out there who WEREN'T COGNIZANT at the time (!!!!!), were the Good Years, during which awesomeness happened, like the New Kids on the Block and L.A. Gear High Tops and Michael Jordan and stuff. And Jello Pudding Pops. Anyways, the pudding part really held its form well. I polled a group of local 4-6 year old's, and reviews included "I didn't wealize this was dark chocowat and I hate dark chocowat, I sorry!" and alternately, "I...wike...dark...chocowat..." from the 4 year-old. I loved how barely-sweet the whipped cream was in contrast, and the crust was chocolate-y without being too rich. The shaved chocolate garnish looked nice too. All-in-all, a somewhat foolproof dish and sure to please most children and adults.