This week I was looking to make a well-balanced chocolate pie. I had a couple requests from taste testers for something chocolate. While the staff at 52 Weeks of Pie isn’t keen on taking requests, it seemed like the right time to dive into this one.
The idea here would be to make a chocolate filling with flavor somewhere between a melted candy bar and a milkshake served on a cookie crust with a freshly whipped topping. Lots of opportunity to screw this one up! Let’s see how it worked out…
- 16 Oreo cookies
- 2 tablespoons butter – melted and cooled
Chocolate Cream Filling
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- pinch table salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 large egg yolks a
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
The crust was pretty simple. I pulverized the cookies in a Ninja food processor. I used Double Stuf Oreo brand cookies. I know there are some people who don’t like the Double Stuf, preferring a thin, single layer of white cream filling. These people generally are joy-less souls, stubbornly refusing to partake in the extra – the “Double” – layer of white cream filling, and, by extension, the fine extras in life in general. Avoid these people.
I took the pulverized granular mix and added the melted butter and then stirred it up, mixing thoroughly. I pressed this into my pie pan and then put it in the fridge for 20 minutes to help it keep shape before popping it into the oven for 10 minutes.
While the crust was baking, I moved on to the filling prep. Bring the half-and-half, salt, and about 3 tablespoons of sugar to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch in small bowl, then sprinkle over your yolks and whisk until mixture is glossy and sugar has begun to dissolve.
When the half-and-half mixture reaches full simmer, drizzle about 1/2 cup hot half-and-half over yolks, whisking constantly. Then whisk the egg yolk mixture into the simmering half-and-half (the mixture should thicken in about 30 seconds). I learned this technique from a cooking show a while back. Rather than just pouring the yolks directly into the hot saucepan, this method will temper the mixture and avoid scrambling your eggs. After you do this, return the pot to a simmer, whisking constantly, until bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy.
Remove this mixture from the heat, add your butter, vanilla and chocolate until it all melts. I used a spatula to make sure none of the chocolate was sticking to the sides or bottom of the pan. It took longer than I expected to melt the chocolate thoroughly and it didn’t look as dark as expected. I poured this into my cooled crust and stuck the pie in the fridge for about 3 hours.
When the tasters were assembled and ready, the whipped cream topping was prepared. The ingredients for this were thrown into a high bowl and beaten like they owed us money, until the mix was seemingly frothy and thick. In reality, the whipped topping wasn’t as firm as we wanted but further whipping would have just made it completely flat.
While the flavor was a hit with all the taste testers, the visual of the pie was not great. The whole thing seemed a bit flat and liquid-y. I think I might have mis-measured the butter, using 4 tablespoons instead of 6 in the filling. Would that make it runnier? There was no way a picture was going to work well but we did our best. The Oreo cookie crust was complimented as a highlight, furthering the theory that anything short of a Double-Stuf Oreo is just wasting everyone’s time.