Sometimes simple desserts are just what you need to end a meal—nothing fussy, just yummy chocolate with some freshly whipped cream topped with even more chocolate. You could hardly go wrong with that combination. Today I share with you this chocolate pudding pie from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts. I like this pie for a few reasons: First and foremost, it is delicious. Second, this pie takes me back to the dessert my grandmother often made for family gatherings—a prepared graham cracker crust filled with Jell-o chocolate pudding then covered with cool whip. I’ve been known to eat leftovers for breakfast just to be the first to get that last piece of chocolate pie! And lastly, I like this pie to serve to company because you can make the crust and filling ahead of time then whip the cream right before serving.
Making a chocolate pudding pie from scratch is not a tough assignment. The crust comes together easily with graham crackers and butter; the topping is freshly whipped cream. The pudding does take patience and a steady whisk to create a smooth texture but it is well worth the effort. This is one tasty creation.
For the crust:
12 graham crackers
6 TB melted butter
2 TB sugar
a pinch of salt
For the filling: (directly from Martha Stewart’s recipe, page 17)
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Start with the crust: Use a food processor to combine all of the ingredients for the crust. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and sides of a pie dish. Press firmly, starting in the middle and working your way out to the sides of the dish. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes then cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool.
2. Move on to the filling: Use a saucepan to melt the chocolate with the milk, whisking as the chocolate melts. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Ladle one cup of the milk chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Keep your whisk going as you pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. The mixture will come to a boil (keep whisking) then it will thicken (yes, keep whisking!).
3. Now we move onto the eggs. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Temper the eggs by slowly adding a small amount (1/2 cup would do) of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Then add the eggs back into the saucepan and continue whisking for a few minutes until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Cool the pudding and –guess what—WHISK again! 2 or 3 times in the next 10 minutes.
4. Slowly pour the chocolate custard into the cooled crust. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding. Cool for 4 hours or overnight.
5. The topping is simple: whip the heavy cream with a mixer until you have soft peaks; add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Spread this cream over the set pudding. Sprinkle with more chocolate if you wish.
This chocolate pudding pie is gorgeous to serve as one regular-sized pie and it is equally adorable in mini little pie tins. Enjoy!
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