All I want is to have my piece of pie. So in honor of Pi day, I would have loved to make some banana cream pie with chocolate ganache and salted caramel sauce from Lick My Spoon. Could you possibly get more decadent than that?
Actually yes. The chocolate chip cookie pie from Bakerella is possibly the butteriest concoction that’s ever stepped foot outside my kitchen. Cramming 1 1/2 sticks of butter into a pie shell with flour, sugar, eggs and chocolate chips should set off sirens in the dieting underworld followed by a busted down door and hoard of firemen rushing into the kitchen to immediately extinguish and remove the culprit, leaving you engulfed in a cloud of flour smoke. Sorry. Tangent. Did someone say firemen?
Ok. Maybe it’s not that bad, but something went horribly wrong when I made that recipe. I ended up with a puddle of butter and a pie so rich and so sweet it was almost unbearable. And to top it all off, there were no firemen in sight. Sigh. (Something tells me my husband will not like this post, but clearly I’m just having a Claire and Phil Modern Family moment).
Another tangent. Hmmm. Let’s get back to Pi Day, shall we?
Instead of chocolate chipped decadence or an amazing sounding banana cream that I simply don’t have the patience for on a Monday night, I reverted back to a classic. Chocolate Pudding Pie.
This recipe takes an almost flawless homemade chocolate pudding and tops it with fresh whipped cream for a light and fluffy finish. There isn’t even that much sugar. You can’t go wrong. And you may never buy that canned whipped cream or boxed pudding stuff ever again.
Chocolate Pudding Pie
Adapted from Gourmet magazine and Smitten Kitchen
(if you are feeling ambitious enough to make pie dough, try the all butter, flaky dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
Note that this recipe skips right to the filling. For the complete recipe, click on the link above.
For the pudding filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk (I’ve tried it with skim milk and it turned out fine)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream (come on, splurge a little)
Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish
In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes more as the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate and vanilla extract. Continue whisking until smooth.
Pour filling into prepared, cooled shell and chill at least two hours. To prevent a skin from forming on the pudding layer, cover the surface with wax paper.
Before serving, use an electric mixer to beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it holds soft peaks (so easy!). Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings (use a vegetable peeler for a ribbon effect or grate it on for a dusted look).
Do ahead: Pie dough can be made and chilled up to two days. Pie, with pudding filling only, can be chilled up to one day before serving. It’s best to add the whipped cream at the last possible minute.