Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Recipes - Chocolate Cream Pie

Last night we had a great Valentine's dinner. I spread out cooking during the day, so I wasn't tired for the main event. That worked out well - I hate being so tired you can't enjoy or be enjoyed.

I made the chocolate cream pie in the morning. I baked a pillsbury crust in a pyrex pie dish according to the package directions and set it to cool.
The key to this amazing pie is the dark chocolate filling. Here are the ingredients:
3C Whole Milk
1C Granulated Sugar
2T Flour
2T Corn Starch
3 egg yolks
3T butter
2t vanilla
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

First scald the milk - let it sit over medium low heat until small bubbles appear at the edge of the milk's surface (see above).
Next, in a separate heavy pan, stir together the sugar, flour and cornstarch. While you whisk constantly, add the milk to the sugar mixture in a steady stream. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until very thick (see above - the legs on the mixture). Bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 3 yolks. Temper the yolks by gradually whisking in 2 cups of the hot mixture. Next, add the egg mixture back to the pan, and stirring constantly, simmer for 2 - 3 minutes until slightly thicker.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter, chocolate and vanilla, continuing to stir until it's all melted.

Pour the pudding into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap directly on the pudding to prevent a skin from forming (the skin is yucky!). Cool for 30 minutes in the fridge. Once cooled, pour the pudding into the prepared pie crust, and again carefully place the plastic wrap directly on the pudding. Cool for at least 2 hours.
Once the pudding is cooled, whip some heavy cream to top the pie. Don't do this too far ahead as the cream is best fresh. I think I did it about 5 or 6 hours ahead because I had to whip the cream by hand (I will get a small hand mixer soon!). Normally I would do it just before serving. Sweeten the cream with sugar - use more than you usually would - it should be very sweet to contrast with the rich chocolate filling. Add a dash of vanilla to the cream as well.
Top the pie with the cream and store in the fridge until serving time :) This is one pie where the synergy of the ingredient flavors all together means that 1 + 1 + 1 = 10! Enjoy!