Okay, I've got to admit - I did not bake this particular pie for Pi Day - I baked this a few months ago for a bake-off my church did to celebrate Christmas. Making this pie was quite the adventure - while I was whipping the cream, all our power went out! I ended up finishing it with a whisk, but as you can see, the cream was a little on the liquid side. That's okay...it still tasted fantastic!
I loved the contrast of the deep chocolate pudding with the vanilla cream on top. I definitely recommend using ground vanilla or the seeds from whole vanilla beans, since the little specks really give the signal that the cream has vanilla in it even before you taste it. Although my cream was too loose, the pudding set up perfectly. It gets a little kick from whisky, and pairs perfectly with the chocolate-y Oreo crust. If you don't want to waste your time scraping the cream out of Oreos, of course you can use any chocolate wafer cookie that you like - I just think that Oreos make the best chocolate crusts!
So, what am I doing to celebrate Pi Day other than posting this pie? I'm planning to make this lemon chess pie from King Arthur Flour - it looks amazing, and I've got plenty of citrus at home! I think I'm going to change it up a bit with part lemon juice and part tangerine...should be tasty! I'll let you guys know how it turns out in a future post.
Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust (adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis
and Renato Poliafito)
For the crust:
6 ounces Oreo cookies, with the cream scraped out (weigh after the cream is removed)
1 T sugar
6 T unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 tsp whiskey
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cream topping:
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp ground vanilla (or use the seeds from whole beans, or extract)
3 T sugar
1. Make the crust. Put the cookies and sugar in a food processor. Process until finely ground. Pour into a bowl, and stir in the butter until fully incorporated. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and press the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
2. Make the filling. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks. Slowly pour in the milk and cream, whisking constantly.
3. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once the mixture comes to a boil, boil for 30 seconds - don't stop whisking, but be careful, and the filling may splatter. Remove from the heat.
4. Immediately add the chocolates, whiskey, and vanilla. Whisk until the chocolate is fully melted.
5. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl, and pour the filling through it to get rid of any lumps. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, with the plastic touching the top of the filling, to prevent a
skin from forming. Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to cool.
6. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour in the filling. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the pie, with the plastic touching the top of the filling, to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 4 hours.
7. Prepare the topping. Whisk together the cream and vanilla paste. Then beat with an electric mixer for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the sugar over the cream, and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
8. Spread the topping over the pie, and serve.