This Saturday is March 14th or 3/14 which to many is Pi Day (you know, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter) but to us bakers out there is Pie Day! I thought I'd commemorate the holiday by sharing with you a very popular pie in my family and one that my niece requests for her birthday every year. It is smooth, creamy, decadent and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate through and through!! Perfect for all us chocoholics out there!!
You start by crushing up a whole lot of Oreos ( I used Doublestuff, of course) and mixing them with a little melted butter to make a very easy, very Oreo-ish base for your pudding. You could also use chocolate wafers or even a graham cracker crust if you prefer.
Then you make your pudding, which combines both unsweetened and bittersweet chocolates and unsweetened cocoa powder (chocolates #1, #2 & #3) for a very rich and intensely chocolate triple threat. It's quite easy to make--just requires a lot of whisking--
The rest of the time is mostly hands-off, because all you do is pour the pudding into the pie crust and let it chill for several hours.
Then, right before you're ready to serve, you make the whipped cream and either serve it on the side or decorate with a large dollop in the center of the pie, topped with chocolate shavings! The combination of the crunchy Oreo crust and the creamy dreamy, not overly sweet chocolatey filling, is a real treat and why this dessert is a huge family favorite. Hey, even if math isn't your favorite subject, you can definitely get behind this kind of pie!!
Triple Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust
Prep Time: 35-45 minutes, plus at least 6 hours of chilling
For the Crust
- 24 Oreo cookies (I used Doublestuff)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- a piece of chocolate to grate over the whipped cream (optional)
1. To make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, finely grind up the Oreos and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well. Then firmly press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish, so that it's evenly distributed. Chill crust in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350ºF and bake crust for about 8-10 minutes until set. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
3. To make the filling: In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the half-and-half, till incorporated. Then whisk in the remaining half-and-half and the egg yolks. Place the pan over medium-high heat and whisk constantly for about 12 minutes until the mixture begins to boil and thicken. Remove from heat and stir in both the chocolates and the butter, whisking until all the chocolate is smooth and melted. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into the cooled pie crust and press a pie of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pie to prevent it from forming a skin. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to chill and up to one day.
4. To make the topping, using chilled beaters and a large bowl, whip the cream with the confectioner's sugar and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread a large mound onto the center of the pie (or all over if you choose). With a small grater or microplane, grate a bit of chocolate over the whipped cream, just to decorate. Serve immediately.
5. This pie is best on the day it's made but leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator are pretty darn amazing even a couple of days later!!
Note: Filling and topping adapted from an old issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. Crust is invented on my own, after making many many versions of chocolate cream pie.