the appetizer:

Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes by Dani Cone, includes recipes like All-Butter Pie Crust; The Very Best Apple Cutie Pies; Chocolate Cream Pie; and Just Right Strawberry-Rhubarb-Ginger Flipsides.


Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie

Makes 1 single-crust 9-inch pie (or 8 cutie pies, 18 petit-5s)


There's a reason why every great pie shop offers Chocolate Cream Pie: It's just that good! This treat is a cream pie staple, and you just need to have a solid chocolate cream pie recipe. So I was grateful for the chance to really develop this recipe and explore how to make the ingredients come together perfectly—grateful because it taught me so much about this wonderful pie and because I got to eat at least seven versions of it! For this pie, make up a half recipe of the crust, because this is a single-crust pie.



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.

2. To make the crust, follow the All-Butter Pie Crust recipe (making one-half of the recipe) and rollout the dough per the instructions.

3. Gently drape one edge of the rolled-out dough circle over the rolling pin, and revolve the rolling pin to wrap the whole crust around it. Place the rolling pin over the edge of the pie plate or tin, and carefully unroll the dough over to the other edge of the pie plate so the dough circle is centered. Press the dough gently into the bottom of the pie plate and around the sides. Trim the dough edge to a 1/2 to 1-inch overhang beyond the rim of the pie plate.

4. Go around the pie and use the fold-tuck-crimp method to seal the pie edge: Starting in any spot, use the fingers of both hands to gently press and fold over the overhanging crust and tuck it under at the outer edge of the pie. Then, to crimp, using the forefinger of your left hand and the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, go around the pie edge and press in with the left forefinger and simultaneously outward with the right thumb and forefinger. Or alternately, instead of crimping, after you fold-and-tuck, use a fork and press the back side of the fork prongs into the pie edge all around the rim.

5. Line the pie crust shell with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pie weights and let cool.

6. To make the filling, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the flour and half-and-half, and whisk constantly for 2 minutes until the flour is dissolved and the mixture thickens.

7. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar, the unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and almond extract, whisking constantly until the mixture is bubbling. Cook and stir the pudding for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

8. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks.

9. Add a small amount of the hot pudding to the egg yolks, stirring rapidly. (This step will prepare the eggs to be introduced into the saucepan. This is called tempering.) Pour the tempered yolk mix into the pudding, and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

10. Add the butter and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla to the pudding, and stir until the butter is melted.

11. Pour the pudding into the prebaked pie shell. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and chill until the pudding is set, at least 3 hours.

12. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla until peaks form.

13. To serve, top the pie with the whipping cream and garnish with the extra chopped chocolate.


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This page created December 2011