With the hot summer weather, I've really wanted cream pies. Recently I've made a Key Lime Pie (very refreshing and satisfying, and soooo easy - I strongly recommend it); a lemonade pie that never set; and a chocolate peanut butter ice cream pie which, although not a cream pie, was cold and refreshing (and a hassle since I'd rather just eat ice cream). With those gone, I decided that I finally had to make the Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie recipe.
I originally put off making this pie because I didn't feel like making a pie crust. I'm glad I did make the crust, though, because it was much better than a store-bought one, and it wasn't too difficult to put together. The crust was graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, a little salt, sugar, butter, and an egg white. I tossed in the whole white that I separated from the yolk used in the pie, rather than measure it. The mixture was easy to press into the pie dish, and smelled great while baking.
The filling was more work-intensive, but also not incredibly difficult - just a standard custard. Whisk together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt, cayenne, an egg, one egg yolk, and espresso powder (which I skipped) in a bowl. Heat milk in a heavy saucepan to 180F; I used a thermometer because it's easier that way, but you can also just heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Gradually whisk the milk into the cocoa mixture, little by little as to not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, and stir in dark chocolate, or chocolate chips as I did.
The recipe says to cool the filling in an ice bath. I didn't, but I did allow it to cool a little, stirring now and then, before I poured it into the crust. I covered it with plastic wrap, put the pie in the fridge, and topped it the next day with Cool Whip and a few graham cracker crumbs.
This pie was really good. The cinnamon graham crust complimented the chocolate well. The cayenne was noticeable as a heated aftertaste in the throat and on the tongue. This wasn't the best chocolate filling ever - that honor still goes to my grandma's recipe - but it was still a pretty rich chocolate. The crust was best right after I made it, and got a little soggy over time. Overall, this was a great pie, and worth making again.
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 cookie sheets)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons egg white
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¾ cups (2%) milk
- 2 ounces dark chocolate (chopped)
- 1 ½ cups whipped topping
Optionally, reserve 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs for topping. Stir together remaining crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Stir in egg white and melted butter. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a greased 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 375F for 9 minutes. Cool completely.
Whisk together ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, red pepper, egg, and egg yolk. In a heavy medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Gradually stir half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Next, gradually pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips, and stir until chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
Cool filling briefly, then pour into the cooled crust. Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, until set. Serve with whipped topping or whipped cream; top with additional graham cracker crumbs if desired.
Adapted from Cooking Light