Tuesday, June 15, 2010
...the Chocolate Cream Pie.
I think I might be addicted to crumb crusts. They're just kind of fun and homey. They are the polar opposite of puff pastry. They are unassuming, simple to make, require only a little forethought, and they can utilize a strange range of 'crumb' sources. Think leftovers, dessert-style. Did you make too many cookies (ok, does that ever happen?), make a crumb crust. Over-bake your brother's birthday cake? Make another, crumble the over-baked one, toast lightly, and make a crumb crust! The world is your oyster. Just add butter, maybe a little salt and sugar and off you go to make a delectable and approachable dessert.
It is summer, after all. A good crumb crust deserves a cool custard filling. Make it in the morning while it is still cool, distract yourself during the midday hours, and eat it for dessert with a luxurious cup of coffee. Eat it outside when the sun has set just enough to make the world a cool, rosy place again.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Use a chocolate bar that you would nibble on whole. It makes a wow-factor difference.
I used Scharffen Berger chocolate this time, and the taste was shockingly superior than the last time.
Crumb Crust (adapted from Gourmet):
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Mix dry ingredients well and then pour over the butter. Fluff and distribute. Press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden and firmed up. Cool completely.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
6 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine sugar, salt, and flour in a bowl or top of double boiler. Mix in milk and cook over (not in) simmering water for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. Whisk half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. When smooth, return the yolk mixture to the remaining milk mixture, stir until smooth. Add chocolate and cook again over boiling water until thickened. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Cool slightly before turning into the crust.
Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Top with medium-whipped cream (1 pint cream, dollop of vanilla, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar), and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Serve in smaller slices than the picture shows, it may look like a pudding pie, but we're talking 6 ounces of good-quality chocolate here--it is rich and silky. Enjoy!