Chocolate Cream Pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts. It's like eating chocolate pudding, only better, because it's coupled with a perfectly flaky pie crust, and then smothered with whipped cream.
Now I'm not talking about those terrible chocolate pies you can get at stores or in restaurants. In my opinion, a pie with a sub-standard pie crust is simply not worth eating. For that reason, I rarely eat pie unless I make it myself. This pie crust is so good, you'd eat it all by itself — even without the chocolate filling. But why would you do that and deny yourself that lovely chocolate filling?
This pie is not only delicious, but it's also good for you. The recipe calls for lots of raw grass-fed milk and cream, pastured eggs, and the pie crust uses grass-fed butter and beef tallow or lard. So you're getting plenty of good fats and fat-soluble activators in this dessert.
Your family and friends are going to love this chocolate cream pie!
Be sure to make this ahead of time. You need to chill the pie at least 3 hours before you can eat it. If you like, you can make your pie dough a day or two ahead — just store the dough (not yet rolled out) in the fridge.
Do not buy lard at the grocery store. It is full of antibiotics and Only use lard from pastured pigs. If you can't get your hands on good pastured lard or beef tallow, use all butter (get grass-fed butter if at all possible) in your crust — it works just fine.
If you can't get your hands on sprouted wheat flour, you can use 100% unbleached all-purpose flour in this recipe.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Flour, unbleached all-purpose (3/4 cup)
Flour, sprouted (3/4 cup) — where to buy sprouted flour
Pastured lard or beef tallow or bison tallow, cold, or use cold butter (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) — (click on how to render)
Butter, grass-fed, very cold, straight from the fridge or frozen, plus a little extra for greasing the pie tin (5 tablespoons) — where to buy grass fed butter
Sea salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Coconut sugar, maple sugar, or sucanat (1 teaspoon) — where to buy sucanat
Water, ice cold (1/2 – 1/3 cups) — where to buy water purification
Chocolate Cream Filling:
Chocolate semisweet or bittersweet (6 oz)
Chocolate, unsweetened (1 oz)
Milk, grass-fed (1 1/4 cup) — where to buy milk
Cream, grass-fed (1 1/4 cup)
Sea salt (1 pinch)
Coconut sugar or sucanat (1/3 cup) — where to buy sweeteners
Cornstarch where to buy cornstarch or arrowroot (2 tablespoons) where to buy arrowroot
Egg yolks, pastured, at room temperature (6) — where to buy egg
Butter, grass-fed (6 TBS) — where to buy butter
Real vanilla extract (1 tsp) (see my recipe)
Rolling pin (you can use a wine bottle in a pinch)
Pie weights (for blind baking; you can find these at a restaurant supply store or cooking store; or use dried beans or rice)
Hand blender and/or whisk
1. Add flour, sea salt and sugar to a large mixing bowl.
2. Cut very cold butter and lard or tallow up into large chunks and add to the bowl. If using tallow, you can grate it with a box grater.
3. Slowly add ice cold filtered water, a little at a time, as you mix the pie dough with your (clean) hands. You don't have to use all the water — just use a little at a time and just use enough to hold it together. If you need to use more water than 1/3 cup, use more. Just add slowly & be sure it is ice cold. This is important: only mix until the lard and butter hunks are no smaller than the size of peas. Better yet, the size of olives. Do NOT overmix! This is the most important part of making a good pie crust. You must have little blobs of fat — this is what will make the pie crust flaky and light, not dense and hard like a rock. NOTE: If you are using tallow, you will need to cut it up smaller because it will not roll out as it stays hard at room temperature. If you like, you can grate the tallow with a box grater. If you are using lard, leave it in big pea- to olive-sized blobs just like the butter.
4. Pat the dough into a large ball, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
5. Set an oven rack at the lowest level and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Lightly grease a pie tin with butter.
7. Roll out the ball of dough on a floured surface. You should clearly see the blobs of butter and lard in the dough.
8. Transfer the dough to pie or tart pan, and trim the edges. An easy way to do this is to simply roll your rolling pin over the tart pan.
9. Poke holes in the pie crust with a fork.
10. Bake the crust: line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights. You can use dried beans or rice if you don't have any pie weights. Let bake until fully cooked — about 30-45 minutes.
11. Remove from oven; let cool for at least 15 minutes before filling.
For the Filling:
1. Chop the chocolate finely using a chef's knife.
2. Bring milk & cream, salt, and about 3 tablespoons of the sugar to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch in small bowl, then sprinkle over the egg yolks and whisk, scraping down sides of bowl, if necessary, until sugar has begun to dissolve, about 1 minute.
3. Whisk yolks thoroughly in medium bowl until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.
4. When half-and-half reaches full simmer, drizzle about 1/2 cup hot half-and-half over yolks, whisking constantly to temper.
5. Whisk egg yolk mixture into simmering half-and-half (mixture should thicken in about 30 seconds).
6. Return to simmer, whisking constantly, until bubbles begin to burst on the surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 15 seconds longer.
7. Off heat, whisk in butter until incorporated; add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted, scraping pan bottom with rubber spatula.
8. Stir in vanilla, then immediately pour filling into baked and cooled crust.
9. Refrigerate pie until filling is cold and firm, about 3 hours.
For the Topping:
1. Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla in bowl of standing mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds.
2. Increase speed to medium and then high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume and forms soft peaks, about 20 seconds.
3. Spread or pipe whipped cream over chilled pie filling. Cut pie into wedges and serve.