Chocolate Cream Pie was the first cream pie I learned to make in my home kitchen. The Oreo crust combined with the cold, creamy, dark chocolate filling and topped with swirls of whipped cream hit every flavor button I could imagine in a dessert. I was smitten from the first bite.
Since that first encounter, I have enjoyed other flavors of cream pie, but Chocolate Cream Pie will always be my favorite.
As with all cream pies, the success comes in the details, and I have done my best to outline those for you below. The recipe is not difficult, but make sure you read through the process before you begin.
Lastly, I probably should not divulge this detail for fear of what it might reveal about how long I will keep a dessert in my fridge, but I’m going to anyways. This pie has an impressive refrigerated shelf life. I have kept leftovers in my fridge for days (five, six, seven?), and found them to be surprisingly delicious despite hanging out untended for the better part of a week. Do what you will with this information. I tend to find a bite of leftover Chocolate Cream Pie irresistible with a cup of coffee, or as a tiny tastes of something sweet after dinner. However you choose to proceed, this pie will serve you well for longer than expected.
Chocolate Cream Pie
for the crust…
- 2 cups finely ground Oreo original cookie crumbs 8 ounces…use the entire cookie, filling and all!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
for the filling…
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons
- pinch Kosher salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 6 ounces semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter, stirring until evenly mixed. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of your desired pie or tart pan.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
- To make the filling, heat the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, and the Kosher salt over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pay attention to the milk as it heats. You want it to be steaming, and just on the verge of simmering, but not actively boiling or bubbling.
- While the milk mixture heats, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the egg yolks, and the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Very gently combine with a whisk until the cornstarch is incorporated, then whisk vigorously for at least 1 minute until the mixture is pale yellow and expanded in volume.
- Once the milk mixture is steaming, add one ladle of milk to the egg yolk mixture, and stir to combine. Repeat this two more times, until about half of the hot milk mixture has been added to the eggs.
- Pour the now-warm egg yolk mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk, and begin to whisk constantly. At this point, you are looking for a bubble to burst on the surface, the first sign that the mixture has reached its thickening point, but you really must keep whisking to prevent the bottom from scalding. Take a three second break to look for bubbles, and then continue whisking.
- Once you see a bubble burst on the surface, set a timer (or count in your head) for one minute. Whisk constantly during this minute! Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter, chopped chocolates, and vanilla, continuing to whisk until the butter is completely incorporated and chocolate is melted.
- Pour the hot pastry cream into the prepared crust, smooth it out evenly, and then top with a sheet of plastic wrap directly touching the filling. Refrigerate until firm, at least four hours, or up to two days.
- To make the whipped cream, combine the heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed to carefully incorporate the sugar, then switch to high speed and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Slather the whipped cream on top of the chilled chocolate cream pie, slice, and enjoy!