Sunday, April 24, 2005

Chocolate Cream Pie

I recently indulged myself and bought 6 removable-bottom tartlet pans. I was planning to make little cream-filled tarts topped with glazed strawberries and kiwis this weekend. So on Friday I got organic strawberries, the smallish kind that smells and tastes like the strawberries I used to eat as a child in Turkey. They were so good that we ended up eating them for breakfast on Saturday, and I had to think of something else to make. In situations like this, chocolate is the first thing that pops to my mind. And so it was, a chocolate cream pie from one of my Pillsbury booklets. Easy to make and fast to disappear! There are only a few pieces left now, and I don't think that they will live to see the morning light. Unfortunately though, the pictures did not come out as good as I hoped since we had a very rainy and cloudy weekend.

Pie Crust for a 9-inch pie pan (recipe)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 c milk
1 c semisweet chocolate chips (or 6-oz chocolate, cut into tiny pieces)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the prepared pie crust. Bake it blind until light golden brown. (You can either fill it with some kind of weight or pierce it with a fork to ensure uniform baking.) Cool completely.

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt; mix well. Gradually stir in milk. Add chocolate chips and egg yolks. (At first, this will look like a hopeless lump, but as the chocolate chips gradually melt, the mixture comes together.) Cook over medium heat until mixture is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese, beating until smooth. Refrigerate until just cool, about an hour. You may have to rebeat if a skin has formed. (Alternatively, you can cover the surface with plastic wrap, but I did not want plastic touching the hot custard.)

In large bowl, beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Reserve 1 cup of whipped cream for topping. Fold remaining whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture. Spoon evenly into cooled crust. Spoon or pipe reserved whipped cream over filling. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.