Need a Sweet for Your Sweet? Easy Chocolate-Chocolate Custard Cream Pie

Toss this Easy Chocolate-Chocolate Custard Cream Pie at your sweetheart this Valentine's Day!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and what better time than now to break out a recipe. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted any treats, but this holiday of any warrants at least one sweet treat for your sweet.

The Chocolate Crust and Chocolate Custard portions of the pie... nom nom.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything that’s been purely chocolate on my blog, and my apologies because, well, that’s simply criminal. But don’t worry, RMT’ers, I’m going to more than make up for that right now with a chocolate custard cream pie that comes wrapped in a chocolate shortbread crust and topped with homemade vanilla whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Yes, a chocolate triple-threat, so as I said, I am making up for any previous chocolate oversights on my part today. You’re welcome.

I’m posting this today (versus tomorrow) because while the process of making the crust and custard takes just under an hour (easy and quick), there’s an additional several hours up to overnight needed for the pie to refrigerate so it sets up properly.

Chocolate Shortbread Crust, made with a blend of Girl Scout Shortbread (Trefoil) cookies and Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.

This recipe is timely also for the fact that it’s Girl Scout Cookie season, and my shortbread cookie crumb pie crust requires those specific shortbread cookies (AKA Trefoils in some parts of the USA). Sure, you could use something else OTC from the grocery store, but why would you when you can use yummy Girl Scout Cookies? Again, you’re welcome.

The custard after the addition of the chocolate. For photos of the custard pre-chocolate, check out the Salad in a Jar blog for a photographic and textual step-by-step process of the making of the base custard (link here).

Many thanks to Salad in a Jar for the inspiration custard recipe for this pie. With just the addition of 1 ½ ounces of baking chocolate, I now am able to make a killer chocolate cream pie filling to go with my killer chocolate shortbread cookie crust.

So Happy Valentine’s Day, RMT’ers! Share the love, and enjoy the pie!

Chocolate Shortbread Crust

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 sleeve Girl Scout Shortbread cookies (AKA Trefoils)
12-count Famous Chocolate Wafers
6 tablespoons butter

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using a mini-chopper or food processor, chop the cookies to a rough but fine crumb consistency. Be sure to blend both types of cookies together so they are well-mixed.

3. Melt butter in microwave (45 seconds to 1 minute). In a mixing bowl, stir together the butter and the cookie crumbs. It should be well-mixed but not too wet; you might need to get your hands in there to see that it’s a gravel-like wet sand texture.

4. In a 9 inch pie plate or tin, use your hands again and press the cookie crumb blend into the pan to create a crust. Be sure to rotate pan and press from center outward so that your crust is even all the way around and up the sides of the tin.

5. Bake crust blind for 8 minutes. Remove and cool pie plate and crust on wire rack.

While crust cools… make your pie filling!

Easy Chocolate-Chocolate Custard Cream Pie. Forget a traditional "beauty shot" - a real random act of beauty would be hacking into this gorgeous pie and enjoying a slice or two, which is what happened when I brought this little lovely to last weekend's Super Bowl party. Now that's love!

Easy Chocolate-Chocolate Custard Cream Pie

Total Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups milk (I used 2%  but any milk will work, even skim)
4 egg yolks (I used two whole eggs in substitute, works fine and slightly lighter)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened/ baking chocolate

Directions:
1. Dump milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt into blender or food processor. You could also whisk it well but results may not be as smooth (I always hand-whisk, it’s just fine and less to clean up). Blend for about 10 seconds (or whisk vigorously for 1-2 minutes). There may be a lot of foam if you use the blender; that’s OK – it will disappear when cooked.

2. Pour into 2-quart glass batter bowl. (DO NOT USE A SMALLER CONTAINER–it could boil over and make a  mess.) Cook in microwave on HIGH for 5-7 minutes. Whisk well after each minute. After 4 minutes, whisk every 30 seconds.

NOTE: Watch filling carefully after each whisking break. It will become thick in a split second and you want to be there to whisk and make sure filling cooks evenly. When this happens it may look like a big lump rising up in the middle or one side. Whisk furiously and it will all smooth out. Keep cooking till thick as pudding but do not allow to boil. Practice makes perfect with this step. If it should turn out lumpy (beginner’s luck), put it through a sieve immediately (I’ve never done this, I just live with any lumps I get, and it’s fine).

3. Stir vanilla and butter into thick custard. Add chocolate and stir until all melted and incorporated (I use Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Chocolate, which comes in disk form; nine disks equals the amount of chocolate called for here.).

4. Press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool on the counter (or in ice bath if you are short on time) until lukewarm, then pour filling into prepared crust. Again press plastic wrap against surface and refrigerate until filling is cold and firm.

SOURCE: Salad in a Jar

Fresh Whipped Cream Topping
(I’ve blogged this one before here)

Total time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Pour cream in to a chilled glass or metal mixing bowl and beat (I did this on medium speed) until soft peaks form gradually; then add powder sugar until all has been blended; and finally add vanilla slowly and mix (I did this on medium-to-high speed) until it has also been blended.

2. Mixture should have stiff peaks.

3. The whipped cream may be put into a pastry bag and used for that added effect (when not using as a frosting).

Source here.

Pie, meet whipped cream topping. I prepare the pie the day before then refrigerate it overnight to set up, and I prepare the whipped cream the next morning. I then top the pie with the cream and re-refrigerate for a couple of more hours before serving.

Chocolate-Chocolate Custard Cream Pie just after topping with the whipped cream. Be sure to whip enough cream to cover the top of the pie to the edges, sealing the entire pie over as shown. It's about 1-2 cm. thickness of cream for a nice balance between the filling and topping.

NOTE: I always refrigerate my cream pies overnight and make the whipped cream topping first thing in the morning. Then I marry the pie with the whipped cream, shave chocolate over the top, and re-refrigerate the complete pie for a couple of more hours before serving. For this particular pie, shave your favorite chocolate bar over the top using a standard vegetable peeler or micro-plane tool, scattering just enough for the pretty effect (trust me, it’s already chocolatey enough, so less is more on this step).

Oh, wait, your sweet doesn’t like pie?! Now that’s criminal. Or maybe this sounds too rich for the kids? OK, now that’s understandable. Whatever the reason you aren’t attracted to the chocolatey goodness above, then please check out my Strawberry Cookies with Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting instead… that recipe prepared with a heart cookie cutter allows you to spread the love with all your loves this Valentine’s Day. Plus, they’re pink and white – perfect!

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