For some, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. Some can’t wait for the green bean casserole, the candied yams, the sausage stuffing, and, of course, the pumpkin pie. For me, the star of the show has always been the chocolate cream pie. I’ve been trying to remember when I made my first one and, frankly, why I made my first one. I assume it was because my mom was a die-hard Libby’s pumpkin pie baker and my grandma and aunts were fans of the fruit and mincemeat pies. I, as a young girl, was not a fan of any of the aforementioned, so I think I sought out the chocolate variety on my own as a young teenager. Again, I wish I could remember, but I’m the person who found herself hobbling around at the market yesterday before I realized I had on mismatched boots with differing heel heights on, so I’m really not “all there” these days.
We need to get started because I’ve made sure all the steps are included here and it could take awhile. I highly suggest you make your pie dough a day or two ahead if you can. I understand reading this may send some of you sprinting to your local market to pick up pre-made pie crust. That’s fine, the filling will still be wonderful. But, for those of you willing to really learn how to make this crust, I think you’ll find it’s well worth the extra effort.
First, assemble your ingredients… this has been my favorite crust recipe for the last few years. The single most important thing to remember for flakiness is to keep all ingredients as cold as possible.
Blend flour, sugar and salt in food processor. If you don’t have one, you can do it the old fashioned way. I used the pastry cutter for years and it works fine, just takes a lot longer.
Add butter and pulse (on/off) until coarse meal forms.
You want to make sure all of the flour is incorporated in to the butter. Loose flour will turn to paste once the water is added. Paste is not flaky.
Add ice water and vinegar and pulse until the dough begins to come together. Moist clumps should form. If the dough is too dry, add a little more ice water.
Turn dough onto plastic wrap on work surface. Using your hands, gather the dough together and cut it in half.
Form dough in two disks, wrap, separately, in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Can be refrigerated for a few days. You may also wrap it in a resealable freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month, thaw in refrigerator overnight and soften slightly before rolling out).
Carefully, fold the dough on to the pie plate
Trim off the edges (save to bake later with cinnamon and sugar)
Preheat oven to 375degreesF
Cool at room temp and prepare filling.
Dark Chocolate Cream Pie Filling
1 TB pure vanilla extract
Chop your chocolate before you begin. I beg of you to use really good quality chocolate. I use a combination of Scharffen Berger, Green & Black’s, and Ghiradelli here but also recommend Guittard, Dagoba, and Valrhona. If you like a sweeter filling, skip the bittersweet (70-72% cacao) and double the semi-sweet (60-62% cacao) and increase sugar to 3/4 cup. I must say, however, this was plenty sweet and a big hit with my 4 year old girls as written!
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing lightly on the filling so it doesn’t form a chewy “crust” on top. Chill until set, at least 1 hour.
Look at that flaky crust! Enjoy
I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving rich with full plates and full hearts!