Well, Christmas Eve is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate, than with a Chocolate Espresso Cream Pie. Cream pies are some of my favorite pies to bake because you are essentially making pudding and putting it in a crust. Homemade pudding is a delightful treat all in itself, but placing it in a crunchy shell makes it that much better. I remember when I was in high school and they built a Marie Callendar’s right up the street. I was so excited to get to go and buy fresh pies, especially cream pies.
Today, I always bake my own pie for a number of reasons: 1) I love to bake and 2) I can control what’s inside of it. Making this recipe for Chocolate Espresso Cream Pie with Rye Crust does take a few steps, but they are not complicated. To create the crust, use a rye blend flour along with all purpose flour, but if you don’t have rye flour on hand, feel free to use all purpose flour entirely.
The pudding can be made a day ahead and covered with plastic wrap. I prefer to bake my crust the same day as serving, so it’s extra fresh. If pie crusts are not your forte, you can always use a store bought pie crust. Happy Holidays!
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup rye blend flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 stick butter, cold
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 tablespoon espresso powder, not instant coffee
2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. In a saucepan, add the milk and bittersweet chocolate. Turn the heat on medium and melt the chocolate in the milk, while whisking.
2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Using a measuring cup, add a few tablespoons of hot chocolate to the sugar mixture and whisk until combined. Pour the sugar mixture back into the saucepan with the other hot chocolate and whisk to combine. Turn the heat to low and continue to stir.
3. Then, add a 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mixture to the measuring cup again, and add it to the egg yolks while whisking. Pour the warmed egg yolks into the hot chocolate mixture and continue to whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.
4. Next, add the espresso powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the chocolate into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding, so a skin doesn’t form. Chill the pudding in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
5. To make the crust, combine the flours, salt and sugar in a stand mixer, mix on low to combine. Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the flour mixture. Mix on low until the flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
6. Then, add 1/3 cup of ice water to the flour mixture, straining any ice from the dough. Mix the dough on low until it starts to come together. You don’t want to over mix your dough or it will become tough. Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Refrigerate the dough at least 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out onto to a floured surface and gently place it in your pie pan. Tuck the edges of the pie crust inside the pan.
8. Pinch the edges of the dough to created a nice edge on the pie and place a piece of parchment inside the pie dough. Fill the pie with pie weights or dried beans and bake on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Then, remove the parchment and weights and continue to bake for 12 minutes more. Let your crust cool, before filling with the pudding, about 1 hour.
9. Whip the heavy cream on high with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, until frothy. Add the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Dollop the cream on top of the chocolate cream pie and spread with a spatula until it almost reaches the edges. I like to leave a little peak of the chocolate filling.
10. Refrigerate the pie until ready to serve. Enjoy!