Chocolate Chess Pie – AKA Brownie Custard Pie!

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MMMmmm… chocolate chess pie.

This is an absolute must-try-pie for the chocolate lover.

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I first tired this pie at a Loretta Jean’s Pie Bakery. It was the pie of choice for my three year old son and it was life changing. I would easily say it was the best chocolate pie I have ever had.

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Mine was good, but it wasn’t as good as Loretta Jean’s. I think I over baked it. But it was still really really good. I’m going to try again because I know how good it can be and I didn’t quite get there.

For now, I’ll tell you what I did because it had beautiful flavor and was almost perfect in texture. I’m guessing 10 minutes less in the oven and it would have been perfect.

Crust

First, make your crust. A single crust is all that is needed but I always suggest making a double and freezing the extra for another day. For this pie I would suggest a shortening crust with only 1 teaspoon of salt rather than the 2 that my regular recipe calls for.

You are going to pre-bake the crust for this pie. Once your crust dough is ready (has been in the fridge for 3 hours or so) roll it out, lay it in your pan, and poke with a fork. Then cover with tinfoil so none of the crust is showing.

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Fill with pie beans or regular uncooked beans (I have a zip loc of uncooked black beans labeled “pie beans” in my baking cupboard)

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Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes.

Take out of the oven and carefully remove your tinfoil and bean. The crust will still be soft, not fully cooked, so be careful not to pull on the crust and break it.

Put the un-covered crust back in the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes.

While it’s cooking make your pie filling.

Chocolate Pie Filling 

3 large eggs, separated (you will use the white and yolks so separate and save)

3/4 c granulated sugar

1/3 c butter melted

1/8 t salt

1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 c buttermilk

1 t cider vinegar

3 T cocoa powder

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, and salt

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In a stand mixer beat the egg whites on med/high until they are stiff and stand on their own.

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Add egg yolks one at a time to the sugar/butter mixture, mixing well between each addition. This is how it should look after all three have been added.

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Stir in the flour, buttermilk, and vinegar, mixing well.

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Mix in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (If you leave this out it will just be Chess Pie, which I have never tried but is the classic form of this pie!)

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Yum… smooth chocolate yumminess.

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Fold in your stiff egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula.

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Pour the final batter into the (at least mostly cooled) crust.

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Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes (I thought mine wasn’t done at 25 and put it back in for an extra 15 minutes (whoops) – I bet 30 minutes would have been enough)

When it’s done it will have a domed top which will flatten out about 10 minutes after it come out of the oven – this is a picture with the domed top:

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Let cool to room temperature or about 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

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This is seriously, no joke, one of my favorite pies of all time.

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It’s great served with coffee!

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It is a must try for chocolate lovers.

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Try this pie, you won’t regret it!

 

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Pie Day 6 – Chocolate Mousse Pie – Success!!!!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I made you a pie 🙂

Actually I made myself a pie. But you can have the recipe and go make one for yourself, too! Or make it for your girlfriend (Women love home-made pie and women love chocolate, this is a win win boys – go, bake, be happy)

This is not just any pie. This is chocolate. Mousse. Pie. Not even “chocolate pie”, this is Chocolate Mousse... pie. I used a mousse recipe for the filling. That’s right. You know those little tiny cups of mousse you get with a little tiny spoon when you order “chocolate mousse” for desert at a fancy restaurant and the whole time you’re eating it you’re giving your date the stink eye and thinking, “why did I agree to share this desert? If they hadn’t given us these tiny spoons it would only be four bites of food!” and then you remember that you ordered 2 deserts and agreed to split both of them but it turns out that no one is really interested in that special “home-made” doughnut when there is chocolate mousse around.

Yeah, this is a whole pie made out of that.

Now, I know there are lots of things called “chocolate mousse pie” out there and maybe I was just looking in the wrong places, but none of the chocolate mousse pie recipes and the chocolate mousse recipes were similar enough for me. I wanted the real deal. I wanted light and fluffy and rich. I wanted mousse. So I made it, and stuck it in a crust. And I’m happy to say, it worked out just right.

On the topic of mousse pie crusts: I asked my husband, who I know loves chocolate pie, what he felt was the proper crust and he said Graham Cracker. But none of the recipes out there called for graham cracker, they called for chocolate cookie or regular pie crust. But I like the graham cracker idea and I like to make my man happy so I made a fun little compromise: chocolate graham cracker crust! I loved it. He still wanted regular beige crackers. C’est la vie. You do whatever sounds best to you. I recommend chocolate graham cracker.

Crust:

1.5 Cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 c sugar (I would reduce this to 1/4 cup next time)

6 Tablespoons melted butter (I had to add an extra 1/2 T, maybe I didn’t break up the graham crackers enough)

Smash up graham crackers (I put them in a zip lock and let my 3-year-old bash them with a rolling-pin)

Mix crumbs and sugar

Mix in melted butter

Press into pie plate (2 inch deep dish)

Let son lick the bowl

 Filling: 

I used This Recipe and added an extra yolk for a little more stability.

Buy some good dark chocolate. Remember, whatever chocolate you buy informs the basic flavor of your mousse.

8 oz chocolate (I only had 6 here so I added some chocolate chips too)

1/3 cup whole milk

3 T sugar

1/8 t salt

3 egg yolks lightly beaten

4 egg whites

1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold

Heat a couple of inches of water in a large sauce pan to a boil.

Break up chocolate and put in a metal bowl that can rest over your sauce pan. Once the water is boiling turn the heat down to medium and place your metal bowl full of chocolate over the steam. Move the chocolate around with a whisk, stirring as it melts. Once melted, set aside.

In a large bowl (this is the bowl all the ingredients will eventually go into) whisk your yolks.

In a small sauce pan heat milk and sugar until sugar dissolves, bring to a boil.

Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolk. Only pour a little at a time – maybe one tablespoon – mixing well between each drizzle so that you don’t scramble your egg! (This is called “tempering the egg”, so if you ever run across the instruction “Temper” in a recipe, this is what it wants you to do)

Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and whisk until combined.

Yum.. looking good so far! (those bumps are bubbles, it should be very creamy, not lumpy)

In another metal bowl over a sauce pan of boiling water: add your 4 egg whites and mix with a hand mixer until fluffy hot to the touch.

I say “with a hand mixer” because I tried just using a hand whisk the first time and some of the egg cooked, some turned to water, some got fluffy. It was a mess. I couldn’t whisk fast enough. I had to start over with 4 new egg whites.

Here is a picture of the bad egg whites:

See the little white cooked egg bits? See the watery stuff at the bottom?? No good. Start over. You want it all to be fluffy and soft.

Take off heat, add salt, and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Whist 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Fold the rest of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

I think I need a lesson on “folding in” because I’m not good at it. But still the mousse came out great so, even if you aren’t great at folding, it should be ok. Just do your best. This is what mine looked like half way folded.

Once I had folded it all together (I kind of had to hack up big clumps of egg, maybe I over beat my eggs…) I still had little bits of white floating in the chocolate. I was worried, but it turned out not to be a problem at all. Once the whipped cream was incorporated it all came out smooth.

In a separate bowl (a cold bowl is good but not necessary) whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until it holds a strong peak.

Mix 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.

Fold the rest of the whipped cream into the mixture.

Pour into prepared crust.

It will be like a fairly thick liquid, don’t worry, it will set.

Chill in fridge for 2 hours.

Mix 1.5 cups of whipped cream in the mixer, add a splash of vanilla and 3 T of sugar as it starts to thicken.

Once thick, spread over the top of your firm mousse filling

Yum. At this piont your pie is done! Congratulations! Now go eat!

Or you can some flair…

Today, because it’s Valentine’s day, I decided to go all out and add a hot-chocolate-mix heart to the top!

To do this, cut out a heart (or whatever shape you like) from a piece of paper then have someone hold the paper right over the pie (as close as they can get without touching) while you sprinkle the hot chocolate mix on! I sprinkled it through a metal strainer so that it fell more uniformly than just shaking it off a spoon.

Eat and enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day!!!