Of all the pies I make, and you know I make a lot of pies, chocolate cream pie is Dale’s favorite. My banana cream pie runs a close second but the richness of the chocolate gets to my man every time. And now I’ll tell you a little secret – chocolate cream pie is just about the easiest pie to make. I’m not kidding. Don’t believe me? Just read this post.
The trickiest part for many cooks is the pie crust. But I showed you how to make pie crust a while ago and you know it’s not that hard. Since a chocolate cream pie isn’t cooked you have to bake the pie crust. To do this, just roll out the crust and put it in your pie plate. Now refrigerate that pie shell for at least 30 minutes. Take it out of the fridge, line it with aluminum foil (shiny side down) and fill it with rice. Refrigerating the crust first helps it to not shrink when it’s baking and the rice works way better than pie weights because you can fill the pie shell right to the brim and it won’t bubble up on you while you bake it. You can reuse the rice, too, so don’t feel bad about wasting it. Anyway, bake the pie shell at 400 for 20 minutes, lift out the foil and rice, prick it all over with a fork, and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes or until it turns golden. Set that aside to cool.
While the crust is cooling you can make the filling. Now, when I make a banana cream pie I make the vanilla pudding from scratch. It’s heaven in a pot, so rich and creamy. And I have tried making chocolate pudding from scratch but you know what? The packaged stuff is just as good. Really, it is. And it’s easier, too, so why not? I use Jello brand cook ‘n serve chocolate pudding. Do NOT use that instant pudding crap. You have to cook the stuff. Just follow the directions on the side of the box for making a fuller pie. That’s 2 boxes of pudding and 3 1/2 cups of milk, in case you’re wondering. Once it’s all thickened up then pour it right into your pie shell. Cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for the absolute hardest part of the whole endeavor – waiting 4 hours for it to be ready to eat!
Once you’re ready to serve the pie you need to make the whipped cream. Again, do NOT use that store bought cream topping. No cool whip on this pie! Get out your stand mixer with the whip attachment and pour in a pint of heavy cream. I don’t use whipping cream, I use heavy cream. Let that whip for a bit and then add in a palm full of sugar and a cap full of vanilla. Very scientific measurements for this stuff, doncha know. When it’s all whipped up (and be careful not to over beat it or you’ll get butter) put it on top of the chocolate pudding. To make it look especially pretty use a vegetable peeler and grate some chocolate on top. Serve.
Wasn’t that simple? And it looks so impressive, too. I made this the other night for some friends and they just raved. I felt very smart and accomplished.
One last thing and this is probably the best part of the whole process. Get up before everyone else the next morning and eat the last piece for breakfast.