The winner of last Sunday’s Cake v. Pie bout, Chocolate Diner Pie:
To call this a pudding pie would be technically true, but would risk the settings of expectations way too low. Decadent chocolate custard pie doesn’t quite say it either. Chocolate cream pie works. This definitely could stand up to the traditional diner full layer of whipped cream topping covering the whole thing, but I opted for restraint. Also, I like to see the chocolate.
The va-va-voom in this pie comes, as it does from many of the best recipes from these chefs, from the addition of malt powder and the inclusion of multiple chocolates. Specifically, Ovaltine in the custard, and dark plus milk chocolate added into the mix:
And, a dash of whiskey. You could easily substitute dark rum, bourbon, or even amaretto.
Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie
Baked, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Chocolate Cookie Crust
30 chocolate wafer cookies (see photo to help you ID the right cookies in the wild)
1 TBS. sugar
6 TBS. unsalted butter, melted
Grind cookies in food processor to a fine powder. Stir in the sugar, then mix in the butter. Pat the crumb mixture into a pie plate, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides. Freeze the crust while you make the filling.
1/2 c. sugar
3 TBS. Ovaltine or other chocolate malt powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
5 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. whiskey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whisk together sugar, Ovaltine, salt, and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined.
[The mixture does look like a thick paste you could use to help thatch a roof. Fret not and keep going.]
Slowly pour in the milk + cream, whisking while pouring. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and vigilantly to keep the mixture from burning on the bottom of the pan. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove it from the heat.
Add the chocolates, whiskey, and vanilla, still whisking to combine while the mixture cools for a few minutes. Let it stand then for 15 minutes at room temperature, and don’t mind the skin that will form. Just whisk it away at the end, then pour the filling into the frozen pie crust.
Refrigerate for 4 hours (at least) before serving. Serve with whipped cream.
Baked recommends Simple Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:
2 c. heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1/4 c. sugar
Pour cream into a medium mixing bowl.
Cut the bean in half length-wise, then scrape the beans into the cream. Add the whole bean to the cream, whisk, cover, and refrigerate for an hour to allow the vanilla flavor to infuse the cream.
Remove from fridge and strain through a fine sieve into the chilled bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk with the whisk attachment, which can also be chilled in advance of the mixing. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then, with mixer running, add sugar over the cream. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft, vanilla-y peaks form.
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