Baked Sunday Mornings: Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie

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Sometimes all you need is a slice of pie. I’m not even that much of a pie person. But sometimes it hits the spot like no other dessert. And sometimes maybe you even have it for dinner. I’m not saying I had pie for dinner this week, except that maybe I did, and I’m not the least bit sorry about it. The Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie from BAKED: New Frontiers in Baking has instantly become one of my favorite pies, as it’s both ultra-decadent and ultra-easy to make. I have to say that Baked Sunday Mornings saved some of the book’s best recipes for these last months, and it’s a great way to finish out our baking schedule. This particular pie is, in my estimation as a chocolate monster, one of their best– it is deep, dark, obscenely creamy, and perfectly balanced with its chocolate cookie crust and vanilla whipped cream topping.

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First of all, I increased the crust by 50% because BAKED’s crumb crusts tend to be a little sparse for my liking– gimme more crust! This is simply made by combining chocolate wafer cookie crumbs with melted butter and a little sugar, very similar to an Oreo crust (which would be just as delicious), then pressing the mixture into a pie pan and chilling it.

I thought that the chocolate cream pudding filling would be more complicated, but it is so very simple. Custards and puddings are not generally my forte, so I was pleased that this came together perfectly. The recipe calls for Ovaltine malt powder, but there’s a note stating that one can substitute cocoa powder for the malt to make a more chocolaty pie, so of course I went with the latter (not to mention that I don’t keep Ovaltine in the house). You’ll combine the sugar, malt/cocoa powder, salt, and cornstarch in a saucepan, then whisk in the egg yolks. The book says the mixture should have the consistency of a thick paste; mine was more crumbly, so I was a bit worried, but I managed to smooth it out for the most part after whisking in the milk and cream. You’ll bring this to a boil, at which point it will thicken significantly, then add chopped milk and dark chocolate, vanilla extract, and (perhaps most importantly) whiskey. I thought it might be too boozy, but it was perfect– you can taste a hint, but it’s not the least bit overwhelming. Stir this together until all the chocolate melts and the pudding cools a bit, then pour it into the cookie crust. I let mine cool to room temperature before sticking it in the fridge to chill for several hours.

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For the whipped cream, I employed a little trick that I learned when we made Rainbow Icebox Cake years ago, and I do this any time I use a whipped cream topping. I whipped the cream and added the sugar and vanilla (I used 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste instead of a vanilla bean) once the cream started to thicken. I whipped it to medium peaks (or so I thought), transferred the cream to a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, which I covered and placed in the fridge overnight. This allows the liquid to drain so that your whipped cream won’t weep. Best trick ever! By the way, I only used 1½ cups of heavy cream and reduced the sugar and vanilla paste by 25% as well, which was plenty for a thick layer on top of the pie.

Unfortunately, I slightly under-whipped the cream, so when I dolloped it onto the pie, it slouched and spread a bit instead of sitting on top with big swoops and swirls. (Definitely an excellent reason to make another one, no?) The recipe omits any sort of chocolate garnish, but I couldn’t resist showering some simple chocolate jimmies over the whipped cream; I really think the pie demands it.

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My tasters raved about this pie, and I’m gonna confirm for you that it does, indeed, make for an excellent Wednesday night dinner. The chocolate cream filling is super thick and rich, which I loved with the contrasting crunch of the crust and the lightness of the whipped cream. Will make again and again FO SHO. Since you’ll definitely need this Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie in your life, I recommend heading to Baked Sunday Mornings for the recipe at your earliest opportunity. I mean, there will be plenty of pumpkin-y things for Thanksgiving, right? I believe balancing it out with some dark chocolate goodness will make that holiday dessert table just perfect. 🙂

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2019.

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