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5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Cream Pie

This decadent pie is a dream to make because it's super easy. Just 12 no-fuss ingredients. It's a crowd-pleaser and always highly requested by everyone.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chill4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe, How to make Chocolate Cream Pie
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 347kcal

Ingredients

Crust

  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoon cold water

Filling

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 vanilla beans*)
  • 1 ⅛ cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped (7oz)

Instructions

Crust

  • Make it with a food processor: Place flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor and pulse 4-5 times. Pea-sized butter flakes should still be visible. Add one tablespoon water at the time and pulse 1-2 times after every tablespoon. Stop adding water when the dough starts to clump. Depending on the humidity and climate you will need 4-6 tablespoon Watch the video and photos to see the required consistency.
  • If you don't have a food processor, then make it with a pastry cutter or two forks instead: In this case mix together flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Then add butter and cut it into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal with pea-sized butter flakes. Then add water little by little until the texture starts to clump.
  • Transfer the dough to a plastic wrap and form a 1- 1.5-inch thick disk without kneading. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough disk into an 11 - 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. 
  • Press the pie crust against the bottom and the sides of your baking dish evenly and flute the edges. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). 
  • Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and press it against the bottom and the sides of the crust. Make sure that the parchment paper covers the edges as well to prevent it from getting to brown. Then heavy it down with baking beans, uncooked rice, or uncooked beans evenly. Press the baking beans against the sides as well to prevent them from sinking down too much. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove weights and paper and bake another 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Filling

  • Whisk egg yolks and cornstarch in a heatproof bowl until smooth and combined. Set aside.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, bring milk and sugar to a simmer. Once, it has reached a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes. Whisk continuously.
  • Stir about ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks to slowly warm it. Then pour warmed egg mixture slowly into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook until filling is thick, for about 1-2 minutes. Whisk continuously. 
  • Remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer into a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Whisk in chocolate and vanilla* until smooth and fully combined for about 1-2 minutes. Add butter and stir to combine. 
  • Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Before serving, top with meringue or whipped cream if desired. Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your sharp knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Then just use the seeds.

Top tips
  • Tempering the egg mixture slowly ensures that the eggs don't get too hot too quickly and you don't end up with a scrambled egg mixture.
  • Whisking the cooking filling continuously will ensure that it doesn't burn.
  • Pouring the cooked filling through a mesh strainer removes possible lumps and makes sure it's smooth and creamy.
  • Allowing the filling to set overnight will give you an even better experience.

Instant pudding
While I prefer the richness and how easy it is to make the filling from scratch, you can certainly use instant pudding if you wanted to.
Simply make the pudding as directed on the package and pour it into the baked crust. You will still need to refrigerate it for 4 hours before serving to allow it to set up correctly.

Cornstarch
If you aren't able to use cornstarch, then you can substitute it for something else 1:1. Some good choices to try are arrowroot, tapioca starch, rice flour, and potato starch.

Additional flavors
Whether you want to sprinkle on top or fold into the filling when it's finished, you could add the following ingredients:
  • ¼ cup (32grams) chocolate shavings
  • ½ cup (64 grams) mini chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) toasted coconut

Mini pies
You can use this recipe to make mini pies as well. The difference is that you need to bake the crust in mini pans, muffin pans, or ramekins instead of a regular-sized pie dish. Use my mini apple caramel pie recipe as a guide. Then pour in the filling and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2.8mg