This is the pie of my dreams, a rich creamy chocolate pie topped with whipped cream.  This is the kind of pie that melts in your mouth good and puts a goofy smile on your face.  I’ve been searching for the perfect pie recipe and came across this one originally from Sunset Magazine, August 2007 that caught my eye.  Originally I had been looking for a meringue pie and even had my Mom send me her recipe but in the end this is what I went with.  It took me 2 days but it was worth it.  We ate part of it cold out of the fridge and I froze half to see what that would taste like.  It was equally delicious!

This starts with a chocolate graham cracker crust.  It’s simple to make with a package of chocolate grahams, sugar and butter.

You can crush the graham crackers by hand or if you’re like me and take the easy route.  Place the package of graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until you get a nice crumbly mixture.

In seconds you have a crumbs perfect for your pie crust.

I added 1 tablespoon of sugar to the chocolate grahams even though the recipe called for 1/4 cup.  The graham crackers were already sweet enough for me and I would rather use the sugar to sweeten the pie filling.

Melt the butter and pour into the chocolate graham mix. Use a fork to mix it all together.

Once the crumbs start to stick, pour into a pie plate and start packing them along the sides and bottom.  The crumbs were for a 9 inch pie plate.  I had this big 10 inch pie plate and could have used a little more crumbs but it turned out okay.

Didn’t quite make it to the rim but I’m okay with it if you are!  Bake the pie shell at 375 for 7 – 8 minutes then set out to cool.

The pie filling includes 6 egg yolks, whole milk, sugar, butter, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, cornstarch and some chocolate squares for grating over the top.  You’ll also need a little salt which I forgot to include in this photo.

Separate 6 eggs and place the egg yolks in a bowl.  Whisk the egg yolks and set aside.

Combine 3 1/2 cups whole milk and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium sized saucepan.

Next add 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Bring to a gentle simmer while whisking.

When it gets to a simmer, take the milk off the burner for a minute and mix 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks whisking continuously.  This will temper the eggs so that they will not scramble when you add them back into the milk mixture.

Add the tempered eggs back into the egg mixture, return the saucepan to the burner and continue cooking over medium heat.  You’ll want to bring the mixture to about 190 degrees.  I used a candy thermometer to help me out.

Not quite there yet, will continue stirring while it heats up to 190 degrees.

Now that we’ve reached the ideal temperature, take the saucepan off the burner and stir in a 10 ounce package of bittersweet chocolate chips.

They will start to melt quickly.  Keep stirring!

The swirls of changing color is mesmerizing!

Add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of butter and stir some more.

The chocolate has all melted and combined.  Umm Chocolate . . .

Set a bowl of ice water under a smaller bowl.  Add the chocolate filling into the top bowl and whisk to cool the mixture.

Whisk for 5 minutes or until it cools to room temperature.

Here’s the pie crust after it’s baked 7 minutes.  Almost time to fill it.

When the pie filling has sufficiently cooled, pour it into the baked chocolate graham cracker crust.

Spread the filling to the edges of the pie crust.

I’m having a hard time holding back.  I jut want to take a spoon to it right now!  But it will have to wait a bit longer.  I need a chilled pie to put the whipped cream on so place a layer of plastic wrap over the pie (to prevent a skin from forming) and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.  It was late so mine set overnight.

OOPS!  I was sure I took pictures of making the whipped cream but they are not on my camera so I’ll just have to tell you about it.  I took 2 cups of heavy cream, added 3 tablespoons sugar and whipped it on high with a hand mixer until it held small peaks.   Use a spatula to gently spread over the chocolate pie.

And to make it pretty, grate some bars of semi-sweet chocolate over the top.  This grated much finer than I had anticipated.  I need a bigger grater next time.

I’m using all my willpower to keep from digging in right now!

I finally got my wish and it was to die for.  This piece was placed in the freezer for a few hours.  You can’t go wrong whether you like your chocolate pie chilled or frozen.

Chocolate Pie with Whipped Cream, adapted from Sunset Magazine August, 2007

1 1/2 cups Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 1 sealed package of graham crackers)
1 tablespoon Sugar
4 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, melted
6 large egg yolks
3 1/2 cups Whole Milk
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (in baking squares or chips)
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bars (for grating over pie)
2 cups Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons Sugar

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and add 1 tablespoon sugar and melted 4 tablespoons butter. Mix together and press into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 – 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat stir together milk, 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a gentle simmer stirring constantly. When mixture begins to thicken remove from heat and temper egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the milk mixture stirring constantly. Pour egg mixture back into the saucepan and back onto the burner to continue heating.

Bring the milk egg mixture back to a simmer until temperature reaches about 190 degrees (read on an instead read thermometer).  Stir constantly while mixture thickens. When the temperature reaches 190 degrees, remove from burner and add the chocolate chips, vanilla and 2 tablespoons butter.

Pour the chocolate filling into a bowl, then set inside a larger bowl filled with ice water. Stir for 5 minutes or until mixture cools to room temperature. Pour filling into the prepared chocolate graham cracker crust. Cover with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming) and place in refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.

Prepare whipped cream by pouring 2 cups heavy whipping cream plus 3 tablespoons sugar into a mixing bowl. On high speed of an electric mixer beat cream until small peaks form. Spread whipped cream over the chocolate filling. Garnish with grated chilled chocolate bars.

Serve chilled or frozen.
Makes 8 – 10 servings.