November 7, 2010

Double Chocolate Pudding Pie

I seriously need to invest in a pie plate. Out of all the baking items I own, I've never gotten around to buying one, and so this pretty chocolate pudding pie had to live in a cake pan. Good thing that shape doesn't affect flavor, because this pie was wonderfully tasty and simple to make. I had mixed feelings about pudding pie -- I've never made or eaten one before, but I had all of the ingredients for it so I figured I'd give it a try. The pie and I went to a friend's house for dinner.

When it was dessert time I felt a small pang of fear that my pie would be a dud (after all, you can't cut a slice before you bring it somewhere and have a taste!). We all dug into heaping platefuls of this creamy, chocolatey pudding with its chocolate crust and fresh whipped cream on top and loved every minute of it. YUM. This fun and whimsical dessert feels like a throwback to childhood. And after a day and night of acting very much like grown ups, it was exactly what we all needed.

Double Chocolate Pudding Pie: serves 6 generously
1 store bought refrigerated pie crust, brought to room temp 20 minutes
Approx. 4 oz. dark chocolate
1/4 cup crushed peanuts, divided into two portions
1 4-serving package of chocolate pudding pie mix
*this requires 1 3/4 cup milk for mixing
1 cup whipping cream
2 t. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Lay the pie crust in a pie dish and crimp the dough around the edges of the plate. Prick all over with a fork and bake as directed (usually 9-11 minutes in a 350 degree oven). Allow it to cool completely.

In the meantime, melt the chocolate in the microwave, carefully so that it doesn't burn, in a microwave safe bowl over medium heat setting. When the pie crust is ready, use a pastry brush to coat the pie crust completely with melted chocolate, up to the top edges around the crust. The entire pie crust should be coated in dark chocolate. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle half of the peanuts into the bottom of the pie crust. Allow to cool.

Mix the chocolate pudding pie filling as directed, and pour into the pie crust. Put into the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream. In a refrigerated bowl, beat together the whipped cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Starting from the center of the pie and working outward, spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie until it is about 1" away from the crust. This allows some of the pie filling to show underneath. Now drizzle with any remaining melted chocolate and sprinkle the rest of the peanuts on top. Chill for at least 3 hours, then serve.

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