I love “rustic” because it implies imperfection (which suits me, since I’m completely imperfect). However, I love it when my baking turns out well. . .perfect. Confused? Me too.
These chocolate cream pies came to be when my daughter found a picture of some pudding pies that I didn’t have the ingredients for – instant pudding, premade pie crust, and the like. This homemade version was a big hit, and is sure to be a repeat.
In other exciting news, today is my niece’s 7th birthday. . .Happy Birthday Girlie!
Rustic Mini Chocolate Cream Pie
Pie Crust Adapted from An Adobe Oven to a Microwave Range
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups shortening
5 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vinegar
In the food processor, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Pulse 2 to 3 times. Add the shortening and pulse until coarse-looking crumbs appear. Add the egg, water, and vinegar and pulse just until combined, and the dough starts to pull away from the sides.
Open the lid of the food processor, and pat the dough. It should be soft, but not sticky. Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it all comes together. Grab a golf ball sized piece of dough and roll it out on the floured surface. Place the rolled-out dough inside a muffin pan, or individual pie pan, cut to size, and prick the bottom of each pie with a fork about 5 times.
When all of the wells have been filled with pie dough, bake them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. The bottoms will puff up just a little. Let them cool in the pan.
*As an added touch, we melted 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and spooned the melted chocolate onto the bottom of our cooled pie crusts to prevent the crust from turning soggy, before pouring in the hot filling.
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 squares of semisweet chocolate (I used Baker’s)
3 egg yolks, beaten (in a small mixing bowl, set aside for tempering)
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan (this will help prevent lumps). Add the milk, heavy cream, and chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens.
Boil for 1 minute, and remove from heat.
Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into the 3 beaten egg yolks whisking constantly to temper (slowly bringing the yolks and hot milk to the same temperature to prevent the egg yolks from scrambling).
Then add the tempered egg mixture back into the rest of the hot milk, whisking constantly to combine. Return the custard mixture to the stove (over medium heat) and bring to a boil – for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter. Whisk until fully incorporated. Then pour through a sieve into a large (4 cup) glass measuring cup.
Don’t omit this step! Even when I think I’ve fully incorporated the egg yolks, there are always a few chewy bits that end up in the sieve.
Pour the chocolate cream into the cooled pie shells, and let set at room temperature (about 30 minutes) before refrigerating (to prevent sweating).
Store in the refrigerator, and serve cold.
Makes about a dozen pies using this individual pie pan.