We found that the secret to perfect chocolate cream pie was to combine two different types of chocolate for a deeper, more complex flavor. Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate provides the main thrust of flavor and intensely flavored unsweetened chocolate lends depth. One ounce of unsweetened chocolate may not seem like much, but it gives this pie great flavor. For the best chocolate flavor and texture, we recommend using either Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate or Ghirardelli semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.
Other types of chocolate sandwich cookies may be substituted, but avoid any “double-filled” cookies because the proportion of cookie to filling won’t be correct. An equal number of Nutter Butter cookies may also be substituted for a peanut-flavored crust.–The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 4 H, 15 M
- Serves 8 to 10
- For the crust
- 16 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the pie
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 recipe Oreo Cookie Crumb Crust, baked and cooled
- For the topping
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the crust
- 1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Pulse the cookies in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 15 short pulses. Then let the machine run until the crumbs are uniformly fine, about 15 seconds. With the machine running, pour the butter through the feed tube and process until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to the pie plate.
- 2. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until the crust is fragrant and looks set, about 15 minutes. Transfer the crust to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.
- Make the filling
- 3. Bring the half-and-half, half of the sugar, and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- 4. As the half-and-half mixture begins to simmer, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, the remaining sugar, and cornstarch together until smooth.
- 5. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the simmering half-and-half mixture into the yolks (to temper). Then slowly whisk the tempered yolks into the simmering half-and-half mixture and reduce the heat to medium. Whisking constantly, return the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, then the chocolates, and finally the vanilla until completely smooth.
- 6. Pour the warm filling into the baked, cooled pie crust. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap flush to the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm, at least 3 hours.
- Make the topping
- 7. Just before serving, whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream attractively over the top of the pie.
To make ahead
- The baked crust can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, for up to 2 days.
- The pie, without the topping, can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 day. The cream can be whipped and refrigerated separately from the pie, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 hours.
Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe © 2005 The Editors at America's Test Kitchen. Photo © 2005 Carl Tremblay. All rights reserved.