Did you know today is "National Pie Day?" Really?! I don't get these "days." But since I had planned to post this recipe later in the week, I decided I'd go ahead and celebrate.
Now, for the pie.
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. butter
What You Need: (for the filling)
3/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
5 oz. semisweet or unsweetened chocolate, melted*
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs (or 3/4 cup pasteurized egg "product" to protect from salmonella)
For the topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Start with the pie crust. A note about this pie crust. This is my "cream pie" pie crust... not to be confused with my "fruit pie" pie crust, which is a little flakier and not as rich. Yes, I realize only a crazy person has two pie crust recipes, but that's long-since been established.
In the bowl of a mixer, or in a medium-sized bow, combine the dry ingredients.
Add shortening and butter, and either mix on low or cut in with a pastry cutter just until you get coarse crumbs, like you see above.
*If you overmix this, it's not flaky at all. It gets all hard like a store-bought crust. Blech.
You can see that it is not uniform. This is the trick to keeping it flaky. Now, using your hands, gently press it, and fold it until it becomes a ball. (This should take no more than 4-5 folds or kneads, or again, you're overmixing it.)
Once it is a ball, divide the dough in half. This recipe makes two crusts for a 9" pie. If you only need one (like for this chocolate pie recipe), wrap the other half of the dough in plastic wrap, stick it in a freezer bag, and put it in the freezer for later use.
*Note: I am making mini pies in this picture, which I will cut out of a giant piece of dough. If I were making a regular pie, I would have tried harder to make the dough end up in a circle, not the shape of Australia.
I wish I had that third arm to be able to take a photo while I do it, but I'll try to describe... you press the thumb of your left hand down, towards the pie while you press two fingers of your right hand away from the pie, creating the "waves."
(This is called "blind baking," I learned that once while playing the game "Battle of the Sexes" with my husband. Neither of us knew the answer. So, just a little trivia for you.)
Bake a full-sized pie at 425 for 30-40 minutes. (Remove the parchment & beans with about 10 minutes left at the end to get the middle/bottom golden brown.) These mini pies only took about 12-15 minutes.
Let the crust cool while you make your filling.
And important note... EVERYTHING needs to be room temperature for this recipe. The melted chocolate can be slightly warmer, but nothing can be refrigerator cold, or you'll get clumpy filling.
*The original recipe called for granulated sugar, but I didn't like how it was gritty, so I use powdered. However, I think the powdered sugar does end up making the filling a little more "solid," so use your judgement if you like it a little looser.
This is where you want to be a little careful. Try to use a low speed, and watch that you don't overmix or it can separate a little, which is kind of what happens to mine almost every time because I forget to pay attention. It still tastes awesome.
To make the whipped cream:
Combine the cream & powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on high until stiff peaks form (mine took about a minute). Add vanilla just before you turn off the mixer.
To help the cream whip best, put the bowl and beater(s) in the refrigerator for a while before you whip it.
Click this link if you would like to purchase a one-page printable version of this recipe for $1. The link will take you to PayPal, where you will enter your email address when you pay. I will then email you a .pdf version of the recipe complete with photos and instructions.
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