Pies: Sweet and Classic

 

Being a true southern gal, I can honestly say that I love crunchy Pecan Pie.  But I equally adore Chocolate Cream Pie.  Rich homemade chocolate filling and a generous amount of fresh {real} whipped cream can truly cool you off on a hot, sunny day!  As wonderful as these two pies are, there is something so satisfying about my Mama’s classic cheesecake; add a handful of sliced Louisiana strawberries if they are in season if you want to dress it up.

And surely, if you are going to make one of these wonderful pies from scratch, by all means, Sugah, make a crispy, flakey real pie crust!!

ALL AMERICAN PIE CRUST

Makes enough pastry for one 9-inch deep-dish double-crust pie or two 9-inch deep-dish pie shells
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and put in freezer for 15 minutes
• 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening cut into pieces freeze like the butter
• 1/2 cup cold iced water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter the frozen butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times to cut in the butter.
Remove the lid and fluff the mixture with a fork, lifting it up from the bottom of the bowl. Scatter the frozen shortening pieces over the flour and pulse the machine 6 or 7 times. Remove the lid and fluff the mixture again.
Drizzle half of the water over the flour mixture and pulse the machine 5 or 6 times. Remove the lid, fluff the pastry, and sprinkle on the rest of the water. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times more, until the pastry starts to form clumps.
Overall, it will look like coarse crumbs. Dump the contents of the processor bowl into a large mixing bowl.
Test the pastry by squeezing some of it between your fingertips. If it seems a little dry and not quite packable, drizzle a teaspoon or so of cold water over the pastry and work it in with your fingertips. Using your hands, pack the pastry into 2 balls, as you would pack a snowball. Make one ball slightly larger than the other; this will be your bottom crust. Knead each ball once or twice, and then flatten the balls into 3/4-inch-thick disks on a floured work surface. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. Or you can freeze it to use for later.  About 10 minutes before rolling, remove the pastry to from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface.  Proceed as directed in your recipe.

For Chocolate Cream Pie, you will need one single crust completely baked and cooled.

Basic Cream Pie Filling
Chiqui Collier
Pastry Cream:
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
4 Cups whole milk
4 Egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

 

 

 

For Chocolate Cream Pie:

2 one ounce squares of melted, semisweet chocolate Baker’s German Chocolate Baking Chocolate

OR ( 1 1/2 Cups melted Semi-sweet Choc Chips)

For the baked crust:

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

 

In a 4 quart saucepan, melt butter; blend in cornstarch, sugar and salt. Gradually blend in milk using a wire whisk. Heat just until the boiling point over direct heat. Remove pan from the heat and stir a small amount of the milk into the egg mixture and whisk quickly until well combined. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture blending well. Return to heat on medium and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in vanilla

To the warm pastry cream stir in 2 one ounce squares of melted semisweet chocolate (Baker’s German Chocolate Baking Chocolate) OR 1 1/2 Cups melted Semi-sweet Choc Chips). Make sure the chocolate is well blended into the pastry cream.

Place in a glass bowl and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the pudding and cool completely in refrigerator. (To speed up the cooling process you can place the bowl of filling in an ice bath and stir mixture frequently until cooled.)  Blind Bake your single pie shell and cool slightly.  Blind bake means to place raw pie dough in pie plate, prick the crust with the tines of a fork, cover with foil and gently press into the pie shell and use some dried beans to weight down the crust.  Bake at 350*,  Approximately 15 minutes until the bottom crust browns.  It is best to use a glass pie plate to do this.
Brush the still slightly warm baked pie crust with 1 Cup melted chocolate chips. Chill for 30 minutes.  This will keep the crust crispy, and won’t get soggy when you add the pastry cream.

Pour the cooled chocolate pastry cream into the chilled pie shell. . Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until 10 minutes before serving.
Beat one cup heavy whipping cream with 3 heaping tablespoons confectioner’s sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until firm. Spoon or pipe onto top of chilled pie and serve. Garnish with shaved chocolate or choc chips.  If you prefer, you can double the amount of whipping cream ingredients to cover the entire pie.

The Pecan Pie is already posted on my Thanksgiving desserts blog. November 2014.

Noni’s Sour Cream Cheese Cake page 44

 

….until next time, Bon Appetit

Chiqui

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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