Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie with Crème Fraîche Topping



A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for chocolate pudding pie, and in the comments I found a much more complicated recipe from Bon Appétit. Guess which one I made?

This pie was exactly what I hoped it would be. It was cool and refreshing, especially with the tangy crème fraîche topping, and the cookie crumb/hardened chocolate crust was the perfect base. I adjusted the crust recipe a bit, since there wasn't quite enough of it as it was written. It also took way longer than 12 minutes to get the crust to that "dry" point, so keep an eye on it. As always, my preferred method of "finely chopping" bars of chocolate is to bash them with my rolling pin while they're still in the wrapper. When you distribute the chocolate over the crust, don't be as impatient as I was and wait a full two minutes before spreading the melted chocolate around.

As it turns out, you can easily make your own crème fraîche. Add a tablespoon of cultured buttermilk to a cup of heavy cream (both at room temperature), partially cover, and let stand at room temperature about 24 hours, or until thickened. Stir and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. I made this at home, forgetting I had a carton of store-bought crème fraîche, but I tried both and they were pretty much indistinguishable. The cream will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

    Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped

    Filling
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Topping
  • 1 cup chilled crème fraîche*
  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crust: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Blend cookie crumbs and sugar in processor. Add melted butter; process until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides (not rim) of 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Bake until crust begins to set and no longer looks moist, pressing gently with back of fork if crust puffs, about 15 minutes. Remove crust from oven, then sprinkle chopped chocolate over bottom of crust. Let stand until chocolate softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Using offset spatula or small rubber spatula, spread chocolate over bottom and up sides of crust to cover. Chill crust until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

For the filling: Whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt to blend in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually add 1/3 cup milk, whisking until smooth paste forms. Whisk in remaining milk, then 1/4 cup cream. Using flat-bottom wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, stir mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom and sides of pan until pudding thickens and begins to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Add chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in rum and vanilla. Pour hot pudding into crust and spread evenly. Cool 1 hour at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap; chill overnight.

For the topping: Using electric mixer, beat crème fraîche, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl just until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick enough to spread (do not overbeat or mixture may curdle). Spread topping decoratively over top of pie, swirling to create peaks, if desired.

2 comments:

Mary Katherine said...

i miss you bandyj. that is all.

Aaron Sarazan said...

Sometimes Mr. Bandy-- not often, but sometimes... I wish I was you.

Only such a dapper individual could create a wonderful post like this without a hint of irony.