Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

Pi Day is my favorite day. Why? Not just because I love pi and pie, but also because I got married on Pi Day. Because my wife and I are huge nerds. Also, I will never, ever forget my wedding anniversary. It's a win-win for me.

But Pi Day is also about pie. And it just so happens I have a recipe up my sleeve! It's also my favorite pie (so now we have my favorite pie on Pi Day, my favorite day. I think I should turn this into a children's book). I'm going to catch some major heat for posting this too, because I have not made one in a while. Oh well, if you make one, please send me a slice.

Chocolate cream pie and I have a strong bond. I used to eat this as a kid on Sunday mornings with my mom while reading the paper. Yes, you read that correctly. And it was awesome for me as a child. It was the only sweet that was ever allowed something like this. So now I treat any time as chocolate cream pie time. Yum!

I also want to mention this pie is gluten free (without the crust). My friend Sarah had me make it for her mom who is intolerant, and she gave it thumbs up!

Chocolate Cream Pie

Crust
1 1/2 cups graham crackers (about 8 or 9)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Crush graham crackers in bag with rolling pin or with food processor until fine. Combine ingredients in medium bowl and mix with hands until the butter is incorporated. Dump into a 12 inch pie pan, pressing down with the heel of your palm and fingers to make a firm, even crust (it should go part way up the sides). Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown, let cool.

Filling
5 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 t salt
3 T cornstarch
3 T butter
1 T vanilla

In large pot over medium heat, heat milk until almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Meanwhile, while milk is heating, in stand mixer or large bowl, combine eggs and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add salt and cornstarch, mix well. Pour about 1/3 of the milk mixture into the bowl (this will temper the eggs), mix and dump entire contents of bowl into pot. Return to heat and stir (constantly!) for about 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, stir to combine, and pour into pie shell. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, and then move to the fridge for at least 4-5 hours. Your patience will be rewarded. Make sure the pie is firm and cool before cutting. Serve with Cool Whip slathered on top.