Bite-Size Chocolate Cream Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz. chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 batch of pie crust (see recipe below)

For topping:

  • stabilized whipped cream (see recipe below) or 1 cup heavy cream whipped and sweetened slightly
  • chocolate sprinkles; or toasted coconut

METHOD:

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk milk and egg yolks until combined.  Pour milk mixture into pan while whisking.  Whisk until smooth.
  3. Place pan on burner set to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly (yes, constantly), making sure to scrape bottom and edges of the pan, until mixture starts to thicken, about 7-9 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in chocolate, butter, and vanilla.  Transfer hot filling to a bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap rests in contact with the filling so a skin does not form.  Refrigerate filling until cool, 1-2 hours.
  5. Once filling and crusts are cool, spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a quart or gallon size zip top bag.  If you’re using the zip top bag, once it’s got the filling in it, cut about a half-inch or a little less off one corner. Also place whipped cream into pastry or zip top bags, preferably fitted with a star tip, but that’s not absolutely necessary.
  6. Squeeze about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling onto each little crust.  Then top with about a teaspoon of whipped cream.  Top it all off with sprinkles, grated chocolate, or toasted coconut.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Makes 60-70 bite-size pies
PIE CRUST
(Note: you can also use store-bought refrigerated pie crust, like from Pillsbury)
  • 1 ¼ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
  • flour for dusting

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 205°C.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut 4 T butter into flour until it looks like coarse meal, and then cut in shortening until well blended. Add ice cold water and stir with fork. Then use your hands to gently work the dough into a ball.
  3. Flour a rectangular sheet of wax paper, place dough ball in the middle, flour the ball, and cover with another rectangular sheet of wax paper. Roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/8”.  With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough roughly into 1.5”x 1.5” squares.  You can also be creative and use cookie cutters to make cute shapes.
  4. Place dough pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Prick each piece a few times with a fork.  Bake at 205°C for 11-13 minutes, or until browned on the edges.   Remove from oven. Cool completely before using for bite-size pies.
Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
  • 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar

METHOD:

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small bowl to soften.
  2. Scald 2 tablespoon of the cream; pour over gelatin, stirring till dissolved.
  3. Refrigerate until consistency of unbeaten egg white. (This takes about 10-15 minutes.) Then, with a whisk, beat until smooth.
  4. In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, or with a hand beater, whip remaining cream and sugar just until soft peaks form; whip in the smoothed gelatin mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl twice. You will probably only need to whip it another 10-20 seconds before it’s done.
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