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Recipe: Chocolate Cream Pie

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chocolate cream pie
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated

This recipe is courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Serves 8 to 10

We developed this recipe with whole milk, but you can use 2 percent low-fat milk, if desired. Avoid using 1 percent low-fat or skim milk, as the filling will be too thin. Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Bar is our favorite dark chocolate.


  • 1  recipe fully baked Foolproof All-Butter Dough for Single-Crust Pie (see below)


  • ⅓  cup (21/3 ounces) sugar
  • ¼  cup (1-ounce) cornstarch
  • 2  tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 3  cups whole or 2 percent low-fat milk
  • 6  ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 3  tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1  cup heavy cream
  • 1  tablespoon confectioners' sugar

To Prepare

1. Roll dough into 12-inch circle on well-floured counter. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang around edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand.

2. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of plate. Tuck overhang under itself; folded edge should

be flush with edge of plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of plate using your fingers. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Line chilled pie shell with aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights. Bake until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and continue to bake until golden brown and crisp,15 to 20 minutes longer. If crust begins to puff, pierce gently with tip of paring knife. Let crust cool completely in plate on wire rack, about 30 minutes.

4. For the filling: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt together in large saucepan. Whisk in milk until incorporated, making sure to scrape corners of saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbling over entire surface, 8 to 10 minutes. Cook 30 seconds longer; remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter and whisk until melted and fully incorporated. Whisk in vanilla. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Press lightly greased parchment paper against surface of filling and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until filling is firmly set, at least 2½ hours or up to 24 hours.

5. For the topping: Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream and sugar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread whipped cream evenly over chilled pie and serve.

Foolproof All-Butter Dough for Single-Crust Pie

Makes one 9-inch Single Crust

Be sure to weigh the flour for this recipe. This dough will be more moist than most pie doughs, but as it chills it will absorb a lot of excess moisture. Roll the dough on a well-floured counter.


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1¼ cups (6¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1   tablespoon sugar
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ¼  cup ice water

To Prepare

1. Grate 2 tablespoons butter on large holes of box grater and place in freezer. Cut remaining 8 tablespoons butter into ½-inch cubes.

2. Pulse ¾ cup flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, 2 pulses. Add cubed butter and process until homogeneous paste forms, about 30 seconds. Using your hands, carefully break paste into 2-inch chunks and redistribute evenly around processor blade. Add remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is broken into pieces no larger than 1 inch (most pieces will be much smaller), 4 to 5 pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add grated butter and toss until butter pieces are separated and coated with flour.

3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Toss with rubber spatula until mixture is evenly moistened. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons ice water over mixture and toss to combine. Press dough with spatula until dough sticks together. Transfer dough to sheet of plastic wrap. Draw edges of plastic over dough and press firmly on sides and top to form compact, fissure-free mass. Wrap in plastic and flatten to form 5-inch disk. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Let chilled dough sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes, before rolling. (Wrapped dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let dough thaw completely on counter before rolling.)

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