Make Ahead

Tall, Dark & Handsome Pie

February 12, 2010
Author Notes

This is a mile-high to die for pie said I!! What a crowd pleaser...the men in my family loved it, the women were swooning over it and, in fact, named it! I based this on a recipe in Saveur Magazine with some extra touches and some explanations that help the finished result. It is definitely NOT low calorie, but my philosophy is, eat light and indulge in a sliver of good is short! —GirlCook

  • Serves 6-8
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes and chilled plus more for pie plate
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 9-oz. package chocolate wafers, such as Nabisco, finely ground (about 2 1/4 cups) **see note below
  • 3 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 9 Egg yolks
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (1 1/2 tsp for filling and 1 tsp for topping)
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • Dark Chocolate for garnish
In This Recipe
  1. MAKE FILLING: Heat half-and-half in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer; remove pan from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch; add egg yolks and whisk until smooth, (this will take several minutes of continuous whipping with a your whisk). Drizzle half-and-half into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbles rise to the surface and mixture is very thick, 3-4 minutes. (Watch this very carefully and whisk constantly.) Remove pan from heat and add remaining 8 TBS. of butter and both semisweet and unsweetened chocolate in small batches, whisking until smooth; stir in 1 1/2 ts. vanilla. Add the espresso at this time if using. (Note: do this all swiftly and whisk it continously to keep it smooth). Set a sieve over a medium bowl and strain chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto surface; refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
  2. MAKE THE CRUST: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9" glass pie plate with butter; set aside. Heat 8 TBS butter and brown sugar in a 1-qt. saucepan until sugar dissolves. Transfer butter mixture to a medium bowl; stir in ground wafers. Transfer mixture to pie plate, press into bottom and sides using the bottom of a measuring cup to compress crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake until set, about 15 minutes; let cool. (Check after 10 minutes into cooking to ensure cookies do not blacken/if it's overcooked, it gets very hard).
  3. ASSEMBLE THE PIE: Remove plastic wrap from chocolate filling and, using a rubber spatula, stir mixture until smooth. Spoon mixture into reserved crust, forming a dome, and smooth surface with the spatula. In a large bowl, whisk remaining sugar, remaining vanilla, and heavy cream until stiff peaks form (or use your stand mixer with whip attachment); spread on top of filling, forming a dome.Using a peeler, shave some of the dark chocolate onto top of pie. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  4. This pie looks AMAZING...a mile high! **A word on those chocolate wafers. First of all, they're hard to find and when you do, they are more than $4 for a small box of them, ridiculous. Sure, you could use oreo crumbs, but this would move the pie from the sophisticated cocoa dream to a more traditional sweet pudding pie. So the wafers are worth looking for and worth the price...although I am going to research a recipe for homemade chocolate wafers!

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