Chocolate cream pie is one of those desserts that’s implanted in my childhood food memories. Delicious, super light, and irresistible. It’s a commitment, but most of the time is fighting the temptation to dig in until the pie is ready.
Tips for success: A chocolate cream pie is all about the pudding. This pudding recipe is so good, you can eat it alone. I only use egg yolks, versus whole eggs, because yolks add more flavor and less moisture. This creates a richer consistency, while cornstarch helps the pudding thicken fully.
If you don’t have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a food storage bag and smash with a rolling pin or the bottom of a skillet (though a rolling pins works best). Then transfer crumbs to a bowl and stir in the melted butter. If you aren’t a fan of graham crackers, you can substitute 24 Oreos (filling removed) to make an Oreo crust.
You can use any milk of your choice in place of the half-and-half. I’ve used everything from whole milk to a non-dairy pick like almond for this recipe.
You can also use dark chocolate or milk chocolate, instead of semi-sweet, in the pudding or for the shaving. You can even use your favorite candy bar—I use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate, a cheese grater also does a great job.
If you’re not a fan of whipped cream, dust some confectioners sugar over the pie and garnish with shaved chocolate.
This recipe makes two pies because I like to make one to share and another to keep for myself. If you would like to make one instead, halve the ingredients’ quantities below. —Kenneth Temple
- Prep time 12 hours
- Cook time 30 minutes
- makes 2 pies
Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust:
chocolate graham crackers
(1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
large egg yolks, room temperature
unsalted butter, cold, sliced into tablespoons
semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whipped Cream Topping:
heavy cream, very cold
Semi-sweet chocolate, shaved for garnish
- Heat the oven to 325°F.
- Add the graham crackers to a food processor and blitz until crumbles are fine like cornmeal. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times until the butter completely coats the crumbs. The crust should hold together when squeezed. Divide evenly between two 9-inch pie pans. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 13 minutes, until the crust is fragrant. Let the crusts cool while you work on the filling.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In a bowl, mix together the half-and-half and egg yolks until completely blended. Add to egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens. The mixture should boil slightly.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract. If you have small lumps, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Divide the pudding evenly between the pie crusts. Cool at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours minimum or until the next day.
- After the pies has set, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and salt with a hand mixer on medium-high speed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until soft, swooshable peaks form. Divide and swirl the whipped cream, evenly between the two pies. Garnish with the shaved chocolate and serve cold. Pies will keep in the fridge for 3 days.