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Chocolate cream pie

(Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
November 25, 2009

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Makes one 9-inch pie

When she was a teenager, Cindy Carpenter’s mother taught her how to make this pie from “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.’’ It is always the first pie to go at Thanksgiving, whatever other kinds the family makes. The pastry makes more than you need; roll out the scraps, cut them into shapes, and sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar before baking.

CRUST

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons butter, cut up
1/3 cup ice water
1. Have on hand a deep 9-inch pie pan.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the shortening and butter and use a pastry blender or two blunt knives to cut the fats into the flour mixture until they resemble crumbs.

3. Add the water and stir with a rubber spatula to form a dough. If necessary, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together.

4. On a lightly floured counter, shape the dough into a flat disk. Wrap in foil and refrigerate 15 minutes.

5. Roll the dough on a floured counter until it is 11 inches across. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it into the pie pan. Make a hem all around the top, then crimp the edges. Refrigerate or freeze the pastry for 15 minutes.

6. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

7. Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill the pie with foil, pressing it firmly into the crust. Fill with dried beans. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Lift out the foil and beans and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a rack to cool.

FILLING

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 cups skim milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream softly whipped with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate in the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes or until chocolate is melted and milk is very hot (there should be small bubbles around the edges).

2. In a bowl, sift the sugar, flour, and salt. Tip the mixture onto a clean sheet of paper. Bend the paper in the middle and hold it so that you can shake the flour mixture off the end. With the milk cooking over a low heat, very gradually shake the mixture into the milk, whisking constantly. Continue shaking and whisking for 15 minutes or until all the flour is mixed in and the custard thickens.

3. Remove the mixture from the heat. Beat in the yolks. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until the mixture is hot but not boiling.

4. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Lift the saucepan off the water. Wipe the bottom of the saucepan dry.

5. Pour the filling into the pie shell, smooth the top, and leave to cool. Refrigerate until cold. Spread the whipped cream on top before serving. Adapted from “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook’’