My apologies for the delay. I just realized that I have not turned my computer on in 4 days, and if you know me that is kind of crazy.
Last week I made this Chocolate Caramel Cream Pie out of the Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts cookbook that my lovely friend Danielle got for me. I went through the book and have put Post-it notes on a ton of pages that I want to make, to the point where the Post-it notes are almost pointless because they’re every other page. This pie actually caused a lot of grief on multiple levels, but I think there was just something going on and the kitchen gods were not wanting me to have an easy time or something.
Day 1: First, I made the dough and wrapped it up and put it in the fridge. Then, I started looking through the recipe and realized that the pie needs 5 hours to refrigerate and I was starting at about 7:30 PM. As much as I would love to wait until midnight to eat pie, I also had to be up at 7AM the next day. So I put the pie on hold until the next day, and made something else (post to come later).
Day 2: I end up working all day at the aquarium and do not get home until around 5:30 pm. Too exhausted and in the same situation as yesterday with timing. Around 11:30 PM that evening the oven starts making beeping noises and has an error on the screen….oh no…. I just pressed the off button and went to sleep.
Day 3: The last day that I can use this dough, I have to make it. Go to look at the oven. Broken. Still has an error code flashing on it and it wont turn on. After I had already at this point given up all hopes in making this pie, my mother tells me that the microwave has a convection setting on it. Before you get all weirded out and delete my blog from your list, I was just as reluctant as you are. I made fun of her for a few hours “You want me to cook a PIE in the MICROWAVE! Are you crazy?” I know it is considered a convection oven, but it felt like I made the pie dough in the microwave which felt like a whole new level of wrong.
I have this whisk that my friend Torey gave to me a few years ago and it really is a very cute whisk BUT it is lopsided. I dont know who designed it, but I would love to write a letter to them letting them know how frustrating it is. You can’t leave this whisk sitting in the bowl because things like the whisk flying out of the bowl, flinging chocolate all over the kitchen and leaving chocolate behind in slightly cracked open drawers. The worst thing about it, is that I forget that its lopsided every time. Every. Time. I really should just hide this thing somewhere, or hang it on my wall, but that just might frustrate me every time I look at it.
In the end, this pie was a 3 day effort but it was not the pie’s fault really. Although 5 hours of chilling in the refrigerator is hard for anyone with a sweet tooth to wait for.
Tip: When making the caramel cream topping, be sure to watch your sugar as your caramelizing it. If you let it get too dark it will be too strong and overpower the whipped cream. You want a light amber color.
Chocolate-Caramel Cream Pie
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pulse flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add yolks and vanilla, and process until mixture just begins to hold together (no longer than 30 seconds)
- Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days)
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll pate sucree to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim, and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom of dough with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges begin to look dry, 20 to 22 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. Bake until crust is darker around edges and bottom looks dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Chocolate crust can be stored overnight.
For the filling:
- Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Heat milk and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts.
- Whisk 1 cup hot milk mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Whisk milk-sugar mixture into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, 4 to 5 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil).
- Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it just begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Pour custard into chocolate crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight).
- Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar, water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber. (Do not let caramel burn.) Carefully pour in 1/2 cup cream in a slow, steady stream down the side of the saucepan, whisking constantly, until smooth (caramel will bubble).
- Remove from heat, and place saucepan in ice-water bath. Let caramel mixture cool, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
- Whisk remaining 3/4 cup cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold caramel mixture into whipped cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.