Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie (with whiskey and malt powder)

Need I say more? Even if I was in the mood, which I'm not, to write about how dang slammin' this pie is, the name already says it for itself. Try it.

Now, on to life. It's 6am, I've just called out of a particularly long and important clinical day. I feel like... I'm laying in bed with a pillow stuffed underneath my chin. It's not pretty.

Really. You do not want to be me right now. Just bad. Pretty soon I'm going to have to explain to someone why I'm still in bed... Not my favorite part about today. This chocolate pie is. Have a nice day and eat pie...or whatever it is you eat.

Cookie Crust

20 vanilla wafers
10 pretzels comparable in size to a vanilla wafer
30 vanilla wafers
30 chocolate wafers
1 tbl sugar
6 tbl melted salted butter

In a food processor, grind the cookies and pretzels, if using, to a very fine powder (about 1 1/2 cups total). Put the crumbs in a bowl and mix with the sugar.

Pour the butter over the crumb mixture and mix until well combined, the mixture should feel wet. Turn the crumb mixture out into a 9-inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick spray. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides using your hands.

Freeze the crust while you make the filling.

Chocolate Filling

1/2 cup sugar
3 tbl chocolate malt Ovaltine
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup (4 tbl) cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
2 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons whiskey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, Ovaltine, salt, and cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined. The mixture will look like a thick paste. Slowly pour in the milk and cream, whisking constantly. This step is very important to avoid any lumps (think lumpy hot chocolate) which cannot be whisked out. If you have lumps, pour the mixture through a seive to remove before continuing.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent the mixture from burning on the bottom of the pan. Be sure to constantly whisk the bottom of the pan, and do not use a traditional whisk, if possible. These are not able to scrape the corners of most pans. Instead, use one like the one pictured below. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate, whiskey, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add more whiskey if you're feeling in the mood (it will not be a pronounced flavor at 2 tsp, if that is what you are looking for, so feel free to add a little extra).Continue to whisk for a few minutes to cool the mixture slightly. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes at room temp. A thin skin may form during this cooling period. Simply whisk the mixture again until the skin is gone (every few minutes). Pour the filling into the frozen pie shell.

Refrigerate the pie for 4 hours before serving, topped with whipped cream, if desired.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbl sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp whiskey (optional)

Chill a metal bowl and the beaters of a handheld mixer in the freezer for a few minutes before using. Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat. Spread over entire pie or dollop on slices. Eat!

Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

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