Friday, February 15, 2013

chocolate covered strawberry cream pie

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope it was filled with lots of love (and chocolate!)

Here's what I made for our Valentine's treat:

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie

I love making pies. I make lots of pies for Thanksgiving (have since I was in junior high) and I have a little dream to one day open up a little pie shop. So I often invent pie recipes in my head. I rarely actually make them... but I'm working on ways to make that happen more often (without consuming mass quantities of pie.)

Therefore I give you: Valentine's Pie!

For this pie I actually broke one of my cardinal rules of pie making - I used a store-bought crust! But I knew I didn't have time to experiment with making my own chocolate crust, and I needed a disposable pie tin (I took one of the pies to a neighbor) so I caved. It wasn't terrible... but I definitely want to come up with my own crust for this pie next time.

This recipe makes two pies - perfect for sharing the love!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie Recipe

2 chocolate cookie pie crusts (like Oreo or Keebler)

Chocolate custard:
5 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
3/4 cup half-and-half
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet would work too)

Strawberry cream:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup strawberry puree 
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Add milk and half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. (This takes a long time - be patient!)

With the egg yolks in a small bowl, slowly stir in at least 1/2 cup of the cream mixture (this keeps the eggs from scrambling in the hot custard). Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream, stirring well. Cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring. 

While this finishes cooking, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, about 30 seconds. (They don't have to be completely melted) 

Remove pan from heat and add butter, vanilla, and melted chocolate chips. Stir well to make sure chocolate is completely melted and mixed.

Pour half of the custard into each pie shell and put them in the refrigerator. 

While the chocolate custard is setting, make the strawberry cream.
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. (It takes about 1 1/2 cups of berries to make 3/4 cup puree). 
Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold in the strawberry puree and sweetened condensed milk. You can add a little more of the sweetened condensed milk if the strawberries are really tart - but don't add too much or it will overpower the strawberry flavor and make the cream runnier.

The strawberry cream will be about the consistency of yogurt (and feel free to eat it by the spoonful like yogurt! It's pretty tasty!)

Pour (or spoon) half of the strawberry cream on top of the chocolate layer in each pie. Put them back in the refrigerator to set up for at least 4 hours, or even overnight. The strawberry layer may be a bit runny - the longer it stays in the fridge the better!

Top with a chocolate covered strawberry and chocolate shavings, and serve!

Doesn't it look so scrumptious with that strawberry next to it? You can see though that the strawberry layer is starting to run a little bit... still delicious though!

So now here's my question: What should I do with the other half of a can of sweetened condensed milk?

Note: the chocolate custard layer is adapted from the Lion House Cream Pie recipe.

Update: I recently decided to start a separate blog for recipes and food/cooking tips. You can see this pie recipe and a whole lot more over at Modern Mommy's Kitchen!

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