Rich, decadent chocolate custard topped with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings inside a crushed Oreo cookie crust make this Chocolate Cream Pie a creamy, cool dessert that is guaranteed to please!
Chocolate Cream Pie
I made three different desserts for Easter dinner this year, but this chocolate cream pie was the first to go. Everybody wanted a slice of this simple to make, deeply chocolatey pie!
When it comes to pies, my husband is a big fan of cream pies like banana cream (his favorite). So it’s no surprise that he was leading the charge for this chocolate cream pie, which is essentially a chocolate pudding inside an Oreo crust. But that description doesn’t do justice to the beauty of this pie and might make it seem like you ought to just use a pudding mix for the filling and a pre-made crust.
There are a couple of reasons why I think a chocolate cream pie is so much better from scratch:
- The chocolate flavor comes through with much, much deeper, richer tones thanks to the combination of bittersweet AND semi-sweet chocolate
- The balance of sweetness in a homemade chocolate custard is much better than just a packet of pudding
The recipe calls for a lot of egg yolks, which is what makes the filling so rich and wonderful! So balance things out by making an egg white omelette the next day. Or don’t balance it out and use those egg whites to make macarons or divinity!
During the summer, this is a great no-bake chocolate cream pie if you don’t bother to bake the crust for 8-10 minutes in the oven. I like my crust a little crunchy, but that step is totally optional.
Also, can I just clear something up here? Not all chocolate pies are the same, even though the names get bandied about willy-nilly all the time. There is French Silk Pie, Chocolate Satin Pie, and Chocolate Cream Pie and each is just a little different. French Silk and Chocolate Satin pies both appear to be the same thing although I’ve seen claims that the silk version is made with semi-sweet chocolate and the satin is made with dark chocolate. But either way, both of those pies are filled with just a chocolate mousse consisting of eggs, cream, chocolate, sugar, and butter. There is no thickener like cornstarch or flour and the raw eggs are whipped in over a period of about 20 minutes to create the silky mousse texture. French silk pie also uses a traditional pie crust.
Chocolate cream pie, on the other hand, is made with a cooked custard filling that is thickened with cornstarch (at least in my recipe). While similar, the differences in the method and ingredients result in a different taste and texture between the two varieties of pie.
How to Make an Oreo Pie Crust
- First, really pulverize those oreos. You want fine crumbs and the best way to get them is by using a food processor or blender. But a plastic bag and good old rolling pin will do the trick as well. Leave the cream filling because it actually helps bind the crust together.
- Mix in some melted butter. I just drizzle it in while the food processor is running so it gets evenly distributed.
- Press into the sides and bottom of a pie pan using a flat-bottomed measuring cup or a drinking glass.
- I like to bake my Oreo crusts for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven just to firm it up a bit and make it a teensy-bit crunchy, but you could just chill it, then fill it and have an easy no-bake chocolate cream pie if you like.
How to Make Chocolate Cream Pie
- Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan with half of the sugar and bring just to a simmer.
- While the milk is heating, whisk the remaining sugar together with the egg yolks and cornstarch in a large bowl.
- Temper the egg yolks by whisking some of the hot liquid into the egg mixture.
- Pour the tempered egg yolks into the pan with the rest of the hot milk and cream and whisk, reducing the heat to medium and cooking just until the custard thickens, which should only take a minute or two at most.
- Remove the chocolate filling from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla, then pour into the prepared Oreo pie crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the surface of the chocolate cream pie filling to prevent it from forming a skin while cooling.
- Chill for 4 hours in the fridge before topping with freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings!
Tips and Tricks for Making Chocolate Cream Pie
- You could pipe the whipped cream onto the pie instead of just spreading it. Not that I ever bother. But you COULD do it. Do I condone using cans of Reddi-Whip or thawed whipped topping in place of real whipped cream? No. But will I judge you? Yes. No, not really. But yes, okay, maybe a little. I will just cover my eyes and pretend I don’t see.
- Use a large bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler to make chocolate shavings. Or just sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the pie.
- Use a large, sharp knife to cut the piece into slices for serving and wipe the knife between each slice for cleaner servings. But no matter what you do, that first slice isn’t going to come out pretty. Just embrace that less than perfect slice and enjoy it!
- 24 Oreos, crushed into fine crumbs in a food processor
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 8 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 9 egg yolks
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Grated dark chocolate, for garnishing
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pulse the Oreo cookies in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 15 pulses, then continue to process another 15 seconds until they turn into fine, even crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over the Oreo crumbs and pulse to combine.
- Transfer the cookie crumb mixture to a pie plate and press into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides, using the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely before filling.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk, cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and salt to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- While the milk mixture heats, whisk together the remaining sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks until smooth and creamy.
- When the milk mixture is hot, slowly pour 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg mixture, whisking to temper the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the saucepan of simmering milk and cream. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and large bubbles start to burst on top, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the pan from the heat and immediately whisk in the cubed butter and chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla, then pour into the prepared pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing into the surface of the filling so a skin doesn't form, and refrigerate for 4 hours until the filling is set and chilled.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together until soft peaks form, anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Spread over the top of the chilled and set pie, then sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.
3 1/2 cups of half-and-half can be used in place of the whole milk and cream.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 679 Saturated Fat: 29g Cholesterol: 263mg Sodium: 260mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 32g Protein: 7g
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