I made dinner and dessert for Valentine’s Day last night, and since I am one of those people who loves to eat dessert first I thought that I would write the blog entry about the dessert first. This is the most delicious chocolate pie in the world. The recipe came from this old baking booklet that my mom has that is just completely falling apart because it’s been used so much. This pie used to be my go-to recipe for any sort of event in high school that required food. I actually remember making it when some friends and I had a party instead of going to the Sadie Hawkins dance, and we ended up with at least two chocolate pies and a chocolate fountain in addition to some other goodies for like seven people. I’m pretty sure that I gained ten pounds in one night, but it was worth it.
Pie is by far my favourite dessert, and I like most kinds. I love fruit pies so much that I always forget about how amazing chocolate pie is. It’s been several years since I have made a chocolate pie so this Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity. The filling for this pie is incredibly easy to make so the only difficult part is making the crust. If you do not want to make a crust, I would recommend buying a graham cracker crust from the grocery store over a frozen pastry crust. I have had this chocolate pie in a store-bought graham cracker crust before, and I can attest to the deliciousness of it. I do not really care for the frozen pastry crusts though so I would avoid those. I usually include a link to an older blog entry where I describe the process of making pie crust in more detail, but I decided to redo it this time around with some better photos so everything you need is included below in this entry.
French Chocolate Pie
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened Baker’s chocolate, melted and cooled
1 envelope Dream Whip (it’s a dessert topping mix that is just called Dream Whip and can be found in the baking aisle)
1 baked 9-inch pie crust
Cream butter and sugar. Stir in cooled chocolate.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating at high speed for 5 minutes after each addition.
Prepare dessert topping mix as directed on the package (you will need milk and vanilla for this). Fold into chocolate mixture.
Pour into cooled pie crust and chill until firm – about 2 hours.
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
4 Tbsp ice water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour and salt. I usually just use a knife and cut it into pieces along the tablespoon markings on the package.
Mix everything using a pastry blender until it forms pea-sized bits. I am not sure if you could do this with anything other than a pastry blender because I never had, but they are really cheap if you don’t have one.
Add water and mix everything together with a fork until the dough forms. I usually stop once the whole mixture is wet and looks like the photo below to avoid over mixing.
Use your hands to form the dough into two equal-sized balls. If you are making a pie with a top and bottom, you should make the ball of dough for the bottom crust slightly larger than the top. Since I only needed one crust for the chocolate pie, I put half of the dough in the freezer for another time. I usually end up using the second half of the dough when I mess up with the first, but I was lucky this time around.
Lightly flour a large space on your countertop. I have more problems with pie dough sticking to things than I do with any other dough I have ever tried to work with so you need to make sure that you constantly have enough flour on both your surface and your rolling pin. You also have to make sure that you don’t have too much flour though, or the dough will crack so it’s a difficult balance to find. It just takes some practice, and I am still terrible at it. I learned to make pie crusts from watching my mom so I just copy what she has always done. Flour your hands really well before picking up one ball of dough and flattening it into a small circle with your hands before placing it on my floured surface. Flatten the dough circle slightly onto the counter with your hands then lift and spread some more flour underneath because the dough will have picked up most of the flour that you spread initially. Flour your rolling pin and gently roll the dough out, alternating between bottom to top and side to side until it is large enough to fit in your pie plate.
To move your crust to the pie plate, place your rolling pin on top of the crust near one end and use a well-floured spatula to lift the dough and wrap it around the rolling pin. Hold it in place with your thumbs and lift the rolling pin to move the dough over the pie plate and drape it across the plate so it is centered. Gently press the dough down into plate around the edges.
Cut off the excess dough from around the edges of the plate. You can look up all different ways to make the edges look pretty, but I just use my fingers to make a little wave around the edge. The crust always shrinks in the oven, and the edge doesn’t stay nice anyways because I haven’t really mastered that yet.
If you are making a pie that requires you to bake the crust before putting in any filling (like this one) then you should poke holes all over with a fork to help prevent it from shrinking too much in the oven.
Bake the crust at 425 degrees F for about 14 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on it because everyone’s oven is different. I always cover the edges of the crust with a pie crust guard to prevent them from burning. You can find them at any store that sells kitchen gadgets. I got mine from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a few bucks.