"Make it Again" Chocolate Pudding Pie

Never underestimate the power of pie.

The other night, Mike and I went out to dinner with hopes of scooping up some teensie pies from the Pie Sisters on our way back home. My favorite is their mixed berry rendition while he surprised me with Chocolate Pudding pie. Alas, it was too late and the store was closed. Mike had been really stocked too... I did not realize that this was a thing for him! 

A week later, the pudding craving set in again. This time, the sheer thought of driving in Northern VA on a weekend that deterred us. (Seriously- it's that traffic that's going to make us move in a year or two.) It's a little extra work... but I much rather bake a pie from scratch than deal with 395. Besides. I couldn't have my man... liking somebody else's confection! 

I jest. Heaven help the person that tries to take away my mint milanos. 

I took my favorite elements from recipes past and combined them into this lovely luscious treat. The crust is my go-to recipe from Smitten Kitchen; the pudding is my own concoction; and the topping can be basic whip cream or cool whip. Simple elements that create a simply wonderful pie!

There were a few lessons learned the first round
  1. Grease the pie dish before putting the dough in. You don't want to find some tiny section that doesn't want to let go of the pan after it's been in the fridge!
  2. There's no such thing as too much pudding. I doubled the amount to make sure I used the entire dish and had just enough for a little cup on the side.
  3. I used a 9"inch round- but I think a 10" inch would have worked just as well. 
Needless to say, it was a smash hit. Mike was very much in love with this recipe. When we went to visit his parents, he declared, "make it again!" How on Earth could I ever say no to that sweet mug of his? He gives me a honey glow something awful!

This time, I got it 100% and used the spare dough to cut out some pastry hearts as decoration. I have a feeling that is going to be a weekend staple!

"Make it Again" Chocolate Pudding Pie

Step 1: Make the Crust

The Pie Crust is from Smitten Kitchen and I strongly recommend rolling it out the night before to save time. I halved the recipe for a single pie crust.

Once you have made the dough, you must chill it, roll it out (remember to butter the pie pan before setting in dough), place into a 9"inch round pie pan, crimp the edges, and chill again. If you have any hanging left over pie dough, roll them out and make some shapes to decorate the final product! 

Now that the dough is ready and in the pie pan, grease a sheet sheet of aluminum foil and gently mold to the uncooked pie crust. Fill crust with pie weights to make sure it doesn't puff up. You can also use dried beans or coffee beans. I like dried coffee beans for the fragrance!

To fully blind bake, bake it at 425 degrees 15 to 18 minutes or until the sides begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven. Gently remove your pie weights. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and continue to bake the crust for several minutes until it's golden.

Step 2: Make the Filling
The filling is my Choco-Coco Latte Puddin, but doubled (see below)

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup coconut sugar 
Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups milk
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (60% and higher)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons instant espresso (how strong you want it? I used 1 teaspoon) 

Heat the water of your double boiler. If you don't have one (like me), heat about an inch of water in a small pot just to a nice simmer.

Combine the cornstarch, coconut sugar, and salt in a heat proof bowl. Slowly whisk in both milks. Place over gently simmering water and give a it a good whisk occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated. After 10 to 15 minutes, the mixture will being to thicken. Add the chocolate and espresso. Continue whisking just a few more minutes, until the pudding is smooth, thick, and all the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Allow the crust too cool to room temperature. Pour into fully cooked pie crust and place in fridge to firm up, about 30 minutes.

Step 3: The Topping
For the topping, use a basic whip cream recipe or some store bought cool whip! Honestly, all whip cream recipes are made up of the same ingredients: sugar + heavy whipping cream. 

Step 4: Make it Pretty
Garnish with any leftover pie crust cut outs, shaved chocolate, or fruit!