Ahhhh happy Pi(e) day! If there’s a week that it’s ok to share three pies in a row, I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s this one! Pie week is waaaay better than birthday week IMO, which is really saying something because damn I love birthday week.
I’ve had this one floating round in my head for a while now - I bought a big jar of malted milk powder to use in a recipe a few months ago and never got around to it, so I’ve been so excited to use it! Since I overcame my fear of crimping pie crust (weirdest fear ever), I have so many fun new recipes in the works I can’t wait to share!
I went with a classic twist on the chocolate cream pie for this recipe - a blind baked pie crust, filled with a dark chocolate pudding, which I spiked with some malted milk powder. I then finished it off with a quick cream cheese whipped cream - I added a teeny bit of cocoa powder to half in order to give some variation in the decoration on the top. And oh my. It is such a winning combo - flaky pie crust, silky chocolate pudding, and then a slightly tangy whipped cream on the top. I took it to friends for dessert and someone told me it was ‘the best chocolate pie they had ever had, but in a pie’. I’ll take that. This pie would be perfect for any occasion - it can easily be made ahead of time and finished off quickly just before you serve. You absolutely do not have to pipe the topping on like I did - a big pile of cream cheese whipped cream on top would be just as amazing.
A few wee tips:
Ideally, you want to give your pie dough an overnight rest, but if you’re in a pinch, 2-3 hours in the fridge should be ok.
The pudding does need a few hours to cool up and set, so make sure you account for this.
If you are making this ahead of time, make sure that you only add the cream cheese whipped cream close-ish to serving so that it is nice and fresh.
I like to do this wee trick with my pie dough: After you mix the dough and shape it into discs, rest it in the fridge for about an hour, and then roll it out on a floured surface into a rectangle, fold it in thirds like a letter, then roll again and repeat the folding. Then you shape it into a disc by folding the edges under, rewrap tightly in plastic, and rest for at least two hours before using. What this step does is make the dough homogenous and therefore easy to work with, but also adds layers through the rolling and folding - the same way puff pastry is laminated. It is definitely an optional step but from my experience it makes the world of difference when it comes to rolling out the dough, and makes the dough really easy to crimp.
The pie dough recipe makes a double crust - so enough for two pies. You might as well make the extra while you are at it in my opinion - pie dough freezes well, tightly wrapped, for at least a few months, or lasts a few days in the fridge. Defrost overnight if using from frozen.
Malted Dark Chocolate Cream Pie with Cream Cheese Whip
- Makes one 9” pie -
Filling recipe adapted from Erin Mcdowell
2 1/2 cups (310g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp (8g) sugar
225g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Malted Dark Chocolate Filling
650g whole milk
120g heavy cream
250g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 60%)
30g Corn starch
150g malted milk powder
3/4 tsp salt
135g yolks (5 large egg yolks)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Topping
400g Heavy cream, cold
225g Cream cheese, at room temperature
70g powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
10g dutch process cocoa, sifted
- PROCESS -
Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only large pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 8-10 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into two discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. (See notes for rolling out dough during resting period)
Once the dough has rested, unwrap one disc and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4” (6mm) in thickness, turning the dough 45˚ often as you are rolling to keep it even. You want the circle to be slightly larger than your pie tin. Transfer to a 9” pie tin, and arrange to ensure that the dough is well settled.
Trim the dough using scissors or a sharp knife, leaving about one inch excess around the edges. Gently tuck the dough under and onto itself, to give you a neat folded edge. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the fridge and crimp as desired. Dock all over with the tines of a fork, then chill for a further 30 minutes, or freeze for 20 minutes or until solid.
While the crust is in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Cut a piece of parchment slightly larger than the pie dish. Line with the parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling right to the bottom of the crimps.
Place the pie tin on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper and beans, and brush the edges and crust with egg wash. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until evenly golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
DARK CHOCOLATE MALTED MILK CREAM FILLING
Place the milk, cream, and chocolate in a medium saucepan. Place over medium low heat, and whisk until combined and the chocolate has melted. Bring it to a very gentle simmer.
While the chocolate is melting, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, malted milk powder, and salt. Add the egg yolks and vanilla bean paste and whisk until well combined - it will look like it is not going to come together, but keep whisking!
Remove the chocolate milk mixture from the heat, and, whisking the egg mixture constantly, pour about half of the chocolate mixture over the egg mixture. Whisk until well combined, then return to the saucepan with the remainder of the chocolate mixture. Return to a medium low heat, and, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, approximately 4 minutes. You want to see a few large bubbles in the centre of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, mixing until well combined.
Strain the pudding mixture directly into the cooled pie shell, and smooth with an offset spatula. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling to prevent a skin forming. Leave to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to completely chill - 4 hours or overnight.
CREAM CHEESE WHIPPED CREAM
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla bean, and salt, and whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer half of the cream cheese whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a french star tip. Sift in the cocoa powder, and mix to combine. Transfer to a second piping bag fitted with a french star tip.
Pipe blobs of the chocolate and plain cream cheese whipped cream over the surface fo the pie.
Refrigerate until serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.