I love making pies. Which is kind of ironic because my husband absolutely loves cake, and I don’t really like making cakes. At least he agrees that my pies are always delicious, even if he would prefer a cake.
I started making pies for Thanksgiving when I was about twelve. I have a little dream to one day open up a little pie shop. (I kind of want it to be just like the Pie Hole in Pushing Daisies…) So I often invent pie recipes in my head. I wish they were as creatively titled as the ones Kerri Russell invents in her head in Waitress. But they are most definitely delicious! (And no, I don’t base all of my cooking on TV shows and movies… just apparently my pie making.)
I rarely actually make the pies I invent… but I’m working on ways to make that happen more often – without consuming mass quantities of pie, that is.
This pie was actually a Valentine’s Day invention. You can’t get much more Valentinesy than chocolate covered strawberries, right?
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie: Chocolate cookie crust, a layer of dark chocolate custard, a layer of strawberry cream, topped with dark chocolate shavings and a chocolate covered strawberry.
I know, this isn’t exactly a healthy treat… but at least I used fresh strawberries! And dark chocolate! That’s got to count for something. Let me make a little confession here: I have a serious sweet tooth. I try to find healthy alternatives so I don’t just eat chocolate and candy all the time. But sometimes, you’ve just got to have the real thing. So many (most) of my dessert recipes will probably be less healthy than my other recipes. But at least they’ll be delicious!
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! Or if you want, you could do just the chocolate layer or just the strawberry layer for one pie.
You’ll want to make the chocolate custard first so it has time to set up a little before pouring the strawberry layer on top. Be patient with this! It takes a long time for the custard to thicken. Just keep the heat on medium and keep stirring. If it starts boiling, then it’s done (but it doesn’t have to boil! It’s just that if it reaches boiling, it won’t get any thicker.) Once the custard is nice and thick, you’ll take it off the stove, add the vanilla, butter, and chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is completely mixed in, then pour half into each pie shell.
Put the pies in the fridge so the chocolate can begin to set up while you make the strawberry cream.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold in the pureed strawberries 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 half of the strawberry cream into each of the pie shells on top of the chocolate layer.
Refrigerate for about 4 hours, or until set. The strawberry cream layer will stay fairly soft, but should set up enough to top it with a chocolate-covered strawberry (the strawberry will sink in a little, but not very far) and some dark chocolate shavings.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Pie Recipe
2 chocolate cookie pie crusts (like Oreo or Keebler)
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)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup strawberry puree
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1. 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!)
2. 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.
3. While this finishes cooking, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, about 30 seconds. (They don’t have to be completely melted)
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold in the strawberry puree and sweetened condensed milk. 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!
7. Top with a chocolate covered strawberry and chocolate shavings if you want, and serve!
Note: The chocolate custard layer was adapted from the Lion House Basic Cream Pie recipe.